Ottawa track attains state title, six medals from state meet

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Ottawa High School track athletes made some big noise at the 4A State Track meet Friday in Wichita.

The six Cyclones brought home six state medals, including a state championship. The Ottawa girls finished eighth with 26 points, despite just five state qualifiers.

“ I don't remember the last time we had a girls team place in the top 10 in the state meet,” Ottawa coach Aaron Miller said. “This group of girls was really fun to work with. We will be losing Jaine [Johnson, Darby [Weidl] and Summer [Spigle] next year, however, we are five or six more girls away from being a top three team in 4A.”

Freshman Emery Keebaugh capped off a tremendous season by winning the triple jump state championship. She leaped a school-record 36-05.25 to capture the gold medal.

“Emery was ranked in the top three in 4A all year in triple jump,” Miller said. “However, she was one of the most consistent jumpers I have seen all season throughout the state. Emery showed really good poise for her first meet inside Cessna stadium. I know she is looking forward to improving and defending her title next year.”

Keebaugh was ninth in the long jump (16-5).

Spigle finished off her career in style with two state medals. She was fourth in the 200-meter race with a personal-best 26.22. She finished fifth in the 400 (1:01.92). She was the 400 state champion as as sophomore.

“What a finish to a great career at OHS for Summer,” Miller said. “This year, we had a one day state meet. So she had to run prelims for the 200, finals for the 400, and then finals for the 200. Summer ended up with a lifetime best in the 200. Summer scored 22 points [at state meet] for the OHS girls program during her time at OHS. We will miss her in our program.”

Johnson finished her career with a third-place in the discus (118-5).

“Jaine had a great meet,” Miller said. “She placed second in our last four meets prior to the state meet. This was the most relaxed I saw her all year. She threw 12 feet farther than her regional throw and ended being the third best discus thrower in 4A this year. I look forward to watching her compete at Ottawa University.”

Weidl concluded her senior campaign by taking eighth in the javelin (123-7).

“Darby is a great competitor,” Miller said. “I wish we would have had her for all four years. She tried many different running events to help score points for the team. At the beginning of the year coach Evan Shaffer and I were trying to figure out what events to put her in off the track. We ended up going with javelin and she had enormous improvements over the last three weeks of the season.”

Sofia Ficken finished 14th in the javelin (107-4).

“Sofia didn't have the meet that she would have wanted,” Miller said. “However, she got to the state meet this year. It is great for her to get the experience in, so she will know what the atmosphere will be like next year.“

Junior Aaron Quillen was the lone Ottawa boy at state. He finished seventh in the pole vault (12-06).

Quillen improved dramatically from 2019 when he cleared 9-0, Miller said.

“He ended up being the regional champion in pole vault with a personal record of 13-0 this year,” Miller said. “I look forward to seeing Aaron back next year. Our league is very competitive in pole vault. Seven of the top eight placers at state were from the Frontier League. I expect Aaron to be in the 14-plus feet range next year.”