Fort Osage freshman Emari Grimes left no doubt who the fastest girls track and field athlete in Independence is.
Grimes won the 100-meter dash (12.91 seconds), 200 (26.75) and 400 (1:02) Wednesday in the Independence City Championships at William Chrisman, helping the Indians capture the girls team title.
“In the 100 and 200, I just try to go,” Grimes said. “It was my first time running the 400. The coaches wanted me to run either the 400 or 4x400. I thought (teammate and runner-up) Madyson Monday was going to catch me at the end.”
The Fort Osage girls won 12 events and scored 142.5 points with a strong mix of performances in the sprints, distances and throws.
“That’s one thing as a coaching staff we take pride in is trying not to have a weak spot,” Indians girls coach J.D. Snead said. “We had some great performances today and the girls are excited to win this meet. It’s a goal of ours to win this meet. We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish and we can build on our performances today as the season progresses.”
William Chrisman took the boys title, winning nine events and compiling 118 points, with James Bailey garnering individual titles in the discus (166 feet, 11 inches) and shot put (52-9).
“I’m not sure when the last time we won this meet was, but I know it’s been awhile,” Bears coach Tyler Rathke said. “Our boys had an excellent day. I thought we had a balanced effort across the whole team. We had many personal records and stepped up all over the track. From what I’ve heard we’ve never been able to put the track and the field together, but we’re starting to do that and it’s a big accomplishment.”
Truman’s Lexi Hart took gold in the girls long jump (16-0.5) and triple jump (36-0), marking the only other female athlete to win multiple individual events.
“I could have done better – you can always do better – but it was a pretty successful day,” said Hart, a University of Minnesota volleyball recruit. “I’m about ready for districts. I need a few more weeks of practice, then I’ll be ready.”
Fort Osage’s Dayton O’Dell swept the boys hurdle events, crossing the finish line in the 110 (15.91) and 300 (42.13) well before his competition.
“I worked really hard for this,” said O’Dell, who set personal records in both events. “It was a goal of mine to be city champion in both events coming in.”
A stumble out of the blocks didn’t hamper William Chrisman’s Domnick Braswell from winning the 200 (22.74).
“I almost fell on the ground, but I realized I had to get first, and that’s what I did,” Braswell said.
Braswell combined with Tre’ Sisco, Ronnell Hearron and Jordon Woods for first place in the 4x100 (43.97), edging out Truman in the final 10 meters.
“We’ve been wanting to beat Truman. That was our whole focus this week and we got it done,” said Sisco, who ran anchor and shouted “Let’s go!” as he crossed the finish line. “I was excited there (at the end). As a freshman running anchor I was nervous, but our team got it done.”
Sisco also teamed up with Chris Anderson, Ronnie Cravens and Randall Horn for first in the 4x400 (3:34).
The Bears’ 4x800 team of Trey Dumas, Caleb Michell, Harrison Lara and Cravens claimed gold, with Michell also winning the 3,200 (11:10).
Victories by Woods in the triple jump (43-1) and Bryan Cox in the high jump (5-8) rounded out William Chrisman’s wins.
The Indians came in second place in the boys standings, Trenton Roller winning the javelin (127-6), Trevor Skaggs taking the long jump (21-4) and Austyn Smith using a lean at the finish to claim victory in the 1,600 (4:58).
“It was an extremely difficult race. It was nice to come around and win on the final 100,” said Smith, who let out a yell as he crossed the finish line. “That was me pushing the last little bit of energy I had out of me. This (time) is a personal record and the first time I’ve been below 5 (minutes).”
Truman’s Nik Tanner edged teammate Elijah Stewart to win the 100 (11.36), claiming the title of “Fastest high schooler in the city.”
“It feels good,” Tanner said. “As a freshman, it’s a confidence-builder.”
Tanner teamed up with Zion Piper, Joe Allen and Raymond Brown to win the 4x200 (1:31).
“We’ve practiced a lot on this race,” Piper said. “We ran hard today and if you run hard you’ve got a good chance to win.”
Piper also took gold in the 400 (51.49), with Stewart defeating the competition in the pole vault (13-0).
Van Horn’s Sam Baker won the 800 by 30 meters, claiming the Falcons’ lone title of the day.
“I feel like I could have pushed myself a little more, but I’m happy with my performance,” Baker said. “First place, you can’t ask for anything better than that.”
Fort Osage’s Allie Barrett didn’t get the school record, but she settled Wednesday for the city title.
“It’s always good to come away with first place,” said Barrett, who cleared 10-3 before missing on attempts at 11 feet. “I feel really good about today even though I didn’t get my personal record. I’ve been working on inverting a lot more, and today I did that the best I’ve ever done that at a meet.”
The Indians swept the throwing events, with Miche’la Lemons taking the javelin (97-2), Paige Bunn winning the discus (120-9) and Sonia Faitau garnering the gold in the shot put (38-1).
Dymon Preyor broke the tape in the 100 hurdles (17.95) for Fort Osage, as did Marina Rios in the 800 (2:33) and Kalee Dowell in the 3,200 (13:09).
The Indians team of Dowell, Hailey Alvis, Makayla Daugherty and Maya Baughn easily won the 4x800 (10:44), with Alvis combining with Monday, Ardaysia Fenner and Samantha Trimmer for the gold in the 4x400 (4:17).
William Chrisman finished second in the team standings, receiving an individual win from Elizabeth Straub in the 1,600 (5:53).
“I’m happy with it,” Straub said. “That was the best I’ve ran this year. I’m still trying to break my personal record.”
Alliyah Mayweather, Dalesha Hill and Allie Hearron teamed up with Camryn Holloman to win the 4x100 (51.59), and the foursome of Mayweather, Hill, Hearron and Janelle McKelvy broke the tape in the 4x200 (1:50).
“I just finished the 100, so I was a bit tired, but I leaned at the end to get the win,” Hearron said after anchoring the 4x200. “We did well on our handoffs, but we still need to work on them.”
Victories by Lillian Schnakenberg in the 300 hurdles (47.28) and Mashala Tolbert in the high jump (4-8) helped Truman to third place in the girls standings.