Jays earn hardware at State Track and Field
Sabetha High School track and field athletes earned three medals at the 3A State Track and Field Championships held Friday, May 28. Senior Leah Renyer and the 4×800-meter relay team of senior Hattie Lukert, junior Emily Krebs, sophomore Mary Lukert and freshman Leah Lukert earned bronze medals. Junior Olivia Saner also earned a spot on the medal stand, placing sixth in the pole vault.
“We felt our athletes competed very well and performed at a consistent level as they had all season,” said Head Coach Dave Remmers.
Only one athlete — Hattie Lukert — had ever competed at the State Championships previously, in 2018 and 2019.
“Hattie was the only athlete we took that had the experience competing at the state track meet,” Remmers said. Some of the athletes had been there previously watching siblings compete, but Remmers said that it’s not the same as when you are competing.
Saner broke a school record in pole vault at Regionals just the week prior.
Marks in the relay and javelin this year were both within striking distances of school records, Remmers said, but everything has to come together just right in order for that to happen.
“These girls gave all the effort they had and set a great example for the underclassmen as to what it takes to compete at this high level,” he said.
Senior Leah Renyer competed in two events at State this year — javelin and discus.
Renyer competed in discus Friday morning, but did not advance to the finals. She had throws of 90 feet, 11 inches; 93 feet, 9 inches; and 102 feet, 6 inches. Her throw of 102 feet, 6 inches, had her finishing 11th.
Her personal best in discus was 121 feet, 10 inches.
Renyer threw in the second flight of javelin. She was in second place from her first throw of 136 feet, 1 inch — right under Jadyn Troutman of Wellsville who would later win the event. Renyer maintained the second-place position for her next two throws — 134 feet, 2 inches and 115 feet, 3 inches. Renyer then advanced to finals. She moved to third place when Jessi Brummett of Riley County threw 139 feet, 8 inches and took the top spot, moving Troutman to second and Renyer to third. Renyer stayed in third for the remainder of the finals with her three finals throws being 108 feet, 8 inches; 124 feet, 10 inches; and 130 feet, 3 inches.
In the end, Troutman was first, Brummett was second and Renyer’s state javelin throw of 136 feet, 1 inch, earned her third place.
“State was by far the best part of the season,” Renyer said. “Being able to compete at the highest level I could was amazing and being able to come home with some hardware made it even better.”
“Leah had some early season increases in her javelin distances, dropped a little mid season, then finished consistently strong with the best throws of her career the last few meets,” Coach Remmers said.
Her personal best in javelin was 138 feet, 9 inches.
“It was nice to have a season this year and I picked up where I left off,” Renyer said. “I started out the season strong which I think set the tone for the season.”
Other season highlights for Renyer included placing third in the javelin and second in discus at the Big 7 League Tournament held on May 13. She also placed second in both javelin and discus at Regionals.
Renyer said she received a lot of support from her teammates and the community.
“[That] made it an unforgettable season and a great way to end my career at Sabetha High School,” she said.
Renyer is the daughter of Jim and Mary Renyer. She plans to attend Kansas Wesleyan University to study math education and play for the women’s basketball team.
The girls’ 4×800-meter relay team placed third at State with a time of 10:04.38.
Mary led the way for the team, beginning in sixth place in the first lap with a split time of 1:09.25. By lap two, she had moved into third with a split time of 1:19.069.
For the second leg, Leah took the baton. In the first lap, Mackenzie Clydesdale of Norton Community edged past Leah to be in third. Leah’s split time was 1:11.059. Leah edged back into third in her second lap with a split time of 1:18.667.
For the third leg, Emily kept a steady pace, but Catherine Hall of Norton Community pushed into third. Emily’s split time was 1:14.59. She remained in that position for her second lap, ending with a split of 1:24.64.
Hattie took the last two laps, behind Jaelyn Rumback of Norton Community and clocking a time of 1:09.618 in lap one. The final lap had Hattie pushing ahead of Rumback, securing third place for Sabetha. Hattie’s split for the final lap was 1:17.48.
The team members said they were excited to be on the podium and will miss running together.
“I will totally miss running with my sisters and Emily! The attitudes and determination on this team were amazing and we really had a blast together throughout the season,” Hattie said. “Being in the stadium with my two sisters, on the same team, and then being on the podium together was surreal and truly a moment I won’t forget. I tried to soak it all in as we jogged to the starting line before the race — seeing both my sisters right ahead of me and being in Cessna Stadium with my family in the stands was a moment I had imagined for a long time leading up to Friday. I’m so proud of Mary and Leah and their efforts and how they handled themselves at state!”
“State track is an experience incomparable to any other. From the moment we arrived at Cessna Stadium, I was in awe of the sheer amount of talent being showcased by athletes my age,” Emily said. “Running my leg of the race was surreal. The energy the stadium generates was an entirely unique experience to compete in. Standing on the podium next to my teammates was an incredible feeling that couldn’t possibly be reciprocated in any other way.”
“It was super fun to get to run with such a special team this season and place third at state,” Mary said. “The atmosphere at Cessna was so fun to witness, and to be up on the medal stand with great teammates was awesome.”
“It felt very rewarding to place third at state track and it was a very fun experience with the girls and the team,” Leah said. “All that hard work during the season paid off. I’m so glad I got to run with such a fun group for one year. [It was] such an exciting experience.”
The team of Krebs and the three Lukert sisters had run the relay together early in the season and then again later in the season.
“This allowed other athletes the opportunity to get on that relay as well as provide variety in events for all the athletes,” Coach Remmers said.
At Regionals the week prior, the team also ran 10:04.37, knocking 48 seconds off their time from when they ran together in the second meet of the year.
In 2019, Hattie was a member of the state runner-up 4×800-meter relay team with Jadyn Dorn, Hunter Lowdermilk and Skylar McAfee. The team earned silver with a time of 10:06.003, a season best for them.
In 2018, Hattie was a member of the state champion 4×800-meter relay team with Lowdermilk, McAfee and Nikki Kuenzi. That team also achieved league champions, regional champions and broke a 1998 school record when they finished 9:56.03 at the 2018 Championships.
About the Team
Emily Krebs is the daughter of Scott and Christine Krebs and will be a senior next year.
The Lukert girls are the daughters of Brett and Sara Lukert. Next year, Mary will be a junior and Leah will be a sophomore. Hattie plans to attend Fort Hays State University and study elementary education. She will be competing on FHSU’s cross country and track teams.
Saner came into the State competition after back-to-back weeks of tying and then breaking the SHS girls’ pole vault record. At League on May 13, Saner cleared 9 feet, 6 inches, to become league champion and tie the school record. Her tie was with Akayla Hanzlicek and Claire Meyer Wertenberger — Coach Josh Wertenberger’s wife. The following week at Regionals on May 21, Saner broke the record when she had a vault of 10 feet.
At State competition on Friday, Saner missed her first two attempts at 8 feet, 6 inches, but was able to clear the bar at that height on the third attempt. This advanced her to finals. She handily cleared the bar at 9 feet and 9 feet, 6 inches — both on first attempts. She missed all three attempts at 10 feet, but still earned sixth place.
Senior Noah Nonnast made his first trip to State to compete in the 200-meter dash. He finished 15th with a time of 23.71. He achieved 23.12 – his season best – at Regionals the week prior.
Mary Lukert competed in 300-meter hurdles later in the day. She finished 11th in the event with a time of 48.70.
She had her best time of 47.93 at Regionals.
Hattie Lukert competed in the 800-meter run, finishing in ninth place with a time of 2:30.64. Her split times were 1:10.42.23 and 1:20.217. Her season best of 2:26.46 was achieved earlier in the season.