For just the second time since its inception in 2008, the Gary Parker Invitational was not completed at Peve Stadium.
Because of inclement weather, Blue Springs boys track and field coach Joe Cusack cancelled the event Friday with only seven events being completed.
“We had a strike of lightning and that makes it an automatic 30-minute delay (per MSHSAA rules),” Cusack said. “The lightning cleared but the forecast with the steady rain we had was supposed to continue for a couple of hours and there was more potential dangerous weather down the road. There was no need to keep people around because of wishful thinking.”
The last time the meet was not held was in 2009 when Peve Stadium was under construction. The weather eliminated some teams’ last chance at a warmup meet before conference meets begin next week.
“It’s a bummer,” Cusack said. “Hopefully we have better conditions next year.”
The cancellation also put a halt to Blue Springs senior Justin Hall’s last chance to break his brother Deiondre’ Hall’s Gary Parker Invitational mark in the triple jump (47 feet, 11 inches).
“It was very disappointing,” Hall said. “I have been looking forward to this meet all year and getting out there and breaking his record, of course. But it didn’t happen that way.”
There was one positive for Justin Hall about the meet being cancelled, though.
“The positive is (Justin Hall) will get to watch the NFL draft tonight and hopefully see his brother get drafted in the NFL,” Cusack said of the former Blue Springs and former Northern Iowa defensive back Deiondre’ Hall, who’s projected by most experts to go in the fourth or fifth round.
Of the events completed, a few local athletes placed in the top five in their events. On the boys side, the Blue Springs 4x800-meter relay team of Oaklee Hauschild, Josh McCullough, Alex McCullough and David Gunn placed second in 8 minutes, 10.83 seconds.
“They did a great job,” Cusack said. “Edging out Lee’s Summit West for second was big because they have a nice team. Oaklee Hauschild did a great job on our second leg and got us caught up and David Gunn did a great job on the third leg. I will have to give credit to Josh and Alex McCullough, too.”
Blue Springs South’s Savion Cauveren was first in the 110-meter hurdles (14.52 seconds) and Blue Springs’ Ethan Ashu was second (14.98). Lee’s Summit North’s Cameron Dawkins was third in the 100-meter dash (10.57).
Fort Osage’s Dayton O’Dell was eighth in the 110 hurdles (15.87) and Nik Tanner was 16th in the 100 dash for Truman (11.14).
For the girls, the Lee’s Summit North 4x800 team of Madeline Glodowski, Alexis Rampetsreiter, Rhema Taylor and Danielle Rock was second (9:49.71), and Blue Springs South’s Aijah Venerable was second in the 100-meter dash at 12.09 seconds.
Fort Osage freshman Emari Grimes was the top girls finisher as she took fourth place in the 100 (12.21). Alliyah Mayweather of William Chrisman was 18th in the event (12.63). The Truman 4x200 relay of Ty’le Whitmill, Mashala Tolbert, Raquel Smith-Collier and Lillian Schnakenberg was 12th (1:53.74).