Track and field prepares to take on State

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Senior Brady Hudelson running the 300-meter hurdles at the Shawnee Mission North Relays on May 7.

Will Hudelson, Staff Reporter

The De Soto High School track and field team has had a very strong and exciting season going into the KSHSAA 5A State meet on Thursday, May 27. 

The girls may not have had the team result they were hoping for at the Regional meet, but they did have great individual success. They will be sending four athletes to the State meet, as well as two relays.

The girls showed their potential at the Regional meet and the conference meet, especially in the distance events. Both sophomore Sophie Landrum and junior Katie Beyer qualified for State in the 1600-meter run. Also, freshman Hope Marriott qualified in the 800-meter run to add to the strong distance team.

For the boys, the success started at the Shawnee Mission North Relays where they placed fourth place as a team. This is a big deal as the North Relays is one of the most competitive meets in Kansas.

Head coach Jack Sachse explains that this was one of the highlights of the year.

Jackson Miller holds the blocks for Hayden Henderson as he prepares to run the 400-meter dash at the Shawnee Mission North Relays.

“The boys placed fourth at Shawnee Mission Relays, and the reason that is such a big deal is because that is the biggest track meet outside of the state meet, they beat 15 6A schools,” Sachse said.

Another great moment was when the boys won the United Kansas Conference title, keeping De Soto’s dominant reputation by winning the UKC in many sports.

The boys have been working hard to get to the climax of the season, the State meet. The boys have a good chance of earning a team trophy

“If the boys perform how we think they can perform and the stars align then yes, I think it’s possible for them to get on the podium,” Sachse said.

There have been many key athletes on the team this year to get them to this point, including seniors Brady Hudelson, Carson Sturdy, Henry Rokusek, Zach Switzer, Kadey Waite and many more. 

Hurdler Hudelson has had an impressive season, breaking the school record twice in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.98. He qualified for State in all three of his events. 

Rokusek and Sturdy have also had tremendous success as they are both going to state in three events. Their 4×800 meter relay team placed first at Regionals and hope to get on the podium at State as well.

The class of 2021 has been incredible for the team all year long as they do not want to take this season for granted after last year’s cancelation.

“The majority of the kids we are taking to state are seniors. Their leadership has been really good and they have had a profound impact on our team,” Sachse said.

With only the most important meet of the season left, both teams hope to get on the podium as a team or at least get some individual athletes up there to cap off a successful season.