Samantha Nightingale, the area’s premier distance runner, was thrilled with her time in the 3,200 meters Friday afternoon at the Class 4 Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Memorial Stadium.


But the Blue Springs South junior readily admits she was not pleased with her fourth-place medal.

Samantha Nightingale, the area’s premier distance runner, was thrilled with her time in the 3,200 meters Friday afternoon at the Class 4 Missouri State High School Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Memorial Stadium.


But the Blue Springs South junior readily admits she was not pleased with her fourth-place medal.


“I (set a personal record) by 16 seconds and finished fourth,” Nightingale said. “I’m so happy with my time of 10:44 – but fourth place, when you PR by 16 seconds? No, I’m not happy with that.


“But on the bright side, I know a lot of girls who would like to say they ran under 11 minutes in the 3,200 at state.”


Nightingale, who finished in 10 minutes, 44.87 seconds exactly, will compete in the 1,600 Saturday afternoon and said she will not let the disappointment of her fourth-place finish have any effect on her next race.


“I can’t let that happen,” she said. “I came here hoping to win both races. I PR’d by 16 seconds and that wasn’t good enough. So I’m just going to work harder tomorrow.


“I hear it’s going to be warmer, and I like to run in warm weather.”


South distance coach Ryan Unruh was a bit more forgiving than his standout runner.


“She ran a great race,” Unruh said. “She came down here and wanted to run a PR – and she did. It just wasn’t quite fast enough to win.”


Nerinx Hall’s Colleen Quigley won the event with a time of 10:27.62, less than three seconds off the state record of 10:24.12 set by Parkway Central’s Emily Sisson in 2009. Lee’s Summit West’s Chelsey Phoebus was second in 10:39.07.


“Wow – unbelievable,” Unruh said. “Sam was right there with the top four girls most of the race, but Colleen just took over at the end.”


Nightingale said she ran her race, but simply didn’t have enough to catch Quigley.


“The race was just super crazy, super fast,” Nightingale said. “We seemed like we were running forever together and then I began to drift back and I thought, ‘Oh, no! What’s happening to me?’ You have to give her credit – she ran a great race.”


Unruh said he is excited to see what Nightingale, who won the Class 4 state cross country championship in 2010, does in the 1,600.


“She just has to regroup and go out and run her race,” the coach said. “She ran a great race today. The other girls just ran a little bit better. It was one of those races where you could have picked a name from a hat with the top four girls and any one of them could have won.”