After starting her high school career on top of the podium, Wichita North senior Taryn St. Clair returned there one more time in the end.
In her final high school jump competition at the Kansas high school state track and field championship at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium on Friday, St. Clair cleared the bar at 5 feet, 6 inches and won a tiebreaker to claim the second Class 6A title of her career.
St. Clair and Lawrence junior Paige Platt both cleared the bar at 5-6 on their first attempts, then failed to clear it at 5-8. The tiebreaker belonged to St. Clair, who had been perfect on all of her attempts before then, while Platt had missed her first try at 5-4.
It was the same fashion that St. Clair won her first state championship in 2021 as a sophomore when four different jumpers tied with a best mark of 5-4, but it was St. Clair who emerged victorious in the tiebreaker.
After finishing fifth in 6A high jump last season with a clearance of 5-2, St. Clair bounced back by matching her personal-mark of 5-6 at the state meet. The mark remains tied for the second-best in Kansas this season.
St. Clair finished her career with gold medals in two of three state competitions, as the coronavirus pandemic wiped out what would have been her freshman year in 2020.
Wichita Southeast senior Angelique Gray joined her on the podium with a sixth-place finish after clearing 5-2.
Andale’s McKenzie Fairchild wins second straight 4A girls shot put title
Battling through a shoulder injury, Andale senior McKenzie Fairchild came close to a personal-best mark in the 4A shot put competition to win her second straight state title.
Fairchild’s first throw of the day traveled 42-4, which was more than two feet clear of the rest of the competition. It was five inches shy of her career-best mark set this season, as she claimed back-to-back titles in the event.
It was the fifth gold medal of Fairchild’s career, which only spans three state competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic wiping out the 2020 meet. She will attempt to tack on two more on Saturday in the discus and javelin.
Hutchinson’s Azariah Dawes wins 5A girls long jump title
Hutchinson junior Azariah Dawes was less than an inch away from her personal-best mark, which was good enough for her to become a first-time state champion in the 5A girls long jump competition.
Dawes’ mark of 17-9¼ was a little more than two inches past second place Margarette Salsbury of Maize (17-7). Other area medalists included Andover freshman Janae Kelly (16-8½, fifth) and Valley Center junior Natalie Webb (16-3, eighth).
Hutchinson’s Aiyanna Green wins 5A girls shot put title
Hutchinson senior Aiyanna Green won the 5A girls shot put title by three inches with her best mark of the day at 39-4.
Other area medalists included Andover Central junior Taylor Waterman (38-8½, third), Eisenhower senior Kila Respress (38-8½, fourth), Eisenhower junior Leah Wilkinson (38-1¼, sixth) and Maize South senior Kaylee Brown (37-9, eighth).