The Piper and Bonner Springs cheerleading squads participated in KSHSAA GameDay, the state championship for competitive cheerleading, which was held in the Stormont-Vail Event Center in Topeka on Saturday evening. The Pirates’ cheerleaders brought home the third place trophy in Class 5A.
Teams competed in three preliminary rounds — a band chant, a crowd-leading cheer, and their school’s fight song. The top six teams after the preliminaries then performed a long-form final routine that also included a cheer for a specific football scenario assigned by the judges.
Piper qualified for the finals, but Bonner Springs was eliminated after the preliminaries.
In the final round, Piper narrowly edged out St. James Academy by less than half a point for third place. The squad from St. Thomas Aquinas High School won the 5A competition, followed by Blue Valley Southwest.
After the awards ceremony, Piper head coach Morgan Kolenda praised the skill and effort of her team.
“They’ve put in a lot of hard work this entire season,” said the coach.
“We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of basketball left. They’re an amazing group of girls — talented beyond measure — and I’m just excited to see where we can go next.”
The Piper Pearls, Piper’s dance team, performed in the dance competition held Friday, winning fifth place in Class 5A.
The Piper Pirates track and field team competed in the KSHSAA state track meet at Cessna Stadium in Wichita on Friday and Saturday.
Piper’s student-athletes brought home medals in 12 events, including first place awards in the boys’ 400-meter dash, girls’ pole vault, and boys’ 4×100-meter relay.
Senior Grant Lockwood set a meet record in the 5A boys’ 400-meter dash with his preliminary time of 47.86 seconds on Friday, and he matched that time in Saturday’s final to win the event. Lockwood was also on the 4×100-meter relay team and anchored the 4×400-meter relay team that took fifth place.
Senior Kaitlin Lindstrom won the girls’ pole vault with a height of 11-feet, 6-inches. Conditions were intermittently gusty, frustrating most of the vaulters and making it difficult for the event crew to even keep the crossbar on the standards.
Lindstrom passed on the early rounds until the bar reached 10 feet, and she needed only one attempt at each subsequent height. Reece Baker of Lansing, who beat Lindstrom at the regional meet, matched her vault for vault up to 11 feet, but Baker and two other competitors failed their three attempts to match the Piper vaulter at 11-feet, 6-inches.
Lindstrom tried for a personal record at 12-feet, 0-inches, but the unpredictable wind foiled her attempt to find the right approach and settings for the conditions.
The boys’ 4×100-meter relay team (Dominique Herrig-Brittian, Grant Lockwood, LaMar Lynch, Divante Herrig-Brittian) tied the meet record of 41.64 seconds in the preliminaries on Friday. Off their record pace on Saturday, they still took first place over half a second ahead of second-place De Soto in the finals.
As a team, Piper earned 6th place in the boys’ meet standings, and 7th place in the girls’.
Other Piper state medalists:
Divante Herrig-Brittian, 2nd, Boys’ 100-meter Dash Grace Hanson, 2nd, Girls’ 1600-meter Run Kylie Brockman, 2nd, Girls’ Javelin Jayden Henry, 3rd, Boys’ 100-meter Hurdles Grace Hanson, 4th Girls’ 3200-meter Run Ryann Clark, 5th, Girls’ 400-meter Dash Aaron Henson, 5th, Boys’ Shot Put Boys’ 4×400-meter Relay (Jahnye Jamison, Jack Bakarich, JamarReiAir Jarrett, Grant Lockwood), 5th TyJanae Hooks, 7th, Girls’ Shot Put
The Kansas State High School Activities Association board on Wednesday approved four spectators per participant at winter sports.
Local school districts may decide to have fewer or no spectators at events.
The rule will be in effect from Jan. 29 until the end of winter activities season, only for the 2020-2021 school year.
The KSHSAA Executive Board voted 46-27 in favor of the rule for four spectators.
The new rule: “Beginning January 29 until the end of winter activities regular season this school year, a maximum of four spectators per participant will be permitted to attend with appropriate social distancing required. Local school districts may choose to have stricter limitations based on seating and local health department guidelines.”