Youth was served at the Class 4 Sectional 4 track and field meet Saturday at Blue Springs South High School.

Youth was served at the Class 4 Sectional 4 track and field meet Saturday at Blue Springs South High School.
Truman freshman Alisha Meyer won the 400 meters and sophomore Sara Ruckman placed second in the 800 to highlight a solid effort by the Patriots.
Junior Katie Willits broke a three-way tie with fewer misses and slid into the fourth-place slot in the high jump to join Meyer and Ruckman at state next weekend in Jefferson City.
Meyer ran a personal-best 58.71 seconds Saturday afternoon to shock the field in the 400 while Ruckman came from the back of the pack to miss a first-place showing by fractions of a second, falling to leader Courtney Coppinger of St. Teresa’s 2:33.33 to 2:33.55.
Willits jumped 5 feet, topping two competitors who also cleared the 5-0 mark.
When asked about her performance, Meyer was blunt and honest.
“I thought I could come in first,” Meyer said, “but because I am a freshman, I was intimidated. I was very disappointed with my time (1:02) at district last week, but it was rainy and cold and I came in second.
“Today, it was windy, but that never bothers me. It was hot, and that bothered me a little bit, but I was determined not to be intimidated and to go out and win this race.”
When Ruckman passed six runners to finish second in the 800, the first person to congratulate her at the finish line was Meyer.
“One’s a freshman, one’s a sophomore and they’re best friends who really push each other,” Truman girls coach Randy Maglinger said. “I think Alisha is as happy for Sara as Sara is for advancing to state.”
The two Patriot underclassmen literally danced and hugged their way off the track.
“I was so happy for Alisha, now we’re both going to state,” Ruckman said. “This is just great.”
When asked about her late surge, Ruckman said, “I couldn’t think about the wind or anything else, I just wanted to make sure I finished in the top four and I was able to finish in second place. I’m really excited.”
And so is their coach.
“This is just great for the Truman program,” Maglinger said. “Katie’s a junior, Sara is a sophomore and Alisha is just a freshman. They could anchor the program for a long time.”
Although she didn’t claim a first-place medal, Blue Springs South sophomore Samantha Nightingale competed in three events and advanced to state in each event.
She was part of the third-place 3,200 relay team and placed third in both the tough 1,600 and 3,200 fields.
“I’m proud of Sam,” South distance coach Ryan Unruh said after the Jaguars finished eighth as a team with 26 points. “In the 1,600 and 3,200, she led 10 of the 12 laps, but Liga (Blyholder of Lee’s Summit West) was just too strong for her at the end.
“Not making an excuse, but it was so windy today – and when you’re as small as Sam, that’s going to affect you. And she opened with the 3,200 relay and ran the 1,600 and 3,200 – and those events won’t be on the same day at state. I think she will do great at state next week.”
Blue Springs had competitors in nine events and six will compete at state next week.
“Our three relay teams – the 400, 1,600 and 3,200 – all advanced, and we’re excited about that,” Blue Springs coach Jennifer Reeder said after the Wildcats finished sixth with 47 points. “Megan Wright was second in the pole vault, Monet Jackson was fourth in the shot put and Shannon Danaher was fourth in the 800. We’ll have a week to work and get ready and see what they can do at state.”
Lee’s Summit North’s Madison Smith won the 100 and 300 hurdles and was part of the fourth-place 1,600 relay team to advance to state in three events for the Broncos. Sandra Hampton took first in the discus for North with a throw of 140 feet, 4 inches. She also took third in the shot put to advance for the Broncos, who finished fourth as a team with 79 points by claiming 10 state berths, including the 400, 800 and 1,600 relay squads.
Fort Osage will send a pair of throwers to state. Elaine McAlister took second in the shot put, while Courtney Gapelu finished third in the discus.
Andrea Locke claimed William Chrisman’s lone state berth, capturing third in the triple jump with a leap of 36 feet.

AREA GIRLS STATE QUALIFIERS

High jump: 4. Katie Willits, Truman, 5-0.
Pole vault: 2. Megan Wright, Blue Springs, 10-5.
Triple jump: 3. Andrea Locke, William Chrisman, 36-0.
Discus: 1. Sandra Hampton, Lee’s Summit North, 140-4; 3. Courtney Gapelu, Fort Osage, 111-3.
Shot put: 2. Elaine McAlister, Fort Osage, 38-8; 3. Sandra Hampton, LSN, 37-9.35; 4. Monet Jackson, Blue Springs, 26-10.25.
3,200-meter relay: 2. Blue Springs, 9:45.41; 3. BS South, 9:53.7.
100 high hurdles: 1. Madison Smith, LSN, 14.94; 2. Remy Abrought, LSN, 15.62.
800 relay: 4. LS North, 1:44.78.
1,600: 3. Samantha Nightingale, BSS, 5:16.02.
400 relay: 3. LS North, 49.68; 4. Blue Springs, 49.68.
400: 1. Alisha Meyer, Truman, 58.71.
300 low hurdles: 1. Madison Smith, LSN, 45.37; 2. Sierra Hawkins, LSN, 45.91.
800: 2. Sara Ruckman, Truman, 2:23.55; 3. Codi Fritchie, LSN, 2:23.72; 4. Shannon Danaher, BS, 2:23.93.
3,200: 3. Samantha Nightingale, BSS, 11:51.24.
1,600 relay: 3. Blue Springs, 4:04.65; 4. LS North, 4:04.76.