It's what they say about records. Sooner or later a record will fall. This morning one that lasted 33 years fell to the feet of a senior from Shawnee Mission West. Jonah Heng took down the 3200 record held by one of the greatest distance runners Kansas ever produced, Brent Steiner. Heng ran 9:06.64 to win his first state championship this morning saving more than a second from Steiner's 9:08.18 set in 1979.
Steiner seen here on the right in front of the late, great Verlyn Schmidt went on to become an All American in cross country at Kansas. But it wasn't until he became a duathlete in the late 1980's did he make his mark. He became the best in the U.S.A. at running and biking.
If you factor in the difference in distance between 3200 and 2 miles Smith's 9:08.0 to win the state championship in 1971 still stands as a superior mark to Heng's effort. But think of the potential. Heng could become the greatest distance runner at a school that has produced some talented runners.
Tim Davis, a mile/800 specialist, ran 4:09.9 in 1975. Nine years later Alex Hallock ran 9:08.6 for 3200 to put his name up alongside Davis as one of the best runners to ever come out of Shawnee Mission West. Heng has two more years to erase those marks. Tomorrow he runs the 1600 and who knows what he could run. But he has a teammate who bears watching. Junior Alli Cash has already run 4:45.63 for 1600 just off the all time state best and 10:32.01 for 3200. Heng and Cash make quite a dynamic duo for the Vikings.