Fort Osage took home the first-place hardware for the boys meet at Friday’s Bill Summa Relays thanks to a coin flip.
The Indians and Lee’s Summit tied for first with 89 points at the annual track and field showcase at William Chrisman’s Independence All-School Stadium. In case of a tie, it was determined a coin flip would decide the awarding of the first- and second-place plaques.
Lee’s Summit called heads. The penny landed on tails.
For Matthew Dunnigan, who coaches the Fort Osage boys sprinters and long and triple jumpers, winning at Chrisman is special because it’s his high school alma mater.
“I’m very proud of my kids,” he said in an interview before the boys meet had ended. “I’m proud of the effort that I’ve put in and they’ve received – and they have, in turn, put in the hard work.
“When you put in the hard work, you’re going to get the results. When you get first, you know you may have done just enough (to win), but you did enough.”
Fort Osage finished the meet by taking second in the pole vault with a combined height of 29 feet, 6 inches. Pole vaulting is a time-intensive event, Indians vaulter Mitchel Cochran said. As proof, he mentioned Raytown South’s Malik Jefferson. Jefferson – who cleared 14 feet for the top individual height and attempted 14-6 – trains at Xtreme Athletics in Overland Park, Kan., as Cochran does.
“He’s been going there a little bit longer – as everybody can tell,” he said.
There was no tie in the girls meet, as Fort Osage edged Chrisman for the title with 94 points to Chrisman’s 93. The Indians won five of the 13 relay events to claim the title. Fort Osage girls coach J.D. Snead suggested that teamwork was key to winning it.
“We come to this meet wanting to score well – and the team aspect (of the meet) really puts the pressure on everyone to make sure that their helping each other,” Snead said.
Chrisman won three events en route to its second-place girls finish. The Bears capped the meet by taking second in the high jump, with Chrisha Riley clearing 5-4 for the top individual jump.
Riley and Chrisman girls and boys coach Annie Dudek praised the Bears for how they performed with a makeshift lineup. Chrisman “had to switch people in and out of different places” because of some no-shows, said Dudek, adding that the athletes had advance notice of what their roles would be. Riley was happy to see athletes filling the makeshift roles.
“They performed actually better than I thought that they would,” she said. “That means a lot to me. Summa’s a really big meet – for me, anyway.”
There were eight teams in both meets, including five area schools. Truman was a close third in the boys meet with 79 points. The Chrisman boys were fifth with 63 points. Van Horn finished seventh with 34 points, followed by Blue Springs South with five.
Lee’s Summit North won the high jump to finish fourth in the girls meet with 65 points. The Truman girls were fifth with 51 points.
As in the boys meet, the Van Horn and Blue Springs South girls were seventh and eighth, respectively. The Falcons finished with 22 points. The Jaguars finished with four points.