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Examiner
  • Cats, Pats off to strong starts at state track

  • Two teams that are in search of state hardware got off to a good start at the Missouri Class 4 State Track and Field Championships Friday.

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  • Two teams that are in search of state hardware got off to a good start at the Missouri Class 4 State Track and Field Championships Friday.
    Blue Springs High School's Khalil Davis finished second in the discus (169 feet, 7 inches) and Stephen Mugeche was fourth in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 15.53 seconds) to give coach Joe Cusack's Wildcats 13 points, one behind first-place Springfield Glendale, going into today's championship round that begins at noon with the boys 3,200.
    "I feel good where we are right now," Wildcats coach Joe Cusack said. "We're challenging the top teams and are in a good position to be one of the top teams in the state. We missed out some points today, but that happens. The guys are ready and excited about Saturday."
    Mugeche and teammate Simon Belete will be in the 3,200 along with Truman's Cole Rockhold, one of just six Patriots at the state meet who hope to bring home the first state trophy in team history.
    Rockhold finished third in the 1,600 (4:13.68), and Roy Bay advanced in the 100 (10.95) and 200 (22.23) and teamed with Demetric Dinwiddie, Alex Davis and Ben Sander to help the 4x100 relay team qualify as the fifth seed (42.66).
    "Can you imagine what it would be like if just six of us combined for enough points for a state trophy?" asked Rockhold, a junior who will provide some exciting races next year against Mugeche, who is just just a sophiomore. "I have so much respect for Roy and the guys on the 4x100. They had three cleat-to-cleat handoffs art practice the other day and they looked good today, so who knows what might happen. I know that Blue Springs really wants a trophy, too.
    "It's going to be exciting starting the day against Stephen and Simon in the 3,200."
    The Wildcats will compete in the 3,200, the long jump (Donte Watkins) and the 1,600 and 3,200 relays. The 1,600 relay team of Antwon President, DaShaughn Terry, Alex Johnson and Darrius Shepherd claimed the No. 6 seed with a time of 3:22.56 Friday.
    "We can score some points tomorrow," said Mugeche, who had a personal best by two seconds in the 1,600. "I felt like I did my best in the 1,600. I wanted to win and I know Cole wanted to win, but what's important is that we each scored points for our team."
    Davis backs his teammate's comment.
    "I wanted to win the discus, but at least I scored eight points for the team," Davis said. "People ask me if the pressure is off because I'm done competing. The pressure is just starting. Now, I'm facing the team pressure. I know all my teammates want to go out and do well on Saturday and I'm going to be there to support them."
    Page 2 of 2 - Bay believes Saturday could be one of the biggest days in Truman track and field history.
    "Today, was finish in the top four and advance to the finals," Bay said. "Tomorrow, you take no prisoners."
    He paused for a moment and grinned.
    "Did that come out right?" he asked. "Tomorrow, is all about winning. And I think Cole has a great chance to score some big points in the 3,200 and we're going to do well in the 4-by-100 and I want to come back and really do something big in the 100 and 200.
    "I'm a senior. This is it for me and I can't wait for tomorrow. I have to get an ice bath, relax, get a good night's sleep, which might be difficult, and come out ready to go. I can't promise you any results, but I can promise you that we will be ready to compete."
    Blue Springs South junior Josh Watson also earned all-state honors with a sixth-place finish in the discus with a toss of 161-10. Blue Springs' Carlos Davis just missed, taking ninth at 153-3.
    William Chrisman will compete in three finals. DaVante Wilkerson also made the finals in the 100 and teamed with brother Dalvin Wilkerson, David Daniel and Javaughn Chambers to earn the No. 8 seed in the 400 relay in 42.94. The Wilkersons, Chambers and Sam Michell also were eighth in the 800 relay in 1:29.80.
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
     
     

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