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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

State track jinx follows sprinter for second year

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Blu-Jay sprinter senior Isaiah Bates turns in a qualifying time during a preliminary race. (Photos by Aubin Skipper, special to the Journal)

We want to thank photographer Aubin Skipper from Aubin for providing photos from the state track meet. To see hundreds of photos from the meet, click on this link or go to

WICHITA – First the bad news.

For the second year running, Pleasanton star sprinter Isaiah Bates suffered an injury in the finals of the Kansas State Track and Field Championship in Wichita last week. Despite turning in fast preliminary times in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, his times in the finals were off the mark.

It was a disappointing end to a season that saw one of the top three fastest high school sprinters in the state clinch gold medal after gold medal. That included a top finish at the Kansas University Relays, a premier event for top level athletes.

In the preliminaries on Friday, Bates recorded a time of 10.95 seconds in the 100 and 23.07 in the 200, giving him a first and second place in those events respectively. However, suffering an injury in the 100 meter finals, his time was 11.44 and he came in eighth. He was unable to compete in the finals for the 200.

Last year, Bates was the Class 2A men’s champion in the 100, and his time was fast enough to beat all of the 100 meter finalists in all six high school divisions. However, he was injured in the 4x100 meter relay and was unable to compete in the 200.

Bates has committed to run for the Fort Scott Community College for the 2023-24 season.

The good news is that Bates’ injury did not prevent other members of the Blu-Jay teams from putting forth a state-worthy effort in their events.

Blu-Jay junior Tony Gillespie focuses on his vault at the state track meet. He placed fifth in the event, earning a medal.

The Blu-Jay men’s team saw junior Tony Gillespie take fifth in pole vault and 10th in the long jump with a leap of 19’6.5.”

In the women’s events, senior Landry George turned in a 14th place finish in the 100 meter dash preliminaries with a time of 13.51. George, who placed fourth at regionals with a 7’0” vault, did not make the opening height of 7’6” at the state meet.

The women’s 4x100 meter relay team of Ashlan George, Landry George, Makya Neal-Cox and Shiloh Skipper qualified for the state meet by turning in a fourth-place 53.98 second time at regionals. However, the team’s 54.5 time for a 15th place finish in the state preliminaries did not allow them to advance to the finals.

Landry George, from left, Ashlan George, Shiloh Skipper and Mayka Neal-Cox are members of the Blu-Jay women's 4x100 team that qualified for state.

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