Late burst helps Nightingale win medal

Mission accomplished.
“I guess you could say that,” said a grinning Blue Saprings South freshman Samantha Nightingale, who won two state medals Saturday afternoon in her first Missouri Class 4 State High School Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City.
“I had a goal this season of going to state. Once I made it to state, I wanted to get a medal. I’m not real happy with my times, but I’m happy I finished in the top eight.”
The top eight finishers in each state event earn all-state status. The diminutive Nightingale claimed fifth in the 1,600 meters in a personal-best time of 5 minutes, 4.01 seconds and took eighth in the 800 in 2:17.57.
With 200 meters left in the 800, she was in 12th place. But she used her trademark strong final kick and bolted past four competitors, including one who became ill and stumbled on the track near the 150-meter mark.
“It happened right next to me,” said Nightingale, who is quickly becoming one of the most prolific distance runners in South history. “It kind of freaked me out, because I wasn’t sure what was happening.
“I just made sure I didn’t fall over her. I hope she’s OK.”
Nightingale is a year-round runner who has competed in front of large crowds at AAU events.
“But when I first saw the crowd at state,” Nightingale said, “my mouth just dropped. I was like, ‘Look at all those people.’ It was fun to run in front of that many people. I can hardly wait to come back.”
Nightingale was the lone area girl to win an individual medal Saturday, and she earned all of South’s five team points for a 31st-place finish. The Blue Springs 400 relay team of Bria Taylor, Deja Boddie, Brittany Thomas and Indicole Jordan placed sixth in the event to earn a state medal. The Wildcats tied for 38th with those three points.
“Yesterday it was like 98 degrees; today the wind’s blowing 100 mph,” Thomas quipped. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a blizzard before the end of the meet. It’s been that kind of spring, and we had to face all kinds of different conditions at state.”
Yet, when asked if she and her teammates were pleased with their performance, she said, “Yes, we wanted to medal, and we did that. We would have liked to have run faster, but we’re happy with the medal.”
Taylor, who ran the opening leg of the relay, said, “I just want to catch the person in front of me and give Deja the best chance to have success.”
Said Boddie: “I just want to get the baton and run through the zone and get it to Brittany in good shape.”
Thomas added: “All I want to do is catch anyone in front of me and have a good handoff to Indicole.”
Jordan, the team’s anchor, was quick to add, “When I get that baton, I just run hard. We ran a PR (personal record) 49.1 in the prelims, but we weren’t quite that fast today.”
They finished in 49.89 seconds to earn all-state honors.
Ladue Horton Watkins won the state team championship with 66 points. Lee’s Summit West and Raytown South tied for fourth – and the final state trophy – with 34 points.
Lee’s Summit North was eighth with 31 points. Sierra Hawkins and Madison Smith led the way for the Broncos on Saturday. Hawkins took second in the 300 hurdles (45.23), Smith was third in the 100 hurdles and they teamed with Veronica Rollins and Simone McGautha for fifth-place finishes in the 800 and 1,600 relays. Rollins also took sixth in the 400.
Raytown South’s Ashli Mosby swept the 100 and 300 hurdles titles and helped the 400 relay team take second to lead the Cardinals.
Liga Blyholder took second in both the 800 and 1,600 and Lauren Cheadle was third in the 200 and seventh in the 100 to spark Lee’s Summit West.
In the shot put, Raytown‘s Lekiesha McKnight took all-state honors with a third-place finish of 41 feet, 6.75 inches, while Fort Osage’s Elaine McAlister was 14th.

At Lincoln University,
Jefferson City
Top five and local team scores: 1. McCluer South-Berkeley 75; 2. Villa Duchesne 59; 3. Festus 53; 4. (tie) Maryville, Cardinal Ritter, 36; 42. (tie) Grain Valley 4.
Local finishers:
Discus: 10. Xandra Fuimaono, OG, 110-10.
Top five and local team scores: 1. Ladue Horton Watkins 66; 2. Parkway Central 54; 3. Gateway Tech 46; 4. (tie) Lee’s Summit West, Raytown South, 39; 8. Lee’s Summit North 31; 31. (tie) Blue Springs South 5; 38. (tie) Blue Springs 3; 49. (tie) Lee’s Summit 1.
100: 7. Lauren Cheadle, LSW, 12.07.
200: 3. Lauren Cheadle, LSW, 25.03.
400: 6. Veronica Rollins, LSN, 58.57.
800: 2. Liga Blyholder, LSW, 2:14.44; 8. Samantha Nightingale, BSS, 2:22.44; 9. Emily Argotsinger, LSW, 2:24.12.
100 hurdles: 1. Ashli Mosby, RS, 14.40; 3. Madison Smith, LSN, 14.74.
300 hurdles: 1. Ashli Mosby, RS, 45.11; 2. Sierra Hawkins, LSN, 45.23.
400 relay: 2. Raytown South (Ashli Mosby, Maisha Mitchell, Amiris Warren, Alia Ward), 48.80; 6. Blue Springs (Indicole Jordan, Deja Boddie, Bria Taylor, Brittany Thomas), 49.58.
800 relay: 5. LS North (Sierra Hawkins, Simone McGautha, Veronica Rollins, Madison Smith), 1:43.01; 7. Raytown South (Unique Hooks, Amiris Warren, Kelsey Harris, Maisha Mitchell), 1:43.93; 8. Lee’s Summit (Michele Blakely, Brittni Campbell, Lynette Cottingham, Krystin Maddox), 1:44.99.
1,600 relay: 4. Raytown South (Maisha Mitchell, Amiris Warren, Kelsey Harris, Keisha Thompson), 4:01.56; 5. LS North (Sierra Hawkins, Simone McGautha, Veronica Rollins, Madison Smith), 4:02.73.
Triple jump: 12. Jade Nalls, RS, 35-1.
Shot put: 3. Lekiesha McKnight, R, 41-6.75; 14. Elaine McAlister, FO, 34-9.