The William Chrisman boys 1,600-meter relay team had “an extra chip” on its collective shoulder when it came time to run at Thursday’s Fort Osage Invitational, said leadoff runner Ronnie Cravens.
For a stretch of the boys meet, Chrisman jockeyed with Fort Osage for the lead in the team standings. And after 16 of 19 events, the U.S. 24 Highway rivals were tied with 141 points. Thus, Chrisman’s 1,600 relay runners “were running with a purpose – to try to give us the best chance at winning the track meet,” Cravens said.
The team responded by zipping through the relay and winning by about 50 meters in 3 minutes, 35.4 seconds. The win helped the Bears win the meet with 178.5 points, followed by Fort Osage with 155 points.
“We had a good (energy) boost,” Cravens said. “My first leg felt great. And we stayed in first the whole race. ... It felt great.”
The relay was among nine events the Bears won, including three relays. Chrisman’s individual winners included sophomore Jordon Woods, who jumped 42 feet, 4 1/2 inches to win the triple jump. It was a personal best for Woods – at least in competition.
“I’ve jumped farther than that in practice,” Woods said.
Fort Osage, on the other hand, comfortably won the girls meet with 181 points. Entering the competition, Fort Osage girls coach J.D. Snead liked the team’s chances of winning.
“We have a very solid team this year,” Snead said. “We’ve got a great group of young girls who have filled in a lot of the gaps that we had on our team as far as speed.”
The Fort Osage girls won 10 events en route to their victory, including two relays. Their individual winners included senior Madyson Monday, whose victory in the 400 meters was more difficult to secure than it might have seemed to those who watched her glide around the track.
“It wasn’t easy, but I got my PR (personal record) for the season,” said Monday, who finished in 1:02.5 and then helped the Indians win the 1,600 relay.
Finishing a distant second to Fort Osage was Blue Springs South with 129.5 points. South coach Ryan Unruh, who rested some girls who are going to be competing later in the season, he said, got victories from Danielle Hotalling in the 1,600, Amaya Hernandez in the 3,200 and Bailey Righi in the javelin.
“Fort Osage has a got a great team, a great program,” Unruh said. “So I knew they’d be tough to beat today.”
Those who helped Fort Osage finish as runner-up in the boys meet included Matthew Franks, who won the 400 in 51.7 seconds in his first outdoor race since suffering from an injury.
“I felt great,” Franks said. “I’ve never felt better.”
Area schools locked up spots 3-5 in both meets. Chrisman placed third in the girls meet with 111.5 points, followed by Truman with 106 and Van Horn with 30. Veteran jumper Lexi Hart help Truman secure its fourth-place finish by winning the long and triple jumps. In jumping the same distance three times, Hart said she felt consistent in the long jump.
Nick Tanner won the 100, Elijah Stewart won the pole vault and the two ran on Truman’s winning 400 relay team to help the Patriot boys place third with 100 points. The South boys were fourth with 83 points. Samuel Baker’s victory in the 800 helped Van Horn finish fifth with 36 points.