Blue Springs South junior grabs sectional title in 200 meters.
Troy Harding believed his Blue Springs South boys track and field team would produce the Class 4 Sectional 4 200-meter champion this season.
He just thought it would be senior Derrion Thomas, who was so strong in the event his junior season.
“I never thought it would be Dominique Wright, because this is his first year of track,” Harding said, with a smile. “He’s had an amazing season.”
Wright, the junior who made his name as a wide receiver and defensive back for the Jaguar football team, was the lone area winner Saturday at the Blue Springs South sectional site, taking the 200 in a blistering season-best time of 21.91 seconds.
That tops the previous sectional record held by former Blue Springs standout Carlos Anderson, who ran 21.94 in 2007.
All eight runners in the event entered the finals with a time of less than 23 seconds.
Thomas, another standout member of the football team that made it to the state championship game, has battled leg injuries much of the season and placed fourth.
But that was good enough for him, as the top four finishers in each sectional event head to next week’s Class 4 Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City.
Wright and Thomas were also part of the 400 relay team that placed fourth to earn a state berth.
“It’s a good day, a blessed day,” Wright said. “I just thank God for giving me the ability to run. I knew I would have to run my fastest because no one who ran was over 23 (seconds).
“Before the race, I just said a prayer and thanked Him for giving me all my ability.”
Blue Springs coach Joe Cusack brought five competitors to the meet and four are advancing to state.
Jordan Chrisman was second in the shot put, Gus Toca took fourth in the discus, Ryan Podjenski finished fourth in the 1,600 and Jordan Dodd was fourth in the 400.
“We brought five and four are going to state, so I am very pleased,” Cusack said. “We’ve battled some injury problems this year, and it’s nice to end the season with four performers going to state.”
Chrisman had no problem advancing in the shot, while Toca had to sweat out the discus.
“Fourth place – that’s too close for comfort,” Toca said. “Both Jordan and I worked on some new things this week and now, we’ll just concentrate on what we’ve been working on heading into state.”
Added Chrisman: “This week, we’ll just go out and do it – and not have to think about it. We’re both looking to go to state and having a lot of success.”
Fort Osage will be represented by the 1,600 relay team of E.J. Gaines, Caleb Brainard, Steve Colyer and Nathan Hancock, who finished third in a school-record time of 3:23.59.
Hancock just missed in the high jump (6-foot-4), losing a jump-off to Raymore-Peculiar’s Mark Sappington to finish fifth.
“I’m really happy for the 4-by-400 team,” Fort Osage coach Eric Holmes said. “Nathan just missed going in the high jump, so it was great to see the team come on so strong in the last event of the day.”
Grandview’s James White, who soared 7 feet, 5 1/2 inches in the high jump earlier this season, easily won the event and set a meet record with a jump of 7-2.