Blue Springs girls track coach Jennifer Reeder was beyond excited as the final events wrapped up the Class 5 Sectional 4 track and field meet at William Chrisman High School Saturday.
That’s because her Wildcats claimed their second consecutive sectional team crown.
“This feels good, real good,” Reeder said as the Wildcats topped Liberty 110.75 to 88. “Last year, when we won, we were a young team with a lot of good junior talent. This year, we brought eight seniors to sectionals and they all advanced. That’s pretty cool.”
The top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet Friday and Saturday in Jefferson City.
The eight seniors are Natalie Sheehy (first, pole vault, 10 feet, 7 inches); Sarah Coy (first, 100-meter hurdles, 15.21 seconds); Raegan Spotts (second, pole vault, 10-0); Sy’maih Smith (third, 100, 12.78); Elaina Hubner (third, 3,200, 11:17.21); Reggie Kanagawa (second, discus, 119-10); Myra Tupai (third, discus, 111-4); and Maddie Purvis (third-place 3,200 relay, 9:38.83).
“It’s great to be a senior and help your team with a first-place finish,” Coy said.
Sheehy felt the same way, adding, “I came here to do my best. I know the top four advance to state, but I wanted to win, and I was able to.”
While the seniors earned their accolades, junior Cori Davis enjoyed a spectacular meet, winning the 300 hurdles (45.89) and helping the 400, 800 and 1,600 relay teams advance to state.
“Cori had an amazing day,” Reeder said. “Competing in four events is difficult, but she is all about the team and getting as many team points as possible.”
Added Davis: “This is such a cool day to be a Wildcat. Mentally was tougher than physically for me. I kept thinking about how I could help my team advance in all four events. I am so happy.”
Wildcats junior Tessa Valdivia advanced with a fourth-place finish in the 1,600 (5:07.39), and junior Koby Tyler took third in the shot put (38-1.75).
• William Chrisman freshman Jacque David was a big star at the meet, winning the shot put (40-0.25) and discus (120-9).
“I wanted to do my best and advance,” David said, “but I also wanted to win each event. I’m really excited about seeing what I can do at state.”
So is her coach, Tyler Rathke.
“The sky’s the limit for Jacque,” he said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of her or the rest of our guys and girls. This was a great day for William Chrisman.”
Camryn Holloman won the triple jump (36-1.25) and took third in the long jump (17-2.75).
“I’m so happy to be going to state in both events,” Holloman said. “And to be going with so many of my teammates makes it even better.”
Reana Lagrone also advanced for the Bears by taking second in the pole vault (10 feet).
• Blue Springs South senior Tori Findley added to her resume with stellar performances in winning the 1,600 (5:04.23) and 3,200 (10:57.33), but it was her third leg in the 3,200 relay that had the crowd buzzing.
Findley received the baton 20 yards behind the second-place runner and wound up giving anchor Danielle Hotalling a 70-yard advantage, which she held onto to claim a win in a time of 9:30.96.
“We went with our A-Team in the 3,200 and had great results,” said Findley, who has not lost a race this season. “I really wanted to be a part of the 3,200 relay and had such a great time running that third leg.
“I was wondering if I had enough for the 1,600 and 3,200 and found out I did. Now, next week, it’s time to leave it all out on the track and really see what I can do at state.”
Hotalling also advanced in the 3,200 with a second-place finish (11:10.68).
Akirah Venerable took second in the 300 hurdles (47.23) to advance for the Jaguars.
• Fort Osage’s Emari Grimes (400, third, 56.61) and Dymon Preyor (second, long jump, 17-05.75) capped school record-breaking seasons by advancing to state in their premier events.
• Tiffany Hughey took second in the 200 (25.31) and Hannah Wilhite was fourth in the pole vault (10 feet) to lead Lee’s Summit North.
• Blue Springs South finished fifth (65), William Chrisman eighth (43.75), Lee’s Summit North 10th (32.75), Fort Osage 11th (29) and Truman 14th (2) in the team standings.