PAOLA — Panther senior Seth Richmond is the Tri-County Spotlight Track and Field Co-Male Athlete of the Year.
Richmond put an exclamation point on his high school track and field career, winning the gold medal in the javelin at the Class 4A state meet at Cessna Stadium in Wichita with a mark of 197 feet, 2 inches.
He shares the award with the Louisburg Wildcat gold-medal 4x400-meter relay team consisting of Blue Caplinger, Chris Williams, Justin Collins and Ben Wiedenmann.
Richmond qualified for state in four events and medaled in two of them.
He teamed up with Carson Eilts, Evan Phillips and Ryan Wokutch for fourth place in the 4x400-meter relay to close the state meet Sunday, May 26.
Richmond, Eilts, Phillips and Wokutch ran a time of 3 minutes, 26 seconds in the event.
Richmond also qualified for state in the 110-meter high hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.
Paola was in a close battle with Chapman for third place. Points in the relay helped the Panthers hold on, scoring 52 points to beat Chapman by two points.
“I’m honored to be selected as one of the male track athletes of the year,” Richmond said. “I’m so excited that our team finished with a trophy to top off my senior year.”
Richmond and teammate Jeffery Schartz both qualified for state in the javelin. The two challenged each other to be the best they could be.
“I couldn’t have done anything without Jefferey Schartz pushing me every day at practice,”Richmond said. “Coach Ryan Oshel stuck with me for all four years.”
Richmond had a throw of 197-2 inches on his third throw in the javelin.
“Winning a state title was amazing, because over the past years in javelin, I didn’t do the best,” Richmond said.
Richmond is a talented athlete, but that alone is not what made him great in the javelin, Paola coach Mike Smith said. He made himself great the old fashioned way, with a lot of hard work.
“Seth is very deserving as track athlete of the year,” Smith said. “He qualified for state in four events, and came away with two medals. He won as a state champion in the javelin, placed fourth as anchor of the 4x400 relay that lead to a third-place team trophy.
“Not only was he one of the best javelin throwers in the state of Kansas, he also finished in the top 10 in the nation in the event,” Smith said. “Watching him develop as a freshmen to senior state champion was great to watch. Seth is very competitive and hard working. He led his teammates by example. He was the last one to leave practice due to doing two very technical events.”
Richmond qualified for state in the javelin three years in a row. The third time was the charm.
This time he had a great day. Richmond knew the state-gold medal throw was going to be a good one when it left his arm.
“When a throw is good, you don’t really feel anything,” Richmond said. “That’s how I knew it was the one.”
His personal record in the event is 198-10. Richmond was not far off that mark for the title at state.
He got to stand at the top of the podium in front of the crowd at Cessna Stadium in Wichita, site of the largest high school track and field meets in the nation.
“Being out there before helped, because it gave me a feel of the atmosphere and what being watched by thousands of people felt like,” Richmond said.
“It was something I have never felt before and may never feel again,” he said. “But, I’m glad I did it as a Panther.”
Richmond is headed to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on a track and field scholarship.
Richmond is a three-sport athlete at Paola High School with varsity letters for the Panthers in football, basketball and track. He was a team captain in football and basketball.
Seth is the son of Jim and Sherri Richmond.