Nothing is more important to Joe Cusack than family.
That’s why the Blue Springs High School boys track coach was in seventh heaven Saturday afternoon as he got to share his Wildcats’ seventh consecutive district championship with all members of his family.
Those members included his mother and father, Mary and Mike Cusack; his brother Mike, who served as an official at the meet; his boys team, and coach Jennifer Reeder’s girls squad, which won its second district title in a row.
“This day is perfect,” said Cusack after the Class 5 District 7 meet was delayed more than an hour by an early-morning lightning storm but later was conducted under bright sunshine and cooler-than-expected temperatures, “because my mom and dad were here, my brother was here as an official, my boys track family won and our Jen’s girls track family won.
“Family is everything to me, and I got to share this amazing district championship with all my family, all the people who are so important to me.”
The last time a team other than the Wildcats won a district title was May 19, 2012.
“That’s a long, long time ago,” said double hurdles winner and senior leader Xavier Hall, who won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.77 seconds and the 300 in 40.35. “We’re a family – the guys team, the girls team, our amazing coaches. They preach family and I think that’s why we’ve had so much success over the past seven years.
“We’re not competing for each other like teammates, we’re competing for each other like we’re family and there’s nothing you wouldn’t do for your family.”
The four top finishers in each event advance to next Saturday’s sectional meet at William Chrisman High School.
Cusack’s boys totaled 199 points to top Lee’s Summit North with 174.5. Rockhurst was third (136), Blue Springs South fourth (77), William Chrisman fifth (57.5), Raytown sixth (33), Fort Osage seventh (26) and Truman eighth (12).
Reeder’s girls totaled 168.5 points to get past St. Teresa’s Academy with 143. Blue Springs South was third (116), William Chrisman and Fort Osage tied for fourth (71), Lee’s Summit was sixth (69.5), Raytown seventh (52) and Truman eighth (21).
Blue Springs boys winners were Gabe McClain, 800, 1:59.40; Oaklee Hauschild, 1,600, 4:26.72; the 1,600 relay team (3:20.09); Sam Knowlton, pole vault, 13 feet, 6 inches; Tre’ Wheaton, long jump, 23-6.5; and Daniel Parker, discus, 173-2.
“Today was all about points,” said Parker, who also finished second in the shot put, totaling 19 points for the Wildcats. “We had a lot of firsts, but all the seconds, thirds, fourths and so on help us get points and win district championships.
“This was a big day for me today because I messed up last year and didn’t make it to state – and that has been one of my goals this year, to make it to state to help us win another championship.”
The Wildcats have won three of the last four state titles.
Senior Colby Velaer advanced in two events for the Wildcats, taking second behind Hall in the 300 hurdles (40.44) and fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.88).
Like Cusack, Reeder was thrilled with her team winning another district title.
“It’s like Joe said, a perfect day with both the boys and girls winning and having a great day for the meet after the lighting and threat of rain early this morning,” Reeder said. “Our girls are excited – Sarah (Coy) and Cori (Davis took care of business in the hurdles and we were 1-2 in the pole vault and discus.
“Really, I couldn’t be any happier with how we performed today. The girls are all excited and really confident heading into next week’s sectionals.”
Wildcats girls winners were Coy in the 100 hurdles (15.58); Davis in the 300 (47.29); the 800 (1:44.03) and 1,600 (4:04.02) relay teams; Natalie Sheehy, pole vault (10-6); and Reggie Kanagawa, discus (124-7).
“Reggie has been battling a problem with her elbow, so we didn’t have her throw the javelin,” Reeder said of the Division I softball pitcher who has signed with BYU, “but she doesn’t have a problem with the discus, and she and (second-place finisher) Myra (Tupai) were great today.”
Sheehy credited her second-place teammate, Raegen Spotts (10 feet), with pushing her to her title.
“We’re good for each other,” Sheehy said as the two friends helped tear down the vaulting pit. “I compete against her every day in practice and that makes me a better vaulter.”
• The four competitors who hold school records at William Chrisman High School all won district championships.
Daniel Carson won the boys shot put (56-8) and took second in discus (165-7); Jordon Woods the boys triple jump (47-7); freshman Jacque David took the the girls shot put (39-5) and was third in the discus (121-4); and Camryn Holloman won the girls triple jump (36-8), took second in the long jump (17-8.5) and fourth in the 400 (1:01.72).
“I’m so proud of all of them” Chrisman coach Tyler Rathke said. “They’ve worked so hard and all that hard work is paying off.”
• It was a big day for Lee’s Summit North’s Devon Richardson, who soared 6-10 to win the high jump. That was the top jump in the state this year. He also took second in the triple jump (47-2.5)
Other North winners were Keyon Mozee, 100 (10.82); Matthew Hughey, 400 (49.47); and the 400 (42.86) and 800 (1:29.40) relays.
• Trey Vaval won the boys javelin for Blue Springs South (151-5), and Navon Currie advanced in two events with a second-place finish in the 110 hurdles (15.05) and third in 300 hurdles (41.83).
For more results, visit https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/meet/332599/results.