If there’s one thing Fort Osage senior Emari Grimes knows how to do well, it’s finishing races.
That’s exactly what she did as she starred for the Indians in the Class 5 District 7 meet Saturday at William Chrisman High School.
In the 200 and 400 meters, Grimes trailed a pair of runners just before the final stretch of each race. That’s when she turned on the afterburners and sped past all of her competitors and won each race. She also took the 100 as she qualified for three events (top four finishers in each event advanced to sectionals Saturday), leading the Indians.
The Fort Osage girls tied host William Chrisman for fifth with 65 points each and Truman was seventh with 44 points. Lee’s Summit West won with 182.5 points.
“I like to see what they can do, then I get in there and try to get first or at least second or third,” Grimes said. “That last part is when most people are dead, so we practice that last part as often as we can.
“I stride for the first 100 then I pick it up at the end. Then in the 400, they were passing me, but I didn’t want to rush it because I knew I could pass them at the end. It just depends if I am in the back or not.
Grimes finished the 100 in 12.51 seconds, the 200 in 25.43 seconds and the 400 in 59.30 seconds.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to get first in all of them,” Grimes said. I was seeded second in the 200 and I just tried my best and at least tried to pass one person.”
Fort Osage girls coach J.D. Snead is used to seeing these type of performances from Grimes.
“Emari is a very special athlete,” Snead said. “At districts, it’s all about advancing. You don’t have to win every single event, but Emari did win all of them. You don’t want to take a chance coming up with an injury. Next week, I would expect her to have faster times for the state meet.”
Other Indians who moved on to sectionals were Mallory Huber in the discus (fourth, 102-10), Samantha Mygatt in the pole vault (fourth, 9 feet), Ardaysia Fenner in the triple jump (34-2) and the 4x800 team of Olivia Siefker, Addison Spillman, Kylee Tobin and Angelina Lyons (fourth, 12:19.59).
Chrisman will be well represented at sectionals as it qualified in six events. Despite having an injured back, sophomore Jacque David shined as she took first in the discus and (115-2) and first in the shot put (44-10).
David suffered the back issue the Sunday before the meet and had to take it easy in the week leading up to the event.
“The back is definitely an issue and we had that start on Monday,” Chrisman coach Tyler Rathke said. “She’s really been training well through Sunday and she threw significantly better than she had all year. Even faster than scheduled. Then hurt her back.
“We were being precautious and didn’t want to throw hard. We just did a lot of drills. But the fact that she threw 44-10 in the shot put, which is one foot and two inches (past her previous personal record) is impressive. She’s one of the top sophomores in the country. Forty-seven feet is the top sophomore girl in the country and there is no doubt in my mind Jacque can do that. She fouled on her first two attempts and did just a half turn for the throw that won it. She just wanted to make sure she had a mark.”
Rathke also has high expectations for Reana Lagrone, who is a returning state qualifier in the pole vault. She won Saturday with a height of 9 feet, 9 inches.
“It was pretty cool, I felt pretty comfortable on my home track,” Lagrone said. “On my first few jumps I felt good, but my form was a little off at the end.”
Others joining David and Lagrone in sectionals are Camryn Holloman in the triple jump (first, 36-9) and the long jump (third, 16-5) and Jennifer David in the discus (third, 106-5).
“Camryn has been a little banged up with an ankle injury, but she was 100 percent today,” Rathke said. “She had no issues and she’s almost back to where she was in both events.”
For Truman, Kennedy Rucker advanced in the 100 hurdles (third, 16.85) and 300 hurdles (fourth, 48.44) and Katelyn Sutton will move in the pole vault (9 feet).
Fort Osage finished fourth with 75 points and will compete in seven events in sectionals Saturday. Chrisman took fifth with 63 points and qualified seven entries. Truman was seventh with 47.5 points as it’s sending four entries to sectionals.
Gavyn Monday led the way for the Indians, qualifying in the three events. He was first in the 400 (50.69), second in the 200 (22.41) and second in the 100 (11.12).
“I have been struggling to break that 51 (second) barrier all season,” Monday said of the 400. “Today, I just came in and ran a 50.69, so I am ecstatic about that. The goal is to hit 49 (seconds) this year.
“My times were good. I PR’d (got a personal record) in the 200.”
Other qualifying for Fort Osage were Benjamin Preston in the 400 (fourth, 52.99), Michael Reddick in the 3,200 (9:54.12), Collin Camerlynck in the pole vault (fourth, 12-9) and the 4x800 team of Preston, Austyn Smith, Hayden Astry and Andrew Coyler (fourth, 8:50.76).
For Chrisman the 400 (4x100) relay team of Jose Ramierez, Tre’Vaughn Sisco, Kelvyn Mason and Cameron Beardsley won with a time of 43.28 seconds. That same group took the 4x200, as well (1:31.06).
“With me and Tre being seniors, we’re trying to teach the freshman how to get and run and have fun,” Mason said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Other Bears qualifiers were Nicholas Puleo (second, 153-8) and David Toese (third, 140-5) in the discus, Anthony Hilton in the long jump (fourth, 19-11.75) and the triple jump (fourth, 42-2.75) and Wyatt Leutzinger in the pole vault (third, 12-9).
Qualifying for Truman were Christopher Rhodes in the triple jump (third, 42-3), Aaron Porter in the shot put (first, 50-09), Anthony McCullough (second, 135-4) and Myles Chavis in the 100 (third, 11.24).