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Examiner
  • Wildcats still in hunt for state track trophy

  • Blue Springs High School girls track coach Jennifer Reed went to the Missouri Class 4 State Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University with a game plan.

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  • Blue Springs High School girls track coach Jennifer Reed went to the Missouri Class 4 State Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University with a game plan.
    "After what happened today," Reeder said Friday evening, "we're going to have to refocus tonight. We have to be ready to take care of business tomorrow, and I think we can even though we didn't get through (to Saturday's finals) in the 200 (meters) and 1,600 relay."
    That's the bad news.
    The good news is that Jazmin McCoy won the long jump (18 feet, 9.5 inches) and won her heat in the 100 (12.33) and qualified in the 200 (25.21) and Tyra Bickham finished second in the discus to give the Wildcats 18 points going into Saturday's finals that begin at noon.
    "We thought we would get Gabby (Hall) through to the 200 but she tightened up (and finished 12th in 26.06) after running in her relay events and we really wanted to get the 4-by-4 (1,600 relay) in, but it didn't happen," Reeder said. "That's life, you live with it, you prepare for tomorrow and we know we have some quality kids going tomorrow and we're still right there to be one of the top four teams in the state."
    The top four teams win state championship plaques. The Blue Springs girls, who had won conference, district and sectional titles the past three weekends, have never won a state championship.
    "We all want a state championship, and that's all we're thinking about,” McCoy said. “We want to bring home a trophy. If it's not first, we want to bring home some kind of trophy. That is very important to all of us.
    "That's why I ran the 100 and 200 and 4x2 (preliminaries) and did the long jump. I just have to make sure my legs respond tomorrow. Right now I am sore and my legs are tight, but I'll hit an ice bath tonight and get some rest and should be ready to go."
    Bickham will be ready to go in the shot put, where Fort Osage defending champion Asia Cole is the favorite. Yet Cole, who was also the defending champion in the discus, took fifth (125-2) in that event Friday while Bickham finished as the runner-up with a throw of 133-4.
    "I wanted first, but I will settle for second," said Bickham, who like Cole, scratched on a throw that would have won the event. "I'm proud to be the first person to score points today. I know Jazmin will score points in the long jump, but we need to score as many as possible.
    "I want to be on a team that brings a trophy back to Blue Springs."
    The Wildcats will compete in the high jump, triple jump, shot put, 100 meters, 200 and the 400 and 800 relays. McCoy, Re'yven Lawrence, Jenna Jacoby and Gabby Hall were second in the 800 relay (1:41.72). Lawrence, Jacoby, Hall and Jessica Lawson are fourth in the 400 relay (48.88) heading into today's finals.
    Page 2 of 2 - "We can score a lot of points in those events," Reeder said. "We're a little disappointed in what happened on Friday, but now it is time to forget about that and focus on the good things we need to do Saturday.
    "The girls are excited about Saturday. So am I."
    So is Cole, who broke a sectional shot put record by four feet heading into state.
    "To be honest with you, I'm just glad the discus is over," said Cole, who scratched on a mammoth first throw. "This was an up-and-down year for me in the discus. But I have done pretty well in the shot and I hope to win that event tomorrow.
    "I've been throwing well and I am pretty upset with what happened today so I plan to use that energy to have a good throw tomorrow in the shot put."
    She might have lost the discus but she has not lost her sense of humor.
    When discus champion Paden Wachter joined her in the medal presentation area near a tent on the infield, Cole hummed the "Miss America Song," and she and Bickham acted as if they were tossing rose petals in her path.
    "You have to have some fun," Cole said, "even if you don't do as well as you'd hoped."
    William Chrisman's Nieka Wheeler will join McCoy in the 100 finals after earning the No. 8 seed in 12.76.
    A pair of Lee's Summit North athletes and one relay earned all-state honors. Lia Howe finished fifth in the pole vault (11-3) and Cydnee Holmes took seventh in discus (124-7). The 3,200 relay of Carson Severson, Lexi Rampetstreiter, Danielle Rock and Karley Brown finished seventh (9:34.99). North's Rhema Taylor made the 400 finals (57.67) and teamed with Aliyah Hakim, Kelsey Lewis and Jenny Krause to make the 800 reay finals as the No. 4 seed (1:41.89).
     

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