Grain Valley duo pulls off super dual

Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Truman's Patrick Martin, second from right, and Grain Valley's Cole Keller, left, dash to the finish line while competing in the 400 meters in the Class 5 Sectional 4 meet Friday, Martin won and Keller was second as both advanced to the state meet.

It was a busy Friday for Grain Valley's Cole Keller and Keagan Hart. 

The duo took part in a second-place finish in the 1,600-meter relay – joining Carter Vrelinich and Logan Pratt in a school-record time of 3 minutes, 21.33 seconds – at the Class 5 Sectional 4 track and field meet at Liberty North High School. 

Keller also finished second in the 400 (49.51 seconds) and Hart was part of the second-place 800 relay team (joining Jacob McAhan, Pratt and Vrelinich, 1:29.23) as the Eagles proved that the jump to Class 5 was no problem as they tied for fifth place among the 17 teams that competed. The 400 relay team of McAhan, Tristin Pouncil, Vrelinich and Pratt also won in a time of 42.60 seconds as they all advanced to next week’s state meet in Jefferson City. 

Both Eagles had to rush from the track, change into their baseball uniforms in their cars as their parents drove them to the Class 5 District 7 championship game at Raytown South, where Keller was scheduled to start on the mound and Hart was slated for center field for the big game against Marshall. The Eagles also won that 2-1 to advance to the May 29 state quarterfinals.

"I got the competitive juices flowing at sectional and now I get to go play baseball – not a bad life," Keller said. "I'm just proud of what all the guys on the track team did today and it's cool to share this baseball/track experience with Keagan. We both like to compete and that's what we're doing today." 

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Hart agreed, adding, "I guess Cole and I have learned how to change into our uniforms in the car, and we're both lucky to be able to compete for the track team and play baseball. We both like to compete. We wouldn't do this if we didn't like to compete, and we take a lot of pride in our school." 

Pratt also advanced in the 100 meters, taking second in 11.42 seconds.

Grain Valley's Logan Pratt, center, and Blue Springs' Royce Gray, right, reach for the finish line in the 100 meters in the Class 5 Sectional 4 meet Friday. Pratt took second and Gray was fourth as both advanced to state.

The Eagles and Blue Springs were the highest placing Eastern Jackson County teams at sectional with 52 points. Liberty High School was first with 102. Lee's Summit North (30) was 10th, Truman (29.5) was 11th, Blue Springs South (22) 14th and William Chrisman (18) 15th. 

"We've set the bar pretty high this year," said Eagles first-year boys track and field coach Erik Stone. "To come here and do what we did against some of the best teams in the state is really special. And look at Cole and Keagan – they compete here, turn around and go play baseball, because they love to compete. That's what makes them – and everyone on this team, so special." 

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It was a special meet for Blue Springs senior Brock Wooderson, who won the 3,200 (9:40.74) and was third in the 1,600 (4:26.60). He was also part of the fourth-place 3,200 team that also included Kevin McClain, Keagan Enicks and Viger Romo (8:15.09). 

"I was in three events and all three events are going to state, so I am very happy," Wooderson said. "I wanted to go all out in the 3,200 and then in the 1,600, I just wanted to make sure I was in the top four. And our relay team got through, which is cool because Kevin and I are seniors and Keagan is a freshman and Viger a sophomore, so two young guys also get to experience state." 

Royce Gray advanced in the 100 for the Wildcats with a fourth-place finish. He also helped the 400 relay team of Hunter Haupt, Amir Walton and Demeris Walker advance with a second-place finish (42.78).

William Chrisman senior Wyatt Leutzinger clears 4.45 meters to win the pole vault and advance to state at the Class 5 Sectional 4 meet Friday at Liberty North High School.

"For the past eight years we have medaled in the 1,600 relay, and we finished fifth today – and we are probably the fifth best team in the state this year, and the top four were here today," Blue Springs coach Joe Cusack said. "I'm so proud of the seven we got through to state and I'm excited to see what happens Thursday. It was a great day for Brock – he's just a great competitor and young man." 

It was also a great day for William Chrisman senior pole vaulter Wyatt Leutzinger, who shattered his personal best effort by clearing 4.45 meters for the win. And he also shattered his pole. 

"He had won the event when he broke his pole – thank goodness," Bears coach Tyler Rathke said. "He has backups but no longer has that pole, so we'll work on getting him a pole he is comfortable with this week." 

Chrisman sophomore Ethan Dias, who just started throwing the javelin, finished second in that event (49.33). 

Truman's Patrick Martin reacts to winning the 400 meters in the Class 5 Sectional 4 meet Friday. Martin won in 49.45 seconds to advance to next week's state meet.

Truman's Patrick Martin brought home a gold for the Patriots, winning the 400 (49.45) while Hayden Kunkel was second in the pole vault (4.21) to advance to state. 

Blue Springs South's D'Avion Stokes earned a state berth with a third-place effort in the triple jump (13.54 meters), and Jack Brickhouse moved on in the high jump by clearing 1.82 meters for fourth.

For a complete list of all finishers go to