Parents from across the state congregate in Wichita for KSHSAA state championships

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The weather may have slowed down some state championships Thursday, but track and field are still racing to the finish line. Parents from across Kansas were in Wichita Thursday for more than one state tournament. Baseball, softball, and track all started their state tournaments Thursday with the 5A and 6A levels.

One Bishop Carroll family had the unique job of trying to watch their children compete in different sports at the exact same time. The Schoenfeld’s have a tough job on day one of the high school state tournament — two children, one playing softball and the other playing baseball.

“It has been a challenge all year, they have played on the same nights many times so he’d go to one game, and I’d go to the other game,” said Kim Schoenfeld, whose kids attend Bishop Carroll.

Because it’s possibly the last game their son Paul plays in high school, Greg and Kim were at Eck Stadium watching their son while also keeping a close eye on their daughter.

“A lot of pacing, I pace anyways, so the cheer of the crowd, you’ll turn and see in between pitches,” Greg Schoenfeld said.

The 5A and 6A state track meet was delayed for several hours because of bad weather, but that didn’t hurt the atmosphere for the fans at Cessna Stadium.

“Honestly, it’s just amazing to see everyone cheer for one another and every one is just thrilled to be outside and enjoying it,” said Kirk Gutekunst, an Olathe Northwest parent.

“This is the first time we’ve ever been to state so it’s been really exciting. I love the atmosphere, I love the crowd,” said Rachel Lumb, Junction City parent.

After not having any spring championships a year ago due to the pandemic, a little rain wasn’t stopping anything for student-athletes and their families Thursday.

“A lot can be thrown at those guys and I think they’ll find a way because they realize they get to play a game they love and that’s been the beauty of this whole season,” said Gerard Wellbrock, a Hays parent.

“It’s not like 2020 when we weren’t here,” said Mark Lentz, KSHSAA administrator. “We’re here in 2021, no matter the weather, we’re going to prevail.”

While Thursday was a wet first day for these championships, officials said they believe the worst has come and gone and they plan to finish this weekend without any more delays.

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