Torrance Lovesee and Bluestem Lions have banner day at 2A track

Lionel Tipton
Torrance Lovesee posing with her state championship medal for winning the triple jump in the Class 2A state meet on Saturday, May 29.

WICHITA, Kansas—All day Saturday, Bluestem senior Torrance Lovesee stayed on the move. 

She had no sooner received her Class 2A state first-place medal for the girls triple jump, then she quickly made her way out of Cessna Stadium for the discus venue right outside.

Lions junior Eyan Knipp wasn’t even that lucky. He was a no-show at the medals ceremony for the boys triple jump, but he had a valid excuse – he was checking in for the boys 300 hurdles race.

Bluestem junior Eyan Knipp poses with this fifth place medal in the 300-meter hurdles on Saturday, May 29 at Wichita State.

Knipp made that worthwhile, finishing fifth in 42.07 seconds. He was responsible for all of Bluestem’s 10 points in the boys competition, tying the Lions for 24th place with West Elk and Marion. 

But not to worry. Knipp did eventually receive his third-place triple-jump medal.

Lovesee produced 18 of the Lions’ girls 24 points, getting 10 for winning the triple jump, four for a fifth-place finish in the long jump, and two points each for her seventh-place finishes in the shot put and discus.

As nice as the triple-jump victory was, Lovesee said it wasn’t without a few nervous moments. Moundridge senior Myiah Logue – the Wildcats’ only girl to make state – nipped at Lovesee’s heels.

“She got 36-6 in the final (attempt), and I was at 36-8 (from her fifth attempt),” Lovesee said. “I knew I just had to beat that, try to beat my PR (personal record) from regionals last year of 37. I ended up scratching by my toe a little bit, but I probably would have made 37 by a long shot. It was probably my best jump of the day, too.”

In the discus, Lovesee entered with the best seed mark, but her best throw came in much shorter. 

“I think I put way too much pressure on myself than I should have,” Lovesee said.

She said the quick turnaround wasn’t a factor.

“Not really, because I do that in every other track meet,” Lovesee said. “I do four field events all the time. It’s just a normal thing. 

“It’s not because it’s (the) state (meet), either, because I did it at regionals last week. I just put way too much pressure on myself.”

But that showing doesn’t begin to define her entire season, she said.

 “I’m proud of where I’ve come throughout this year, especially throwing 144, being ranked No. 1 in 2A, breaking however many records this year, my own and just other school records,” Lovesee said.  

“I’m just proud of myself, because this is my last year. I’m very happy with it.”

In the long jump, her best jump was 16-2¼, which she did twice. Her first of six attempts in the shot put was her best, 35-7.

“I came in here knowing in both long jump and shot put that I was not going to get first,” Lovesee said. “I wasn’t going to get top three, either. I was aiming for a good fourth, fifth place in both of them. I was aiming for team points, mostly.” 

The Lions’ 4x100 relay team of freshmen Holli Emmons, Cadence Williamson, Mallory Potter and sophomore Jenna Valentine got four points for a fifth-place finish in the 4x100 relay in 52.48 seconds – not bad for a team seeded eighth in their section that included the eight fastest seed times.

Lovesee said she kept tabs on the quartet’s progress.

“They came in being eighth in their heat, which is a fast heat,” she said. “Which is good for them, because they need the competition. When I was over there, my mom was telling me they could get third to 10th, then I heard they got fifth in their heat, which is good.

“I’m proud of them for what they did.”  

 Williamson’s seventh-place finish in the girls 300 hurdles (49.53) was good for two points.

That brought Bluestem’s girls points to 24, tying them for eighth place with Jefferson County North and Kansas City Christian.

 Knipp was beaming afterward for his 10-point performance. His best triple jump of 43-8¼ came on his first try. He said this is his first season in track after wrestling this past winter, which makes his accomplishment all the more noteworthy. He’s already planning the senior season.

“I’m going to try to stick with track and see how far I can go,” Knipp said. “I might try pole vault, maybe.”

Making this kind of a splash at state has set the bar high, so to speak, but Knipp remains confident.

“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “I (finished) wrestling (season) and came here to track. I like it (track) a lot, actually.”