DHS track team attends the 92nd Kansas Relays


Wildcat Photo

Junior Samuel Hashagen, sophomore Carson Sturdy, junior Chase Culver and freshmen Brady Huggins pose after running their distance medley relay on April 20 at the Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence.

Camryn Robbinson, News Editor

The University of Kansas hosted its 92nd annual Kansas Relays April 17-20. The De Soto High School track team attended the meet, qualifying a larger amount of runners to the meet than in any previous year. The meet was successful for DHS, resulting in personal records and many top 10 5A State rankings.

For student athletes such as junior Samuel Hashagen, who came to KU Relays as an alternate and ended up running in the distance medley along with junior Chase Culver, sophomore Carson Sturdy and freshman Brady Huggins. The distance medley relay, which is not contested at any other high school track meets in the state of Kansas, consists of 1,200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and

1,600 meter race.

Compared to other track meets DHS competes in, KU Relays is much bigger and includes schools from around the midwest.

“KU [Relays] is very different [from regular meets] because schools across the midwest compete in it, not just Kansas schools alone,” Hashagen said. “I met some kids from Indiana and Iowa that were in the same heat as us.”

With this meet open to midwestern high schools, the competition was much harder. Because of this factor, Hashagen and other members on the DHS track team want to work on improving their times, as well as their competitiveness.

Similar to Hashagen, Culver was excited for KU Relays, and also motivated to perform to his best ability because of the challenging competition.  

“The competition was very intense, I remember running with students from Texas and Iowa,” Culver said. “[KU Relays] was a very professional meet that helped us [track team] prepare for future events in college.”

As a result of the tougher competition, many DHS track athletes climbed the 5A State rankings over the weekend events. Senior Graham Hudelson now ranks third in the State over 400 meters at 50.81 seconds and sixth place in the 800 meter run at 2:02.78, with teammate senior Keegan Sturdy just ahead in fourth at 2:00.76. In the jumping events, senior Connor Flynn is now third in the triple jump after a lifetime best jump at KU of 43’-5.25” and sixth in the high jump at 6’2”.

For the girls’ relay teams, junior LaMyah Ricks participated in the 4x100m race for her first time, along with juniors Hayley Moss and Lily Rodriguez, as well as senior Linnea Searls.

According to Ricks, the higher level of competition made KU Relays more intense than she was expecting.

“KU Relays was more overwhelming than stressful, but it was a good experience overall, and I am excited for next year,” Ricks said.

Although they did not earn a State ranking, Ricks explained that participating in KU Relays was a good experience to reflect and improve herself for next year.

Overall, the 92nd Kansas Relays proved to be a successful meet for the DHS track and field team, producing over 11 5A State top rankings and several personal bests for the school year.