For some, like seniors Jordan Dodd and Jordan Chrisman, it will be a final shot at etching their names alongside the elite track and field athletes in the history of their high school.

For some, like seniors Jordan Dodd and Jordan Chrisman, it will be a final shot at etching their names alongside the elite track and field athletes in the history of their high school.

For others, like freshman Alisha Meyer and sophomores Sara Ruckman and Samantha Nightingale, it will be a quest to see what lofty heights they accomplish on track and field’s biggest stage.

Dodd and Chrisman represent Blue Springs High School and both enter the field at the Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City with high hopes following impressive victories in the their respective events at last week’s Class 4 Sectional 4 meet.

Dodd won the 300-meter hurdles (38.3 seconds), was second in the 200 and ran the second leg of the second-place 1,600 relay team.

This is the first time the senior has been healthy at state and he hopes to make the most of his final appearance before joining the Northwest Missouri State University track and field team in the fall.

“I’m ready,” Dodd said on the noisy bus that took the Wildcats to state Thursday morning. “I’ve worked so hard and my coaches have done everything to put me in a good position to win.

“We’ve got the preliminaries of my three events on Friday with the finals on Saturday, and I’m OK with that. I’m used to running in three events at one meet. If you can’t get up and get ready for state, well, there’s something wrong with you.”

Chrisman, who was disappointed with his performances at conference and district, outmuscled the field at sectional to take first place with a toss of 57 feet, 4.5 inches that makes him the favorite in Jefferson City.

“Last year, I peaked before state, and this year, I’m peaking at the right time,” Chrisman said. “I felt so good last week. I knew I was going to have some great throws and I felt like I was going to win the (sectional) event.

“My only real goal this year (in track and field) was to win state. I was second last year, and I’m going to Jefferson City to get some points for the team and to get a win.”

Wildcats coach Joe Cusack isn’t about to hide his enthusiasm as he prepares for the biggest weekend of the spring.

“A lot of people are going to be out picnicking or golfing of fishing this weekend, and we’re going to be where all the excitement is taking place – the state track meet!” Cusack said.

“Big Jordan throws at 11 a.m. (today) and wouldn’t it be great to see him get 10 points right off the bat? And we all know what Dodd can do in the 300 hurdles and 200. He has the fastest split on that 4-by-400 relay team – so it could be a very interesting and successful meet for the Wildcats.”

Across town, Blue Springs South sophomore Samantha Nightingale is gearing up for two grueling individual races and the 3,200 relay.

“We think Sam is going to have a big (state) meet,” South head girls track coach Dave Ceule said after she placed third in the 1,600 and 3,200 at sectionals and was a part of the third-place 3,200 relay team.

“It was hot and windy at sectional and that’s tough on someone as small as Sam. But she led 10 of the 12 laps she ran and she competes in the 1,600 (today) and the 3,200 relay and an individual race on Saturday, and that will definitely help her.”

Nightingale agrees with her coach.

“I hope it’s not as windy at state as it was at sectional, but if it is, I will just have to deal with it,” Nightingale said. “I’m really happy the 1,600 and 3,200 are on different days. The competition is going to be tough, but I’m excited about state. It’s fun to go and compete in front of so many people.”

The state experience will be unlike anything Truman freshman Alisha Meyer has experienced.

“I can’t wait,” Meyer said after winning the 400 at sectional. “I know there are going to be a lot more people there than at any meet I’ve been at. I just have to stay focused. And I’m so happy that Sara made it in the 800.”

Ruckman passed six runners on the second and final lap of the 800 to finish second and send a message.

“I wanted to finish in the top four to make sure I got to state,” Ruckman said. “I think I’m happier for Alisha than she is. This is just going to be great to go to state with one of my best friends.”

Truman coach Randy Maglinger just grins when asked about the future of Truman track.

“This is just great for the Truman program,” Maglinger said. “Sara is a sophomore and Alisha is just a freshman. They could anchor the program for a long time.

“And it’s so neat that they’re good friends. We’re all excited to see what they do at state.”

Fort Osage’s E.J. Gaines, who will play football at the University of Missouri, is heading to state after finishing third in the 100 and running the second leg of the second-place 800 relay team, that was edged by Grandview 1:28.18 to 1:28.23.

“This is what it’s all about,” Gaines said. “It’s a thrill to go to state with the guys on the relay team – Nathan Hancock, Tyler Lee-Banks and Edward Pearl. Nathan and Edward and I all played football, so it’s kind of like our last hurrah and we’ve tried to get a relay team to state the past two years and always came up short, so this very, very special to all of us.”

It will also be a last hurrah for Kurt Gross, the pole vault coach at Oak Grove.

“Kurt’s going over to the dark side to become the head wrestling coach at Odessa,” joked Oak Grove activities director Jerry Girdner. “We’re going to miss his passion and enthusiasm.

“We’re so excited that Chase Tryon made it to state so Coach Gross can have one last hurrah with our pole vaulters. He’s made such a great impact on the school and the teams he works with.”

Tyler Banks also is going for Oak Grove in three events. He took second in the 400 and 800 and anchored the winning 1,600 relay team at sectional last week.