Blue Springs girls track and field coach Jennifer Reeder was right about Gabby Hall.

Blue Springs girls track and field coach Jennifer Reeder was right about Gabby Hall.

Based on Hall’s practices and performance in last week’s Ron Ives Invitational, Reeder expected the freshman sprinter to fare well at the Rusty Hodge Invitational at Blue Springs South High School. Turned out, Hall ran well enough to set the meet record in the 400-meter dash with her winning time of 58.5 seconds. Truman’s Alisha Meyer set the old record, 1:00.47, in 2010.

“I’m glad she stepped it up, knowing, ‘Hey, there’s a meet record on the line, I think I’m going to go get it,’ ” Reeder said. “And she did exactly what she needed to.”

Admittedly, though, Hall “didn’t feel well” entering the race. Still, she intended to push herself.
“If I didn’t, I was going to hear from (Reeder),” she said.

Hall was among several area girls champions. Others included Fort Osage’s Asia Cole, who won the shot put by throwing 39 feet, 6 inches.

Although Cole had hoped to surpass 42-0, her personal best, she said her showing “was good.”

“I knew exactly what I did wrong, and it kind of frustrated me,” Cole said. “But I’m glad I got a mark at least. The other girls were doing really well.”

South distance runner Samantha Nightingale was pleased with her winning time of 5:10.78 in the 1,600. For Nightingale, setting realistic expectations seemed to help.

“I didn’t expect to come out and win by millions of seconds or set a new record, because it’s so early in the season,” said Nightingale, who also broke the stadium and meet record in the 3,200 with an unofficial time of 11 minutes.

Area boys champions included Blue Springs senior Deiondre Hall, who leaped 22-11 3/4 in the long jump. He also suffered what he called a “disappointing loss”  in the high jump. Hall cleared 6-6 to place second, putting him behind Liberty’s Jared Benson, who cleared 6-8.

“I know I can do better than that,” said Hall, a 6-7 indoor jumper at the recent Mule Relays in Warrensburg.

However, Truman junior Roy Bay considered his second-place finish in the 100 a success, as did Truman boys and girls coach Craig Lewis. Bay “came up about a half-inch short” of winning it, Lewis said.  

Bay considered the race a success because of his time, 10.9.

“I’ll take breaking 11 this early in the season,” Bay said.

Bay attributed breaking 11 to his offseason training regimen. No doubt, a surgery scar on his ankle sparked his offseason training.

“Since I hurt my ankle last year, I value the sport a lot more,” he said. “I just try to work hard every day.”

NOTE: Results for both meets were incomplete at press time.