Lady Panthers bring home the regional title

Published 05/22/2023

The 4x400 meter relay team of Schemper, Sides, Gross and Jacobs won the regional title and helped secure the team title.

At the 3A regional track meet at Goodland on Friday, May 19, the girls’ title came down to the results of the final race.

Going into the 4x400 meter race, the Panthers had a slight lead on Norton in team points. If the Panthers secured first place, they would bring home the title for the first time since 2009.

When the race was over, not only had the Panthers secured the win and the title, but they also boasted a season-best time of 4:04.70. The group of Kayla Jacobs, Trinitti Gross, Taryn Sides and Heather Schemper proved to be too much for the Bluejays, who finished second in the race and in the regional title run.

The relay team was not the only medal earned that day as many Panthers assisted in the quest for a title.

Heather Schemper grabbed three additional gold medals by winning the 100M, 200M and 400M.

Sides earned a bronze medal in the 400 to qualify for state and placed sixth in the 200M.

Senior Kaelyn Means earned a gold medal in the discus with a throw of 122’08”. Means also finished fourth in the shot put with a throw of 36’07” to qualify for state.

Senior Austin Dierking brought home a gold in the shot put with a throw of 38’04”. Dierking also finished fifth in the discus.

Other top ten finishes included: Gross who finished the open 400 in sixth place, freshman Chloe VanDerVeen finished tenth in the 800M, freshman Gabby Poels finished ninth in the 1600M, sophomore Michaela Brown finished tenth in the 1600M, the 4x100M relay team of VanDerVeen, Gross, Jacobs and Sides finished seventh, junior Caydence Corman finished eighth in the pole vault and sophomore Karissa Keeten finished fifth in the javelin.

The Panthers accumulated 76 points to win the title followed by Norton with 72.

On the boys’ side, the Panthers qualified two athletes for the state meet.

Junior Trace Hanchett will make another trip to state in the discus after placing third with a throw of 146’01”. Hanchett also earned a bronze medal in the javelin with a throw of 168’05”.

Freshman Tanner Horinek placed fourth in the 110M hurdles to qualify for state. Horinek also finished seventh in the 100M and ninth in the 300M hurdles.

Additional top ten placings included the 4x100M relay team of Kaden Sisson, Eli Schemper, Ryan Babcock and Alex VanAllen finished ninth; the 4x400M relay of Schemper, Babcock, Zordyn Taylor and VanAllen finished ninth; Schemper finished ninth in the high jump; junior Trevor Dierking finished seventh in the pole vault; junior Rad Rodriguez finished seventh in the shot put and seventh in the discus and Kayden Hudson finished seventh in the javelin.

As a team, the boys finished tenth with 16 points with Holcomb winning the title with 95 points.

Qualifiers will attend the All Class State Meet on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27. Prelims and field events will begin on Friday morning.