(KMAland) -- Let’s dive right back into the Corner Conference and the world of track today with a look at the boys side of this year’s conference.
PREVIOUS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS
CORNER CONFERENCE BOYS TRACK & FIELD PREVIEW
At last check, Fremont-Mills was just finishing off their fifth consecutive Corner Conference championship. They put 166 points up on the board while Sidney was second with 148. Griswold ended up a distant third with 64.
Let’s take a look at the returning names and numbers for this year’s conference…
RETURNING STATE MEDALISTS
Quick trivia question: There is one potential returning athlete in the Corner Conference boys with a state track medal. Who is it? It is….
-Cole Hunt, Senior, Sidney (1): Hunt was on the fifth-place 4x800 meter relay team at the 2019 state meet.
RETURNING INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS
This trivia question might be a bit easier: Who is the only returning individual state qualifier from the 2019 state track meet in this league? You know him. It is…
-Matthew Benedict, Junior, Sidney: Benedict looked primed to be a four-time state qualifier in the high jump after qualifying as a freshman. He will go for 3 for 3 instead. Two for two is up first, though.
INDIVIDUAL EVENT-BY-EVENT BREAKDOWN
Using the 2019 Corner Conference meet and QuikStats/Varsity Bound as a guide, here is a breakdown of the individual events in the league.
100: The top seven in the Corner’s 100 two years ago are gone. The 8th-place finisher was Sidney senior Tyler Hensley, and he is potentially the top-returning 100 sprinter. Griswold’s Hunter Jackson and Alex Hartman also could both be back and placed 9th and 11th in the race.
200: The potential top returnee in this race is Sidney’s Hunt, who placed 7th at the meet and had the 9th-fastest time through the course of the season. Stanton junior Jack Roberts, though, does return the fastest time (24.94) recorded.
400: Hunt was the runner-up in this race in 2019 and routinely ran one of the best times throughout the year. The only other in the top eight from the meet that could be back is East Mills junior Wyatt Franks, who placed 8th. Stanton junior Logan Roberts had the 11th-fastest time of the season and is another potential returnee.
800: The top three are gone from this race in 2019, but the next three are potential returnees. Logan Roberts, Griswold senior Jayden Amend and East Mills senior Jesse Oyster went 4-5-6 in the race. Fremont-Mills junior Kyle Kesterson is another that could be back and had the 9th-fastest time recorded during the season.
1600: Four of the top six are potential returnees with runner-up Cole Jorgenson of Sidney entering the season as the favorite. Stanton junior Levi Martin, Griswold junior Mike Kunze and F-M’s Kesterson finished four through six, respectively. Another Griswold junior – Adam Houser – had a top 10 time during the season.
3200: Stanton’s Martin is the top-returning finisher here. He placed 3rd at the 2019 meet while Griswold’s Kunze ran 5th and F-M’s Kesterson was 6th. I’d expect Jorgenson might have something to do with this, too, as he posted the fourth-fastest time throughout the season. Another Sidney junior Kyle Beam and Griswold’s Houser were also among the top 10 times in the 2019 season.
110 hurdles: Stanton junior John Peterson is the only potential returnee that finished the race in 2019. He was 6th overall, but there are a few other juniors worth mentioning that could make an impact. Griswold’s Hartman and East Mills’ Karsen Croghan and Tyler Prokop all ran the 110 highs as freshmen.
400 hurdles: Only two of the top eight are potentially returning. The fourth-place Zane Vance of Griswold is the highest finisher while Sidney’s Benedict placed 8th. Anything else after is guessing.
Discus: The top six – thus, all scorers – are gone, but since we’re taking a look at the top eight, we’ve got one returnee from that mix. It’s Griswold junior Zach Weathers, who ended up with a 7th-place finish. Fremont-Mills junior Adam Perrin, though, deserves a mention after ranking 7th during the course of the season.
Shot put: Same story as the discus. The top six have moved on, and the 7th place finisher is back. That’s Quentin Thornburg, who was a freshman with Essex at the time and is now a junior with Stanton. Perrin is another worth mentioning, as he had the 9th-longest shot put of the season.
High jump: Benedict finished as runner-up at the meet in 2019, and he had the highest jump (5-10.00) during the course of the 2019 season. Stanton’s Jack Roberts also jumped 5-10.00 at one point and would likely be in the mix, too. Fremont-Mills junior Jake Malcom is the only other potential returnee that high jumped two years ago.
Long jump: Sidney senior Chase Price is the potential top-returning dude here. He placed sixth at the Corner Conference meet two years ago and had the 9th-longest jump of the season. Both the finish and the jump are tops for potential returnees.
Once again, we are using the 2019 Corner Conference meet to guide us here.
4x100: All eight of the runners on the top two teams – Fremont-Mills and Clarinda Academy – are gone. Stanton’s third-place team only has one potential returnee in their third leg, Jack Roberts. Even fourth-place East Mills could return just one of their runners, Nolan Smiley.
4x200: Clarinda Academy won the race two years ago while Stanton finished second with a very similar foursome from the 4x100. Jack Roberts (3rd leg) would be the only returnee. Sidney, though, could have their top three legs back – Garett Phillips, Price and Brydon Huntley.
4x400: The Cowboys rolled to the win here by over 10 seconds, but they have since graduated three of those legs. Hunt ran the third leg and is the only potential returnee. Second-place Stanton had Jack and Logan Roberts on the second and fourth legs while Fremont-Mills could only return their second leg, Nick Madison.
4x800: The state medalist 4x800 team from Sidney won this by nearly a half-minute, and they didn’t even run with their state team. Jorgenson was the second leg on that team and would likely anchor this year’s group. Clarinda Academy was the runner-up while Griswold was a distant third. The Tigers have Vance, Amend, Colten Tasto and Houser that could all be back. That’s the full group.
Shuttle hurdle: Fremont-Mills had a very strong group, but all four of their legs are gone. Griswold had a solid group, too, but Vance – their second leg – is the only potential returnee. East Mills was third and could bring back their anchor, Keegan Porker – a junior.
Sprint medley: Clarinda Academy won this one two years ago, too. Sidney was a very close second and could bring back their top three legs – Phillips, Huntley and Hunt. East Mills took third here, too, and anchored Smiley.
Distance medley: Huntley is the only potential returnee on the Sidney foursome, running the second 200. East Mills was a distant second and could also bring back their second 200 runner, Smiley. Clarinda Academy placed third.
ANYTHING FROM CROSS COUNTRY?
East Mills might be one to watch in the distance races this year with the additions of sophomores Anthon Obermiller and Jerett Jentzsch and freshman Steven Barrett. Also from cross country, Griswold junior Steven Navarro and sophomore teammate Jeremy Sheeder ran some of the best posted times among Corner runners.
Fremont-Mills lost a lot of dudes that were in the junior and senior classes. You may have noticed there weren’t a ton of F-M names up there. Of course, they still have a bunch of athletes that helped a football team play for a state championship. They aren’t going anywhere.
However, they are going to be in for a tussle with Sidney. The Cowboys may or may not have all the names listed above out for track this year, but they should have some great numbers and some pretty talented kids running from the 400 up to the 3200 and, of course, in the high jump.
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