Gardner-Edgerton senior’s record State day marks first of its kind in 108 years

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Gardner-Edgerton senior sprinted, jumped, threw and vaulted her way to an accomplishment no Kansas athlete has achieved in more than a century at last week’s 6A State Track & Field meet.

Kendra Wait holds her school’s records in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, shot put, long jump, and is part of the all-time best 4x100 meter relay team.

“Part of what makes me, me is I’m kind of an overall athlete,” Wait said. “I pride myself in being able to do multiple events.”

“It’s kind of like in the game of chess,” Larry Ward, Gardner-Edgerton’s head girls track & field coach, said. “You have pieces that are very powerful. It’s like I’m playing chess with four queens.”

She qualified for four events at last week’s State meet: shot put, pole vault, long jump and the 100m.

“I was hoping. I always have that goal when I do anything, it’s to go out and win and do the best that I can,” Wait said. “I didn’t really have it in my mind that I was going to win all four. I thought I had a shot at winning two or three maybe. I knew there was a lot of great competition in Kansas, especially in 6A.”

As the hours ticked by, hope became reality.

“Everything just started rolling going into shot, I had a great start there. Then long jump, and everything just kind of clicked,” Wait said. “After I got done with that 100 final, it was like, this is it. I can actually do it. I have one more event. And that’s when everything set in.”

With three state championships down, it took one more pole vault to do what no other girl in Kansas has done before: win four golds, with one of them being shot put.

“I was blown away. I was so excited,” she said. “My coach for pole vault, he came over and was like ‘Hey congratulations, you did it.’ I sat there and I was like, ‘I did it. This is real, this actually happened.’”

The only person to ever have done it in Kansas history was Hutchinson’s Solomon Butler — 108 years ago.

“I’m still excited all the time about it,” Wait said. “I’m trying to come back to earth a little bit, but it’s just amazing that I actually finished and that I could do that. It’s still just unbelievable.”

In 110 years of the State meet, just 14 girls and ten boys have won four individual golds in one year.

Wait will attend Creighton this fall to play volleyball.

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