JEFFERSON CITY - Asia Cole’s performance in the shot put Friday left the Fort Osage High School senior with a feeling of great satisfaction.
The same could be said for coach Joe Cusack’s Blue Springs High School boys track and field team, as it leads Columbia Rock Bridge and Lee’s Summit West 24-15 after the first day of competition at the Missouri State Track and Field Championship at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
Cole won the shot put for the third time in her stellar career at Fort Osage, and Cusack’s Wildcats set the tone for what could be a memorable Saturday afternoon of performances.
“Today couldn’t have gone much better,” Cusack said. “We put up 24 points – which was the total we were looking at after the first day – and we got all our guys through to the finals. I proud of the team and very excited.”
The 3,200 relay team of Jayme Allen, Taysean Goodwin, Eli Leavell and Stephen Mugeche started the day with a third-place finish (7:53.92) and six points. Mugeche then finished second in the individual 3,200 (9:17.61) for eight more points. Twins Carlos and Khalil Davis took third and fifth in the shot put (56-10 3/4 and 53-9 3/4, respectively) for 10 points.
Tamarick Quinney then qualified for today’s final in the 100 with a third-place showing, Goodwin placed fourth in the 400, and the 1,600 relay team of Goodwin, Leavell, Kane Harmon and Antwon President won its heat and placed third overall. Saturday finals include the 100, 400, 800, 1,600, 1,600 relay, triple jump, pole vault and the discus.
“We owe so much credit to our assistant coaches Frank Gallick, Brian Curp and Erik Johnson, who work with the runners. It's just a collective team effort,” Cusack said. “We’re all excited about Saturday. It’s going to be a great day for the Wildcats!”
Fort Osage coach J.D. Snead felt much the same way after Cole’s performance.
“To win an event three years in a row is special,” Snead said. “It just makes you feel so proud. The ultimate goal for any track and field athlete is to win state, and she did it three years in a row. She won both the shot and discus as a sophomore, won the shot last year, and this year she hopes to win both events again.”
Cole couldn’t stop smiling after her winning throw of 45-5 1/2.
“I just smiled, and smiled,” said Cole, who will attend the University of Nebraska. “To win three years in a row, and to win as a senior, is just so special. I’m excited and can’t wait to throw the discus tomorrow.”
On the boys side, Fort Osage’s Josh Alt advanced in the 300 hurdles, and Elijah McGill fouled on all his attempts in the long jump.
Wildcats girls coach Jennifer Reeder can’t wait for today as her 400 (48.66), 800 (1:41.94) and 1,600 (3:57.24) relay teams all advanced to the finals (the 3,200 relay is today). Each team set a personal record, and the 1,600 squad broke the school record.
Lydia Alipio, Gabby Hall, Jessica Lawson and Aliyah Lee make up the 400 squad; Lee, Jenna Jacoby, Jessica Lawson and Hall are on the 800 squad; and Corinne Rinne, Lee, Sierra Spinler and Hall are on the 1,600 team.
Alicia Starr placed seventh in the high jump (5-2) to earn an all-state medal, and Hall advanced in the 200.
• Blue Springs South’s Grace Klausen set a personal-best time in the 1,600 (5:02.41), but was edged out at the finish line and finished in ninth place, one spot away from earning all-state status.
But the junior did not lose her sense of humor as she tweeted, “I set 2 PR's today: One in the 1600m and one in pizza consumption … and felt like I was going to throw up after both.”
South’s 400 relay team of Jahliah Clay, Melissa Cramer, Erin Griesbauer and Makalya Moore advanced to Saturday’s final. The Jaguars’ Wendy Siavii finished fifth in the shot put (41-7) to earn an all-state medal.
On the boys side, South’s 800 and 400 relay squads and Tyler Blair in the 110 hurdles qualified for the finals. Josh McClary, Myles Davis, Marquan Hughes and Brandin Dandridge form both relays.
• William Chrisman’s Chrisha Riley capped a brilliant career with a 5-foot-7 high jump to place second. For the boys, Dalvin Wilkerson advanced in the 200.
• Lee's Summit North’s 800 relay team of Aliyah Hakim, Jenny Krause, Kelsey Lewis and Rhema Taylor and the Broncos’ 1,600 team of Rhema Taylor, Jenny Krause, Kala Taylor and Hakim advanced to Saturday’s finals. Rhema Taylor and Hakim advanced in the 400, Lewis in the 200 and Brielle Magee in the 300 hurdles.
• Imani Johnson was seventh in the shot put (39-6 1/4) to earn all-state status, and Elizabeth Carpino finished 14th in the 1,600 (5:17.55). For the Bronco boys, Jalen Ford got edged for first in the high jump (6-8) based on misses.
• Truman’s Lexi Hart was sixth in the triple jump (37-5) to earn an all-state medal.
• In Class 3, Grain Valley’s Daniel Mahurin advanced in the 400 and the Eagles’ 3,200 team of Mahurin, Ethan Lasley, Michael Pellham and Preston Weigel finished eighth (8:14.19) to gain all-state status.
• Oak Grove’s Aaron Graham advanced to Saturday's final in the 100.