Ethan Fulton is 4A 110-meter hurdle champ

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Iola High’s Ethan Fulton flies over the final hurdle in a preliminary heat race of the 4A 110-meter high hurdles. He did the same in the finals Saturday, winning the state championship in the event at the 2009 Kansas High School State Track and Field Championships in Wichita.

WICHITA — Sailing smoothly over the hurdles one-by-one, Iola High junior Ethan Fulton soared to the 2009 Kansas Class 4A 110-meter high hurdles state championship Saturday morning.
Fulton was the only competitor in the 4A high hurdles to post a time under 15 seconds at the state meet — he had the fastest qualifying time Friday of 14.73 seconds and won Saturday’s final in 14.86 seconds.
“I just felt really good all the way through the race. I told myself before the race that it was just another race. I was trying not to get too hyped up like other times,” Fulton said.
“About the middle of the race I told myself to just run relaxed and fast.”
Relaxed and fast is what Ethan Fulton was.
He defeated the defending 4A state champion, Joe Stephens, who was second in 15.11 seconds. Stephens had beaten Ethan Fulton each time they had met including last year’s regional and this year’s regional meet. Stephens came into the state meet with the top time in the 110-meter high hurdles, 14.40, for the season in 4A and won the regional race in 14.50 seconds.
Ethan wasn’t the only Fulton in the final 110-meter race Saturday. Twin brother Aaron also qualified for the final with a qualifying time of 15.65 seconds in the second heat Friday. Aaron finished eighth in the final in 16.37 seconds, missing out on a medal.
“Having Aaron in the final was really great. We’re very competitive and he pushes me to do better,” Ethan said. “After the way the qualifying races went Friday, I went into the final with a lot of confidence.”
Ethan said he set a few goals going into the season — to break the school record, he did that at 14.5 seconds, and at least place at state. A year ago, Ethan made it to state in the event but finished ninth overall in the preliminaries, one spot away from the finals.
“Being able to beat Stephens, who has beaten me each time we’ve run against each other, and to be the state champion is great,” Ethan said.
Ethan was the lone medal winner for Iola High at the Kansas State High School All-Class Track and Field Championships at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium over the weekend. The IHS athletes competed in the Class 4A events on Friday and Saturday.
Aaron Fulton placed 14th in the 4A boys javelin Friday. He threw 148 feet, 2 inches. On Saturday, sophomore Kirstin McGuffin finished 11th in the girls javelin at 109’1”.
In preliminary races Friday, freshman Kelsey Larson and the Fillies’ 4x100-meter relay team did not qualify for Saturday’s finals. Larson ran the 400-meter dash in 1:03.06, finishing seventh in her heat. Larson combined with senior Brittney Jacobs, junior Jazmyne Honeycutt and freshman Kendra Taiclet for a sixth-place finish, 52.28 seconds, in their relay heat race.
On Saturday, junior Darin Hutton threw in the boys discus, finishing 15th with a throw of 128’11”.