It's still very early in the 2022 high school track and field season, but Washburn Rural senior thrower Zach Sulzen-Watson looked to be in midseason form in Friday's season-opening Jerry Beardslee Invitational ... maybe even a little better.

Sulzen-Watson was a double individual winner Friday at Rural, establishing a new personal-record in the shot put while also eclipsing the mark he recorded in a fifth-place Class 6A state finish in the discus last spring.

Sulzen Watsonshot2Washburn Rural senior Zach Sulzen-Watson won Friday's shot put event in the Jerry Beardslee Invitational with a personal-best throw of 52 feet, 5 inches. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Sulzen WatsonshotWashburn Rural senior Zach Sulzen-Watson flashes the thumbs up sign after a big throw in Friday's Jerry Beardslee Invitational. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Sulzen-Watson easily set a PR record in the shot put with a winning effort of 52 feet, 5 inches and then won the discus event with a throw of 161-1, bettering the 153-3 he threw at state a year ago.

The discus is regarded as Sulzen-Watson's best and favorite event, and he has established himself as one of the state's best in that event. 

"I just feel like (the disc) comes a little bit more natural,'' Sulzen-Watson said. "I just like spinning around, you know.''

But Sulzen-Watson also made a statement in the shot on Friday, admitting that his two and a half-foot improvement was a surprise, even to him.

"Absolutely,'' he said.

Now Sulzen-Watson just wants to build off his big season-opening performance over the rest of the season.

"In the shot I just want to be more explosive at the end; I'm kind of falling back,'' he said. "It's kind of the same thing in the disc. I'm not really finishing through the disc as much as I should be.''

And Sulzen-Watson wants to set his goals high, particularly in the discus.

"I'll go big -- 200 (feet),'' Sulzen-Watson said of his hopes for the season.

Other boys highlights Friday:

• If the weather had been a little bit better on Thursday, Highland Park junior Tre Richardson, a four-sport standout, wouldn't have even competed in the Jerry Beardslee Invitational.

But when the event was pushed back to Friday, that opened the door for a big day for Richardson.

Richardson won the 200-meter dash in 21.6 seconds after winning the long jump (22 feet, 2 inches) and the triple jump (43-6) earlier in the day. 

TyrellReed100Highland Park junior Tre Richardson (center) and teammate Tyrell Reed (left) battle at the end of the 100-meter dash in Friday's Jerry Beardslee Invitational. Reed and Richardson went 1-2, with both runners timed in 10.5 seconds. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Richardson also finished second to Scots teammate Tyrell Reed in the 100, with both runners timed in 10.5.

"It felt good to be back out here,'' Richardson said. "I'm glad it got moved to today because yesterday I would have had to go to baseball instead.''

Richardson, who has already received All-Shawnee County recognition in football and basketball, said he is rounding into track and field shape.

"I'm getting there ... almost,'' Richardson said. "I'm not where I want to be by the end of the season. By the end of the season I'm going to try to get in the 20s (in the 200).''

• Washburn Rural seniors Alex Holmes and Spencer Haddock went 1-2 in the 1,600 meters, with Holmes winning in 4:37.8 and Haddock second in 4:45.8.


At Washburn Rural     BOYS     Individual results

Pole vault -- 1. Anderson, Seaman, 11-6; 2. Litteh, Washburn Rural, 10-0; 3. Rausch, Washburn Rural, 9-6.

Shot put -- 1. Z, Sulzen-Watson, Washburn Rural, 52-5; 2. Wettengel, Washburn Rural, 44-8; 3. Thomas, Seaman, 42-4.

Discus -- 1. Z. Sulzen-Watson, Washburn Rural, 161-1; 2. J. Sulzen-Watson, Washburn Rural, 124-9; 3. Haskins, Washburn Rural, 111-8.

Javelin -- 1. Lewis, Mission Valley, 155-9; 2. Sulzen-Watson, Washburn Rural, 142-6; 3. Godby, Washburn Rural, 133-7.

Long jump -- 1. Richardson, Highland Park, 22-2; 2. Adams, Washburn Rural, 20-4; 3. Johnson, Highland Park, 19-0.

Triple jump -- 1. Richardson, Highland Park, 43-6; 2. Cochran, Seaman, 39-2; 3. Roney, Washburn Rural, 38-5.50.

High jump -- 1. Tibbetts, Washburn Rural, 5-8; 2. Hight, Washburn Rural, 5-8; 3. Osburn, Washburn Rural, 5-6.

4 x 800 relay -- 1. Seaman, 8:49.1; 2. Washburn Rural, 9:27.0; 3. Mission Valley, 9:44.9.

110 hurdles -- 1. Johnson, Highland Park, 15.7; 2. Ingenthron, Washburn Rural, 16.8; 3. Cowdin, Topeka High, 18.3.

100 -- 1. Reed, Highland Park, 10.5; 2. Richardson, Highland Park, 10.5; 3. Peoples, Topeka High, 10.6.

1,600 -- 1. Holmes, Washburn Rural, 4:37.8; 2. Haddock, Washburn Rural, 4:45.8; 3. Rubio, Mission Valley, 4:56.6.

4 x 100 relay -- 1. Topeka High 'A', 45.5;  2. Seaman, 46.2; 3. Topeka High 'B', 46.8.

400 -- 1. Blankenship, Topeka High, 54.0; 2. Swaim, Seaman, 55.0; 3. Jueneman, Washburn Rural, 55.8.

300 hurdles -- 1. Ingenthron, Washburn Rural, 45.1; 2. Huntley, Washburn Rural, 46.1; 3. Johnson, Highland Park, 48.2.

800 -- 1. B. Moore, Seaman, 2:05.9; 2. Haddock, Washburn Rural, 2:07.9; 3. Holmes, Washburn Rural, 2:09.1.

200 -- 1. Richardson, Highland Park, 21.6; 2. Santiago, Washburn Rural, 23.1; 3. Matlock, Topeka High, 23.4.

3,200 -- 1. J; Moore, Seaman, 10:21.0; 2. Keller, Washburn Rural, 10:30.2; 3. Rubio, Mission Valley, 10:56.1.

4 x  400 relay -- 1. Washburn Rural, 3:41.9; 2. Seaman, 3:42.8; 3. Topeka High 'A', 3:47.6.

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