Record-setting juniors Stephen Mugeche and Carlos Davis helped the Blue Springs Wildcats claim the boys championship at Friday night's Gary Parker Invitational while another record breaker paved the way for a surprising finish by the Blue Springs South track team.
And the always tough Asia Cole proved to herself the competition that her senior year is going to be special by breaking the record in the discus and winning the shot put to become the area's lone double winner.
Mugeche broke Scott Stetzler's 31-year-old school record of 4:14.68 and set a new Parker record with a sizzling time of 4 minutes, 12.87 seconds in the 1,600 meters – topping his closest opponent by an amazing 12 seconds – in the third best time in Eastern Jackson County history.
Davis kept it all in the family when he broke twin brother Khalil’s Gary Parker Invitational mark of 164 feet, 4 inches and Earl Jack's school record of 182-4 with a monster throw of 184-6 in the discus.
South junior Grace Klausen continued the string of excellence in Jaguar distance events by topping Hayden Lee's mark of 11:43.42 set in 2013 by finishing the 3,200 in 11:21.56.
Blue Springs finished the night with 98 points to run away with the boys crown (the Wildcats point total will be higher because the pole vault was still in progress at press time) and the Jaguars finished a surprising fifth with 58 points.
Grandview won the girls title with 83 points followed by Lee's Summit North, 78.5; Raymore-Peculiar, 75; Lee's Summit West, 63; South with 58 points; and Blue Springs with 55.
“It's been a while since we finished higher than Blue Springs,” South girls coach Ryan Unruh said. “The girls did a nice job tonight and Grace just continued to get better and better every time she runs. She ran a great race tonight.”
The man of the hour Friday was Mugeche, who was surprised to find out the record he broke was more than three decades old.
“I knew the competition tonight was going to be tough, tough, tough,” Mugeche said. “My coaches were around the track, calling out my splits. There really wasn't any (runner) that close to me, so I was running for myself and for the school record.
“To get the record at the Gary Parker Invitational makes it even more special. Coach (Frank) Gallick (the Wildcats cross country coach) and Coach (Joe) Cusack (the Wildcats boys track coach) have worked so long and so hard for me. I wanted to reward them with the meet and school records. This is a night I won't forget.”
Neither will Cusack, whose enthusiasm for his sport is infectious.
“Was this a great meet or what?” he asked, grinning from ear to ear. “We had 19 girls and 20 boys teams and some of the best teams in the state. Stephen ran the race of his life winning the hundred and Carlos was just outstanding in the discus, but this was a team effort.
“Taysean Goodwin nearly beat a state champion (Hazelwood Central's Brandon Chunn, 49.18 to 49.25) and Jayme Allen scored some big points (800 and 4x200 relay). I've never coached a team – here or at other schools where I was a coach – with the chemistry of this year's team. They are a special group.”
One member of that group is the larger-than-life Carlos Davis, who has bragging rights over Khalil for at least a week.
“He'll probably beat me at conference,” Carlos said. “I wanted the record, and we wanted to keep it in the family. Khalil and I have not been happy with our throws, so we have worked extra hard and it looks like it paid off.”
Khalil was second with a throw of 172-0.
Klausen was thrilled with her record-breaking performance.
“I never thought I'd break a record,” Klausen said. “People ask me all the time why we have so many great distance runners at South (her former teammate Samantha Nightingale was a four-time Examiner Cross Country Runner of the Year) and I tell them we have great, great coaches.”
Fort Osage’s Cole shattered Allie Taylor's mark of 129-9 set in 2012 with a mammoth throw of 141-2 in the discus and won the shot with a throw of 43-11.
“I have not had the spring I'd hoped for so I'm working extra hard right now,” said Cole, who also won both events earlier this week at the Independence City Championships. “This is a great meet and I'm happy to have done so well.”
Her teammate, Elijah McGill, broke Blue Springs' Deiondre Hall's mark of 23-3 1/2 in the boys long jump with a 23-5 effort.
“I'm so excited,” McGill said. “To win, and break a record, in this meet is special.”
Blue Springs' 3,200 relay team kicked off the night with a big win.
“We have three juniors and a freshman on the team,” said anchor Sierra Spinler. “I think the sky's the limit for our team.”
Other area winners were Blue Springs South’s Tyler Blair, with a 39.86 clocking in the 300 hurdles and William Chrisman's Dalvin Wilkerson with a time of 22.01 in the 200 and Chrisha Riley with a 5-4 showing in the high jump.