MISSOURI STATE AND SECTIONAL MEETS
1 Dominant distance runners
Fans of distance running already know about Blue Springs South senior Samantha Nightingale — or at least should. Nightingale was up to her usual tricks at the district meet, winning the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 56.91 seconds) and 3,200 (10:51.92). The same goes for Rockhurst senior Zach Herriott, who also managed an easy district sweep with titles in the 1,600 (4:22.24) and 3,200 (9:28.43). But there are other distance stars eyeing state berths at this weekend’s Missouri sectional meets.
That includes Truman’s boys duo: Senior Justin Brown, who won his district title in the 1,600 (4:29.5), and sophomore Colton Rockhold (9:31.0). Richmond has its own double-gold winner, senior Cody Gorham, who claimed district titles in the 1,600 (4:34.05) and 3,200 (9:58.37), while Smithville has district distance champions in junior Katie Tuck (1,600, 5:15.58) and sophomore Katie Berger (3,200, 11:54.92). Also in Class 3, Pleasant Hill senior Tiffany Zinn, who won the 1,600 (5:27.72) and 3,200 (12:03.44) at districts.
2 Jumping bears, you say?
Leaping lizards we’ve heard of, but jumping bears? That was a new one. Still, consider William Chrisman’s crew of jumpers at Saturday’s sectional, which includes senior Jordan Warner — a district champion in the long jump (21 feet 91/2 inches) and high jump (6-0). There’s also junior David Daniel, who was second at districts in the long jump (21-51/2) and third in the triple jump (42-01/2), as well as seniors Devon Warner, the district triple jump runner-up (43-0 1/2), and Freddie Manor, the high jump runner-up (6-0).
But it doesn’t stop with the boys. Nieka Wheeler, a junior, was second in the long jump (18-0) behind North Kansas City’s Jazmin McCoy (19-3), while freshman De’Jionae Calloway was the triple jump runner-up (36-0) behind Staley sophomore Monique Townson (37-01/2).
3 L utheran’s Rains hopes to top Taff again
Perhaps the best battle brewing at the Class 1 girls state meet will come in the sprints. St. Joseph Christian senior Alexa Taff is the reigning 100-meter champion (12.40 seconds), but Lutheran sophomore Maria Rains wasn’t far behind in her first state appearance. Rains took third in 12.77, and the two are favorites in the 100 once again. Both also will be among the favorites in the 200 and 400 after facing off at the sectional meet last week. Taff won the 200, but Rains already topped her in the 100 and 400.
4 Midway counting on Weis, Yoakum again
Cass-Midway won Class 1 girls state last year as a team and will rely on senior Mackenzie Weis, who is the reigning champion in the 3,200 and owns the top time in the state this spring (11:38.63), and junior Kathleen Yoakum, who is the reigning state champ in the 800, for strong performances once again. Weis also is a strong medal contender in the 1,600, just as Yoakum ought to reach the 400 final.
5 L awson boys strong in sprints
A year ago, Lawson’s boys had the Class 2 state runner-up in the 400 and 800 relays, but senior Johnny Sutphin, who ran on the 400 relay, and junior Ty Cox, who ran on the 800 relay, will get a crack at individual glory in the open 100. Along with senior Garrison Green and sophomore Joseph Jones, the Cardinals reached state again in both relays as well.
Kansas City area teams competing in meets today at eight sites
1 Something has to give
With seven of the top 16 girls’ 100-meter dash times in Class 6A this season stacked in the Olathe East regional, just making state Friday by placing in the top four will be an accomplishment. Sunflower League champion Clare Bingaman (12.18) headlines the field, but she’ll be pushed by Olathe East’s Jasmine Thomas (12.22), Gardner Edgerton’s Kyla Martin (12.45), BV North’s Tori Gomez (12.46) and Jenny O’Grady (12.56), and Olathe Northwest’s Leslie Lindsey (12.62) and Dominique Box (12.66). There is a similar logjam in the 3,200 at the Lawrence Free State regional, though SM West junior Alli Cash is expected to dominate the event.
2 Tough 800 fields among 6A boys
It’s hard to predict the boys 800 races at both Free State and Olathe East, which have 13 of the top 16 6A times in the state. SM Northwest’s Anthony Yates (1:57.04), Free State’s Kain Anderson (1:58.33) and Stan Skwarlo (1:59.06) and SM North’s Sam Yoakum (1:59.93) will square off, along with SM East’s Mitch Daniel (2:00.04) and SM West’s Ryan Cooney (2:00.48) in Lawrence. Meanwhile at the Olathe District Activity Center, the battle for state berths is almost as deep with BV West’s Jeremy Bryan (1:57.83), Olathe East’s Nick Hinrichs (1:57.88), BV Northwest’s Nick Loehr (1:58.12), Gardner Edgerton’s Dewey Molenda (1:59.10), Olathe Northwest’s Lucas Demott (1:59.77) and BV Northwest’s Sam Guinn (2:00.44).
3 Who’ll jump longest?
The long jump competition at Olathe East will be tough too, with eight jumpers who’ve topped 21 feet, including Olathe North’s Marquis Butcher (22-11) and Olathe East’s Jacob Schultze (22-101/2), who own the top two 6A marks in the state. The field also includes Olathe North’s Orange Mooney (22-41/4) and Alex Hink (21-2), Olathe South’s Teddy Colbert (21-11), Gardner Edgerton’s Colton Pevehouse (21-53/4) and Anthony Seymour (21-21/2), and Olathe East’s Michael Williams (21-5).
4 5A throws provide intrigue
The Class 5A state boys discus champion isn’t likely to come from the Blue Valley regional, but the competition to reach state will be intense. Wyandotte’s Jillan Anderson (144-10) enters as the favorite, but three Tigers — AJ Harris (143-10), Caleb Kjergaard (139-9) and Logan Winter (137-5) — are in the state mix along with BV Southwest’s Noah Linton (137-2). The same holds true for the 5A girls shot put. That field includes Mill Valley’s Joy Kennedy (37-41/4) and Kellyne Weathers (34-7), Blue Valley’s Maddie Osmundson, BV Southwest’s Jessica Ryan (35-5) as well as St. Thomas Aquinas’ Catherine Kluempers (35-41/2) and Megan Teahan (35-2).
5 Vasquez aims to run down more titles
De Soto’s Angel Vasquez is the clear Class 4A favorite in the 1,600 (4:25.86) and 3,200 (9:44.25). He has the best time in his class in both events, but Piper’s Brian Mosier, who has the second-best 4A time of the spring (4:35.25), will get a crack at Vasquez in the Baldwin regional and could learn a little about how he needs to race him for state the following week.
| Tod Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org