• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Prairie View team wins school's first title as regional champs

Updated: May 24

The Prairie View girls track team and coaches celebrate winning the 3A regional track championship at Chanute on Friday evening. (Prairie View Facebook post)

The Prairie View girls track team picked a second championship trophy in as many weeks at the 3A regional track meet at Chanute on Friday, May 20. In doing so, the girls qualified several athletes for the state track meet in Wichita at the end of the month.

It is the first time in the history of the school that either the boys or girl track team has claimed a regional championship title. And in the process a school record was broken and other athletes turned in personal bests.

Head track coach Kyle Littrell credited his coaching staff and the girls' competitive spirit for the team's success.

" I am blessed to have great assistant coaches who care a whole lot about the development and success of our athletes, and it was a very special moment when they presented our girls with the 2022 Regional Championship – the first and hopefully not the last in school history," he said.

The girls 4x400-meter relay team of Kinley Baker, Jessica Petric, Kelsie Konitzer and Maddie Baker won a trip to state and broke the school record with a time of 4 minutes 13.16 seconds, nearly five seconds ahead of the second-place team from Girard.

"These girls absolutely hate our Monday and Wednesday workouts, but they are noticing that going through adversity is making them better," the coach said.

That same team also won a trip to state in the 4x100-meter relay by placing third with a time of 51.59.

The Prairie View girls relay team of Kinley Baker, Jessica Petric, Kelsie Konitzer and Maddie Baker won first place and set a school record in the 4x400 meter relay at the regional tournament. (Prairie View USD 362 Facebook page)

In the 1600-meter run, freshman long-distance specialist Bree Allen and Wylie Teagarden placed first and third respectively, qualifying both for the state meet. Allen clocked the run at 5:22.47, with Teagarden finishing in 5:55.72.

Both Allen and Teagarden qualified for state in the 3200-meter as well. Allen placed first with a time of 12:26.04, and Teagarden came fourth with a new personal record of 12:56.27. This will be the second time in their freshman year that the two have qualified for a state meet – both won berths in the state cross country meet last fall.

In a relatively new race for Allen, she placed second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:28.79. She first added the 800 to her list of events earlier this spring, but won the league title in the event just over a week ago and will now represent PVHS at the state meet. Allen’s classmate Kally Stroup took seventh in the race with a time of 2:46.67.

Coach Littrell said that Allen and Teagarden have been doing an amazing job of competing with some very good runners at the regional. Allen, he said, has been working very hard, and that training has culminated in her advancing to state in three events.

"Wylie learned something about herself at the regional track meet," he added. "She learned that she can compete with elite runners in multiple events, and I am just so proud of her for getting out of her comfort zone and believing and trusting in her training."

Freshman Wylie Teagarden, seen here competing at the Jayhawk Invitational earlier this season, qualified for state in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs on Friday. (Photo by Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)

Kinley Baker placed second in the 400-meter dash, giving her another event in the state meet, with a time of 1:01.27. Konitzer placed fifth in the 400 with her time of 1:05.55 contributing to the girls team’s overall score.

Maddie Baker, a junior, turned in a time of 15.55 in the 100-meter hurdles for a state-qualifying second place. Senior Jane Hough placed sixth in the event with a time of 17.06, adding a point to the team’s score.

"Maddi Baker set a new school record in the 100 Hurdles with a time of 15.55," Littrell said. "Maddi has come a long way over the past two seasons. She started last season with not a lot of confidence in that event, and she has just worked real hard on her technique and mindset.

"Earlier this year she was so focused on three-stepping all of the hurdles, and she was thinking her way through the race. I believe it was at the Redbud Classic in Wellsville that I mentioned to her that as soon as she forgets about three-stepping all of them and just runs the race knowing that she will three-step all of them, then her performance and time will improve. She has done a great job of being coachable."

Kinley Baker also placed in fourth place in the 100-meter dash, again adding to her state-qualifying events, with a time of 12.95. Petric was close behind in sixth place with a time of 13.24.

In the 200-meter dash, Petric placed fourth and won a ticket to state in the solo event with a time of 27.54. Konitzer placed 8th in the event and set a personal record time of 28.04.

In the field events, Prairie View struggled in the regional meet after dominating in the the Pioneer League meet the week before. However Jane Hough placed second in the pole vault with a vault of 9 feet 6 inches. It’s the second year in row she has qualified for state in the pole vault.

"Jane cleared 9'-6" for the first time this year, and hopefully she can make it up to 10' this weekend," Littrell said.

The boys team, light on competitors qualifying for the regional, nonetheless showed some promise for the future.

Stevie McGuire, a freshman, placed sixth in the 200-meter dash and seventh in the boys 100-meter dash. Fellow freshman Justin Fleer posted a fifth-place finish in the triple jump and a 10th-place finish in the boys long jump.

In other events:

  • Hough placed 5th in the 300-meter hurdles, and fellow senior Hallie Snyder was eighth.

  • Junior Lexi Baker placed fifth in the triple jump with Maddie Baker placing sixth. Lexi Baker also placed eighth in the long jump.

  • Freshman Lilah McCarty placed ninth in the discus, with senior Kylee Eastwood placing 10th.

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