Fort Osage girls continue dominance of Independence City track meet

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

Bookend victories paved the way for coach J.D. Snead's Fort Osage girls track and field team to keep an impressive streak alive.

The Indians claimed wins in the first event, the 3,200-meter relay, and the final event, the 1,600 relay, to lead his team to its 10th straight title in the Independence City Championships Friday at Truman High School.

The veteran coach loaded his relay teams and asked his girls to take one for the team, as many of his athletes competed in numerous events. It paid off as Fort Osage finished with 113 points, followed by William Chrisman (90), Truman (78) and Van Horn (1).

"This was definitely a team win," said Snead, who spent most of the meet manning the vaulting pit, where Fort Osage junior Heather Chiesi tied for first with a vault of 2.60 meters. She also ran on the winning 800 (1 minute, 56.08 seconds) and 1,600 (4:34.34) relay teams.

Fort Osage's Paige Franks crosses the finish line for a dominant win in the 400 meters in the Independence City Championships Friday at Truman High School. Franks was also part of the winning 1,600 relay team to help the Indians win the meet for the 10th straight time.

"Heather pretty much did it all tonight," Snead said. "This was a great field with a lot of great individual talent on each team, so this win is special. And, I'm sure everyone has said this, but it's even more special because we didn't get to have the meet last year (because COVID-19 forced the cancellation of all spring sports and activities)."

Sophomore Paige Franks contributed to the Indians’ team trophy with a win in the 400 meters (1:05.10) and was part of that 1,600 relay win that also included Chiesi, Keira Jones and Shelby Wittman.

"This is just so cool," said Chiesi, who was grinning and talking up her teammates like she was the team public relations manager. "We had so many girls contribute tonight. We were vaulting, running, jumping and running hurdles and we were having so much fun. We wanted to keep the winning streak alive for Coach Snead and our school. We're all so excited."

William Chrisman senior Jacque David unleashes a throw while competing in the discus in the Independence City Championships Friday at Truman High School. David won with a toss of 43.45 meters and also won the shot put to help the Bears finish second.

William Chrisman senior Jacque David continued her dominant comeback season. After setting meet records at last week’s Liberty North Invitational, she dominated the throwing events Friday.

David, who suffered a torn ACL playing basketball last year and would have missed the season had it not been cancelled, won the shot (13.47 meters) and the discus (43.45) and is returning to the type of form that earned her all-state honors as a sophomore.

"I still can't believe we all missed last year," David said. "I would have been out with my injury, but it was so sad to see everyone miss out on the spring season. Tonight is special but bittersweet.

"While I won the shot and discus, this is my last city championship and that makes me a little bit sad. This meet is so special for all of us, and you want to do well when you are competing against the other high schools in Independence. I'm just so happy to be back competing and having some success.

"Right now, my goal is to improve each week and to be ready when district rolls around in a few weeks."

Truman's Kennedy Rucker sprints to a win in the 200 meters in the Independence City Championships Friday at Truman High School.. Rucker also won the 100 as the Patriots finished third.

Truman senior Kennedy Rucker was another double winner, winning the 100 (13.34) and 200 (27.95) in her last city championship.

"My track career is winding down," said Rucker, who has signed to play softball at Rockhurst University, "so tonight is bittersweet. I have always enjoyed this meet and competing in track. But at least we got to compete tonight after missing this meet last year.'

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