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Boys track: There’s no I in Andale

Published March 30 at 12 a.m. | Last updated March 28 at 9:38 p.m.

Fantasies about winning state championships are quite popular at the moment, just days before the high school track and field season is to commence.

But in Andale, there’s more at stake than a single season of greatness. The boys team, under coach Greg Smarsh, is in the process of solidifying a dynasty, which was bolstered by winning the Class 4A title in impressive fashion last season.

In the last seven years, Andale has won three state championships and taken third twice. With nine state qualifiers set to return this season, which begins this Friday at the Andale Relays, the Indians have aspirations of something greater.

“We love living up to our name,” said senior Jared Smarsh, one of the returning state qualifiers. “It helps push us because we want to live up to that Andale name. We’re proud to be Indians.”

What has made Andale’s dominance unique is that it has accomplished it without many individual state champions. The Indians recorded one of the top point totals in the state meet history for 4A last season with 85 and did so with one individual champ.

Andale can compete because it consistently attracts 75 or more boys to join the team, a luxury for a school with an enrollment of 417. Some 6A schools can’t draw that type of participation.

“A lot of people consider track as an individual sport,” Jared Smarsh said. “We don’t take that attitude at Andale. I think it’s worked out well for us.”

As a program, Andale is known for producing yearly contenders in certain events. Once again, the Indians will be strong in the hurdles (Jared Smarsh), the relays (Smarsh, Hunter Knoblauch), the high jump (Lane Macari), the pole vault (Ethan Meyer, Hayden Bugner, Jordan Horsch), and the throws (Jeffrey Ast, Evan Omo, Luke Walstad, Trevor Buckner).

Last season alone, the Indians sent the maximum of three individuals to state in an event three times, in pole vault, high jump, and javelin.

“It is almost an unfair advantage when you can put three quality kids in each event,” Greg Smarsh said. “Not many 4A coaches can do that.”

It’s a group that is equipped with the depth to compete for another state trophy and talent to repeat as state champions.

The significance of that would-be achievement isn’t lost upon this group. That’s the motivation.

“If we can repeat, that would be four championships in eight years,” Greg Smarsh said. “That would be getting into that elite status there. They’re really focused on that right now.”

AREA ATHLETES TO WATCH

BOYS

Andover: Steven Young, sprints, sr.

Andover Central: Zane Downing, distance, sr.; Taylor Hanna, throws, sr.

Arkansas City: Mace Metcalf, pole vault, jr.; Anthony Brannon, throws, sr.

Augusta: Chaydon Carter, sprints, jr.; Kyler Steinkamp, jumps, sr.

Belle Plaine: Justin Pickens, pole vault, sr.

Bluestem: Adam Wolfe, hurdles/sprints, sr.; Stephen Muckenthaler, jumps, jr.

Buhler: Riley Allen, sprints, sr.; Jack Adkins, sprints, sr.; Denton Branscom, sprints, sr.; Jake Mullins, sprints, sr.; Josh Marshall, pole vault/hurdles, sr.

Campus: Paul Johnson, distance, jr.; Jon Fleming, distance, so.; Cody Nicks, hurdles/sprints, sr.

Chaparral: Roger Clark, distance, jr.; Adam Capps, distance, sr.

Cheney: Weston Lavington, jumps, sr.; Tyler Patterson, jumps, jr.; Kyle Sherwood, hurdles, Daniel Peters, sprints, sr.; Tyler Amsink, jumps, sr.; Calvin Schell, pole vault, so.; Reno Ferris, distance, jr.

Circle: Nathan Chaplin, hurdles, sr.

Clearwater: Jake Wright, jumps, jr.; Jordan Serpan, sprints, jr.; Izaac Graham, jumps, jr.; Austin O’Neal, distance, jr.; Johnny Becker, jumps, sr.

Collegiate: Karstan Barragree, sprints/jumps, sr.; Devin Clark, sprints, sr.; Jacob Barrett, sprints, sr.; Jacob Newlin, distance, so.

Conway Springs: Logan Creek, throws, jr.; Matthew Runyan, pole vault, sr.; Brent Vancuren, sprints, sr.; Alec Brozovich, hurdles, sr.

Derby: Kavan Mark, throws, sr.; Damian Avery, sprints, sr.

Douglass: Tyler Mabie, sprints, jr.;

Eisenhower: Isaak Fichter, distance, sr.; Frank Dwornicki, distance, distance, jr.; Anthony Jones, pole vault, sr.; Jared Brand, throws, sr.

El Dorado: Matthew Harvey, hurdles/sprints, sr.; Jacob Anders, distance, sr.; Travis House, sprints/distance, sr.; John Scott, distance, sr.

Garden Plain: Mitchell Hilger, throws, sr.; Grant Lehner, sprints/throws, jr.; Zach Drum, throws, jr.

Goddard: Austin Chippeaux, jumps/throws, sr.; Dami Okeowo, sprints, jr.; Thaddeous Robison, throws, jr.; Travis Ledom, throws, sr.

Goessel: Ben Wiens, distance, sr.; Heath Goertzen, jumps, sr.

Halstead: Steven Black, throws, sr.; David Loucks, throws, jr.; Adam Sigwing, sprints, fr.; Steven Cline, distance, fr.; Patrick Porch, distance, fr.

Haven: Austin Fritzmeier, sprints, sr.; Ty Crotts, sprints, sr.; Tony Wagler, sprints, sr.; Donnie Corcoran, throws, sr.

Hesston: Ryan Schadler, sprints/jumps, sr.; Austin Bollinger, distance, so.; Jonathan Weber, distance, so.; Justin Smith, jumps, jr.; Luccas Schmucker, distance, so.; Cody Nuss, distance, sr.

Hillsboro: Avery Franz, jumps, sr.

Hutchinson: Jared Page, hurdles, sr.; Charles Norman, sprints/jumps, sr.

Hutchinson Trinity: Spencer Truman, sprints, sr.; Tommy Fink, sprints, jr.

Independent: Richard Zirkle, distance, sr.; Anthony Little, thrower, jr.; Matt Fox, sprints/jumps, so.

Maize: Ezekial Welch, jumps/sprints, sr.; Kendall Stewart, sprints, jr.; Aaron Chansombath, pole vault, jr.; Kendall McGuire, throws, jr.

Maize South: Korie Frausto, sprints, so.; Brent Weinlood, sprints, jr.; Desean Washington, sprints, sr.; Alex Green, pole vault, sr.; Ty Zorn, throws, sr.

Marion: James Jones, jumps/sprints, sr.; Nick Meyer, throws, sr.; John Nordquist, throws, sr.; Timothy Knolla, distance, sr.; Kyle Palic, throws, jr.; Seth Snelling, pole vault/sprints, jr.

McPherson: Chris Stoppel, sprints, jr.; Keshawn Sewell, jumps, sr.; Collin Harvey, sprints, sr.; Kyler Kinnamon, sprints, jr.

Moundridge: Colby Badman, sprints, sr.; Deshawn Pfeiff, pole vault/sprints, jr.

Mulvane: Isiah Evans, throws, sr.; Grant Geschwentner, throws, sr.

Newton: Cory Martens, throws, sr.; Matt Willis, sprints/hurdles, sr.

Nickerson: Ben Berridge, distance, jr.

Rose Hill: Kenton Weber, distance, sr.

Trinity Academy: Tyler Burns, sprints, jr.

Udall: Wyatt Houdeshell, distance, jr.; Ryon Filtingberger, throws, so.; Nic Richardson, sprints, so.; Hunter Kistler, jumps, jr.; Ben Smart, distance, so.

Valley Center: Zach White, sprints, jr.; Miles Balthazor, throws, sr.; Evan Balthazor, throws, jr.; Demarco King, sprints, so.

Winfield: Riley Osen, distance, so.; Jordan Johnson, throws, sr.; Josh Hanna, distance, sr.

GIRLS

Andale: Courtney Lies, jumps/sprints, sr.; Katy Spencer, distance, sr.; Abbie Maxwell, hurdles/sprints, jr.; Lauren Rowland, jumps, jr.; Kelsey Smarsh, pole vault, so.; Victoria Orth, throws, so.

Andover: Jaylyn Agnew, jumps/sprints, jr.; Nicole Klusener, jumps, jr.

Andover Central: Amanda Kakoulias, jumps/throws, so.; Taylor Ochsner, distance, sr.

Arkansas City: Kayleigh Mars, pole vault, jr.; Jordan Salas, throws, sr.; Kailyn Walton, hurdles, jr.

Belle Plaine: Devyn Smith, distance, so.;

Bluestem: Brenda McCollom, distance, sr.; Hannah Boline, pole vault, jr.

Buhler: Maren Berblinger, distance, so.; Allison Boman, pole vault/sprints, jr.; Carly Butts, sprinter, jr.; Kaley Dick, sprints/hurdles/jumps, sr.; Kilyn Domsch, sprints, jr.; Danielle Johnson, throws, sr.; Alex Keller, jumps, jr.

Campus: Jessica Anderson, hurdles/jumps, sr.; Tabitha Wheeler, throws, sr.

Chaparral: Lakin Whealy, jumps, so.; Hattie Spicer, throws, jr.

Cheney: Taylor Needham, sprints, sr.; Carlea Holt, throws/hurdles, sr.; Allie Twietmeyer, throws/hurdles, so.; Gabby Lavington, sprints, so.

Circle: Talia Highbarger, hurdles, sr.

Clearwater: Victoria Worden, throws, sr.; Dani McDaneld, pole vault/hurdles, so.; Allison Rylant, distance, jr.; Bailie Troll, distance, so.

Conway Springs: Kristin Hilger, throws, so.; Alicia Carter, throws, so.; Makayla Hollis, pole vault, so.; Sara Echelberry, throws, jr.

Derby: Morrigan Crow, hurdles, sr.

Douglass: Klair Gibson, distance, so.; Suzie Wright, distance, jr.; Naomi Bader, jumps, jr.; Hailey Braddy, distance, jr.

Eisenhower: Natali Engle, sprints, sr.; Caitlyn Hollinger, distance, sr.; Sierra Broce, distance, so.; Caroline Skidmore, pole vault, sr.; Emily King, sprints/jumps, jr.; Cara Simon, distance, sr.

El Dorado: Lakyn Anders, distance, sr.; Kelcie Gregg, pole vault, sr.; Tara Fisher, sprints, jr.; Katherine Swan, sprints/jumps, jr.

Garden Plain: Emily Puetz, throws, sr.; Lizzie Costello, hurdles/throws, sr.; Bethany Renyer, jumps, sr.; Noelle Dooley, hurdles/jumps/throws, jr.; Sam Hendryx, jumps, jr.; Adriana Redmon, sprints, jr.; Lauren Costello, hurdles, so.; Madi Shmelzer, sprints, so.

Goddard: Jordan Johnson, throws, sr.

Goessel: Page Hiebert, sprints, so.; Aleena Cook, sprints, so.; Erin Brubaker, sprints, jr.

Halstead: Jena Black, throws, jr.

Haven: Betty Ausherman, distance, jr.; Mikaela Wells, distance, jr.; Anne Marie Wortz, sprints/hurdles, sr.; Mary Wagler, sprints, so.; Susan Mattingly, sprints, so.; Breanna Jones, distance, jr.; Kassidy Weaver, sprints/hurdles, so.; Caitlin Schlickau, distance, fr.

Hesston: Ali Jost, sprints, sr.; Hannah Schmitt, jumps/sprints, sr.; Jessanna Nebel, sprints/hurdles, jr.; Taylor Valdez, sprints, so.; Veronica Ziegler, jumps, sr.; Mikala Heddin, distance, jr.; Kylie Brenneman, sprints, so.; Kameron Johnson, distance, sr.

Hillsboro: Emily Sechrist, distance, jr.; Marah Franz, pole vault, so.

Hutchinson: McKenzie Miller, distance, jr.; Tyjai Adams, hurdles/sprints, so.; Alex Rodriguez, throws, so.; Quin McKinnis, throws, jr.; Connor Atkinson, hurdles, so.; LaTasha Scales, sprints, sr.; Danashka Lawrence, sprints, sr.

Hutchinson Trinity: Brittany Labenz, sprints, sr.; Konner Brening, hurdles/sprints, jr.; Katie Dyer, sprints, so.; Rhiannon Vieyra, hurdles/sprints, so.; Haley Hedrick, sprints, so.; Mariah Hammersmith, jumps, so.; Brooke Racette, throws, jr.

Independent: Sarea Ricalde-Phillips, jumps/sprints, jr.; Tina Schrage, sprints, jr.

Kingman: Rebekah Voran, hurdles/sprints, sr.; Claire Theis, sprints, so.

Maize: Keiryn Swenson, throws/jumps, jr.; MacKenzie Wedman, distance, sr.; Kassidy Watkins, distance, jr.; Libby Christianson, sprints/jumps, so.; Madison Orton, throws, jr.; MaKenna Jones, hurdles, jr.; Kelsey Graber, pole vault, jr.; Daley Handy, jumps/hurdles, jr.

Maize South: Teagan Hayes, sprints, jr.; Chichi Iweha, sprints, jr.; Mady Nestor, distance, sr.; Maddie Norris, sprints, so.; Maquala Varnell, sprints, so.; Alyssa Frausto, distance, so.

Marion: Kelli Hess, jumps/sprints, sr.; Katey Ehrlich, hurdles/jumps, sr.; Alicia Maloney, pole vault, sr.; Kaelyn Thierolf, throws, sr.; Kirsten Hansen, pole vault/hurdles, so.; Marshelle Mermis, sprints, so.

McPherson: Megan Pederson, jumps, so.; Christina Wankum, distance, so.; Bri Cooks, throws, jr.; Alisa Becker, throws, sr.

Moundridge: Brooke Holloway, throws, sr.; Anna Stucky, jumps/sprints, jr.; Peri Lange, hurdles/sprints, so.; Ashley Holler, pole vault/jumps, so.; Rylie Dick, jumps, so.

Newton: Payton Roberts-Parker, throws, so.

Nickerson: Paige Stewart, jumps, sr.

Rose Hill: Haley Slade, distance, jr.; Brogan Collins, distance, so.

Trinity Academy: Alexis Mijares, distance, so.; Gabrielle Phillips, distance, jr.; Savannah Elliott, sprints, so.

Udall: Sarah Patterson, distance, fr.; Tavia Hart, distance, fr.

Valley Center: Katie Taylor, sprints, sr.; Kalee Owens, distance, jr.

Wellington: Holly Wright, hurdles/sprints/jumps, sr.; Leah Nelson, sprints, jr.; Micah Rogers, sprints, sr.; Dietra Sober, sprints, so.; Cabreil Roe, sprints/jumps, jr.; Avery Lewellen, jumps, sr.; Halynn Page, throws, sr.

Winfield: Courtney Griffith, distance/jumps, jr.; Taylor Reeves, sprints, jr.