A bit of normalcy returned to William Chrisman High School Wednesday and Thursday afternoons as activities director Greg McGhee and track and field coach Tyler Rathke played host to two collegiate signing ceremonies.
“We haven’t had one of these in a while, with all the quarantine issues and school being closed,” McGhee said, “so we thought we would invite our two student-athletes back to the school and have them sign their letters of intent.”
Antonio Cruse Jr. signed Wednesday with Central Methodist University, an NAIA school in Fayette, Mo., where he will run cross country and track. He was joined by his parents, Antonio Sr., and Tatyana.
Reana Lagrone – who was joined by her mother Amy and father Haywood Mason and brothers Korben, Kelvyn and Kyron and sisters Kyana, Kamarina and Kyla – signed Thursday with Lindenwood University, an NCAA Division II school in St. Charles, Mo., where she will compete in the pole vault.
As a junior, Lagrone won the pole vault at conference, district and sectional meets and finished 12th at state. She and her sister Kyana Mason, who went on to star in softball at Missouri State University, are tied for the girls school pole vault record with an effort of 10 feet, 6 inches.
“Reana improved six inches from her freshman year to her sophomore year and six inches from her sophomore year to her junior year,” Rathke said.
“Her sister Kyana is lucky we didn’t have track this season because we all thought that Reana would surpass 10-6 and own the school record outright. Now, she can use all her energy to go to Lindenwood and do something special.”
Both Cruse and Lagrone were thrilled to have a signing ceremony as almost all spring sports activities have been canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is great,” said Cruse, who ran the 400 and 800 meters for four years at Chrisman and was part of the cross country team this past season. “I never thought I would be part of a signing ceremony at our school. This is so special for my entire family.”
While Lagrone played with her younger siblings, she talked about the significance of the signing ceremony.
“I didn’t even know if I would go to college and Coach Rathke and Coach (Kyle) Morse (the new cross country coach and pole vaulting coach at Chrisman) talked to schools and were able to help me get this scholarship,” Lagrone said. “And for that, I will always be thankful.”