JEFFERSON CITY – Fort Osage senior Asia Cole bid goodbye to a sport she has dominated the past four years, and Truman sophomore Lexi Hart sent out the opening salvos of what might be a career that rivals that of the Indians star.
Cole, who won the shot put (45 feet, 5 1/2 inches) Friday afternoon for the third time in her career, finished second in the discus (139-7) Saturday in the Class 4 state track and field championships at Lincoln University to wrap up a career of eight state medals.
She won the shot put the past three years and the discus as a sophomore. She has medaled in each event for four years.
“I am so sorry I didn’t win the discus for you today,” she said to a friend in the tent where athletes relax before picking up their medals. “It’s so sad, I really wanted a PR (personal record) today, but I had a great career and I can’t wait to throw at the University of Nebraska.
“I just can’t believe my high school career is over. I have so many people to thank – I couldn’t have had this type of success with a lot of support from my coaches, my family and my teammates.”
While Cole looks ahead to success in college, Hart envisions what the next two years might bring at the prep level. She won the long jump with a school-record leap of 18-5.
“Every time she jumps, she breaks the school record – which was her school record,” Truman jump coach Steve Cassity said.
Hart finished sixth in the triple jump (37-5) Friday to set the stage for Saturday's dramatic win.
“I wanted a PR in the long jump and I got it,” said Hart, who is also a standout volleyball and basketball player for the Patriots. “Most people don’t know that track was my first sport.
“I started running when I was 5 and I started jumping when I was in middle school. This summer, I’m going to do some volleyball and basketball camps and try to get in a few track meets, too.”
When asked about the next two years, she grinned and said, “I think the sky’s the limit. I’d like to win a state championship in the triple jump, and since I won the long jump this year, I hope to win it again the next two years, too. It’s all pretty exciting to think about.”
McCluer North won the state title with 65 points, followed by Lee’s Summit West (52), Hazelwood Central (46) and Eureka (40). The top four teams at state win a trophy. Lee’s Summit North just missed out, finishing in fifth place (38), while Blue Springs took ninth (20) and Fort Osage 10th (18).
• It was a big weekend for the Blue Springs girls relay teams as three squads shattered school records and all four brought home medals. The 800, 1,600 and 3,200 teams all broke Wildcat records.
The seventh-place 3,200 team of Emily Hubner, Maria Wendell, Sierra Spinler and Corinne Rinne finished in a time of 9:28.77. The second-place 800 team of Aliyah Lee, Jenna Jacoby, Jessica Lawson and Gabby Hall clocked 1:40.85. The third-place 400 team of Lydia Alipio, Lawson, Hall and Lee finished in 48.81. And the eighth-place 1,600 team of Rinne, Lee, Spinler and Jacoby finished in 4:03.76.
Hall added an eighth in the 200 (25.59).
“We’re bringing three school records back to Blue Springs and all the teams earned all-state recognition, so it was a very good weekend,” Wildcats coach Jennifer Reeder said. “Never in school history have we been all-state in all four relays.”
Rinne was overcome with emotion following the school-record performance in the 3,200 relay.
“I love these girls and it’s going to be tough to say goodbye to them,” said Rinne, a senior who will swim at Drury University. “This is a special day. We came and showed what we could do. We wanted the record and we got it.”
• The Lee’s Summit North girls nearly gave coach Ed Brill a special retirement gift as they placed fifth, just two points behind Eureka (40-38).
North's 3,200 team of Jesse Dinkins, Jenny Krause, Danielle Rock and Lexi Rampetsreiter finished eighth (9:36.26), as did the 800 relay team of Aliyah Hakim, Krause, Kelsey Lewis and Rhema Taylor (1:56.94). The 1,600 relay team of Rhema Taylor, Krause, Kala Taylor and Hakim finished third (3:54.14).
Imani Johnson claimed third in the discus (128-2), Rhema Taylor third (57.17) and Hakim fourth (57.57) in the 400 and Lewis third in the 200 (24.93).
• Truman’s Allie Webb, who competed just one year for the Patriots as her father Gregg took over as head coach of the football team last year, finished eighth in the discus (117-11).
“I’m happy to medal in my only year at Truman, but I’m disappointed with my performance,” Webb said. “I didn’t throw very well today, but I’m proud of getting this medal.”
• Blue Springs South’s 400 relay team of Jahliah Clay, Melissa Cramer, Erin Griesbauer and Makayla Moore finished in fourth place (48.81) and Clay finished eighth in the long jump (17-0).
• In Class 3 action, Grain Valley’s Chelsea Gabriel finally won her elusive state medal with a third-place finish in the 100 hurdles (15.15).
“I am so excited about getting my first state medal,” Gabriel said. “I’ve dreamed about standing on that podium since I was a freshman, and today I finally got to do it. It was special as I had dreamed it would be.”
Editor’s note: Today's story deals with all the events from Saturday’s state competition. Go to mshsaa.org for results from Friday and Saturday’s events in each class.