McPherson’s Kinnamon takes a turn for the better
Rounding the curve in her 200-meter race has been something McPherson senior Kaley Kinnamon has learned to love in her evolution as a sprinter.
It was dreaded, until she realized a fast turn is crucial for a good time. Now it’s more about a mindset for Kinnamon, who has won all four of her 200 races this season.
“She attacks the curve like most people don’t,” McPherson coach Cheryl Malm said. “I think a lot of sprinters wait until the straightaway. But Kaley loves running that curve. That’s definitely her best race.”
Injuries have limited Kinnamon in the past, although she is a seven-time state qualifier. But she’s returned to full health this season, which Kinnamon says is a liberating feeling.
Nothing felt better than the 25.70 seconds it took Kinnamon to win the 200 at the McPherson Invitational last week.
“I used to think I was a really bad curve runner,” said Kinnamon, who will run for John Hopkins University next year. “But I’ve been working on it and just getting out of the blocks as fast as humanly possible. That one last week was probably the fastest curve I’ve ever run. It felt so smooth.”
Go big or go home — When Ark City junior Nicolle Murphy decides on a goal, she’s never been one to settle for the ordinary. She wants her name in record books.
Last year Murphy wanted to play softball. By the end of the season, she held the school record for home runs.
This year it was track. After her third meet, Murphy already owns the school record in the triple jump (34 feet, 10 inches) and her 146-foot throw in the javelin is inches away from another record.
So what are her goals in a sport she just picked up?
“I’m really hoping to go 165 in the javelin at state,” Murphy said. “That’s the B standard for Olympic qualifying.”
But she won’t be in action today. Murphy’s other goal, in cheerleading, has led her to Orlando to compete.
“I was excited when I heard she was coming out, not because I knew she was going to be good, but because she’s just a great person,” Ark City coach Matt Kmiec said. “She’s such a great athlete, we’re still figuring out which events are her best. We’re excited to see what she can do.”
Back and better — Cheney’s Hunter Veith showed great promise in his first two years, but a severe back injury forced Veith to sit out most of his sophomore season.
All he could think about during his rehabilitation was the missed opportunity. Veith is making sure his junior season isn’t another.
Veith will be a contender in Class 4A in the long jump (21-4½) and the triple jump (45-9¼).
“But my major goal over everything is just trying to stay healthy,” Veith said. “Not being able to do it last year hurt me a little. This year I have to get better, but I also have to control what I’m doing a little bit more and make sure I don’t get hurt again.”