Blue Springs senior Brock Wooderson earns three all-state honors in high school finale

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

JEFFERSON CITY — As Brock Wooderson stepped off the podium at the Class 5 Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships Thursday, he smiled and gave a crisp thumbs-up salute.

"Mission accomplished," said Wooderson, the senior distance runner for Blue Springs. "I came to state to earn three medals and I was able to do it. I wish they would have been a little bit higher places, but they are state medals and it's a great way to end my career as a Wildcat." 

He finished eighth in both the 3,200 meters (9 minutes, 26.41 seconds) and 1,600 (4:22.267) and was part of the fifth-place 3,200 relay team with Kevin McClain, Keagan Enicks, Viger Romo in the meet at Jefferson City High School’s Licklider Stadium. 

Blue Springs' Brock Wooderson (385) takes the baton on the way to a fifth-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay in the Class 5 Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships Thursday in Jefferson City.

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Columbia Rock Bridge won the boys title with 56 points, followed by Francis Howell (49.5), Lee's Summit (49) and Columbia Hickman (48). 

"When you compete in three events like the 1,600, 3,200 and 4-by-800 you don't know how it's going to play out," Wooderson said. "My goal was to come to state and earn three medals and I was able to do that. I'm proud of what I accomplished today." 

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So are Wildcats head coach Joe Cusack and distance coach Frank Gallick. 

"What a great day for Brock, who is one of our team captains along with Kevin McClain, who medaled on the 3,200 relay team,” Cusack said. “I believe Brock was the only Class 5 boys athlete to earn an all-state medal in the 1,600, 3,200 and 4x800. I am happy for him and proud of him. 

Blue Springs' Kevin McClain leads off a fifth-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay in the Class 5 Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships Thursday in Jefferson City.

"And I am proud of our other captain, Kevin, who was the first leg of out 4x800 relay team. And our top finish of the day was our third-place 4x100 relay team (43.02) that included Hunter Haupt, Royce Gray, Amir Walton and our third senior all-state performer, Demeris Walker. 

"And our entire team and staff enjoyed watching coach Jennifer Reeder's girls rally for a third-place state finish. As always, it was a great day to be a Wildcat." 

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Gallick, who also served as the boys cross country head coach and has announced his retirement as a teacher and coach, was thrilled for Wooderson's bookend cross country and track success. 

"Today was the end of a great career for Brock," Gallick said. "It's a challenge running all three of those events and medaling in each one, and that was our goal today. I couldn't be any prouder of him." 

Eagles finish 16th 

Grain Valley coach Erik Stone was proud of his Eagles, who competed in Class 5 for the first time and scored the most points of any area team, 15, to finish 16th. Blue Springs was second with 12. 

Logan Pratt finished fourth in the 100 meters (10.96) and Cole Keller was fifth in the 400 (50.39). They then teamed with Jacob McAhan and Carter Vrlenich to finish third in the 800 (4x200) relay (1:30.33). 

Grain Valley's Logan Pratt (472) caps a ninth-place finish in the 4x100-meter relay in the Class 5 Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships Thursday in Jefferson City.

"I couldn't have asked for a better group of young men to join Class 5 with," said Stone, who was named the head boys coach before last season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "One of our goals was to be able to compete with some of the great Class 5 programs around us and I feel like we were able to do that throughout the year and at state. 

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"We will miss our seniors and thank them for all they have given to our program." 

This is the first year Keller has run track. He will be part of the Grain Valley baseball team that needs a win at noon Saturday against Smithville to advance to the final four. The game will be played at Blue Springs South because of forecasted rain. 

Patriots win two medals 

Truman brought home a pair of state medals. 

Hayden Kunkel tied for eighth in the pole vault by clearing 13 feet, 7 inches, and Patrick Martin was seventh in the 400 (50.53). 

Truman's Hayden Kunkel competes in the pole vault at the Class 5 Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships Thursday in Jefferson City. Kunkel finished eighth to earn an all-state medal.

Other medalists 

Blue Springs South's D'Avion Stokes claimed eighth place in the triple jump (43-11.75), and William Chrisman's Ethan Dias finished fifth in the javelin (162-11). 

Johnny Brackins led Lee’s Summit by winning three state titles in the long jump, triple jump and 110 hurdles. He set a new state record in the 110 hurdles with a time of 13.79 seconds. 

One of the area athletes who received the biggest ovation from the crowd at Jefferson City was Blue Springs South para competitor Kyle Goble, who won the 800 meters in 3:07.43. Members of the Blue Springs South girls track and field team were on the front row cheering on their classmate. 

Go to pttiming.com for a complete list of area teams and individual scores.