Klein's long jump propels Andover track into third place in 5A boys

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Andover track poses with their third place trophy on Thursday, May 27 at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium

WICHITA, Kansas—Tayton Klein is no stranger to pressure.

After all, he's been in these situations before and come out a winner. He did have the game-sealing interception against Goddard in football. On Thursday afternoon at Wichita State, Klein literally jumped Andover into third place by winning the 5A boys' long jump.

"He's just a competitor," Andover coach Justin Hill said. "He can go up there and say 'what do I need to do?' and goes out and does it."

Klein, who did not even qualify for state as a sophomore made the leap, figuratively and literally, into the history books with his final attempt.

Klein jumped 21-08.50 feet to win the boys' long jump, by passing Bonner Springs' Courtney Hervey's 21-03.

"I've been doing long jump since I was a kid," Klein said. "It's just been the ultimate goal for a long time. I have family that's done it and it's been my even of choice."

It capped off a stellar afternoon for the Trojans, who finished third overall with 59 points, behind Mill Valley (74 points) and St. Thomas Aquinas (71 points). Hays finished with 56 points in fourth place. 

Andover's 4x800-meter team of John Hippsley, Carter Champlain, Kaden Hauck and Sam McDavitt took home first place by seven-tenths of a second over St. Thomas Aquinas for the Trojans' second state champion of the day. 

Klein was busy all afternoon long as he picked up hardware in four different events, He finished sixth in teh boys' 100-yard dash; fifth in the 200-yard dash; fourth in the 4x100 relay; and first in the long jump.

McDavitt finished second in the boys' 800-meter after leading for most of the race. The condensed schedule led to tired legs and McDavitt would tail off towards the end. He did finish with four medals on the afternoon, including a state champion in the 4x800. 

Winning for their coach was an extra motivational factor on Thursday. Andover's head track coach, Justin Hill, is leaving the program to become the Director of Operations for cross country and track for Emporia State. 

"It's an opportunity to coach at the college level and get my foot in there," Hill said. "To get my foot in the door and see if it's something I'm interested in but to go out with these guys means a lot. It's always going to be a special group to me."

Hill, who would have his first season with as the head coach last season but due to COVID-19 cancelling the season, he was unable to do so.

"To be able to finish it up with these guys is a good feeling," Hill said. 

It was a team effort on Thursday for the Trojans as their 4x400 team finished fourth and the 4x100 team also finished fourth. Nicholas Parker was the only field participate to medal, finishing seventh in the shot put. Jared McDavitt finished fourth in the boys 400-meter dash and Max Middleton finished sixth in the 300-meter hurdles.

"We really wanted to do this one for our seniors," Klein said. "We have a group text on snap chat and I told them I was going to do whatever I can to help get them a state championship.

"We didn't get that but third place still feels really good."

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.