Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.

Just ask Lee’s Summit North senior Will Bruce, who came away from the Class 4 state shot put as the surprise winner.

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.
Just ask Lee’s Summit North senior Will Bruce, who came away from the Class 4 state shot put as the surprise winner.
After finishing second in the event the past three weeks at conference, district and sectional, he came away from Friday’s Missouri State Track and Field Championship at Lincoln University with a first-place effort of 56 feet, 10.75 inches.
His teammate Ben Pascal was fourth, 54-10.50; and Blue Springs’ Jordan Chrisman, who entered the competition as the top seed with a first-place throw of 57-4.5 at sectional, was sixth with a throw of 53-8.25.
“If I couldn’t win, I’m happy Will did,” Chrisman said. “He’s such a class kid. I’ve really enjoyed competing against him the past few years. He came down here to state and got it done. That was my plan, but it just didn’t happen.”
It was a happier day for his teammate Jordan Dodd. The senior made Saturday’s finals in two events while earning the top seed in one. Dodd recorded the top time in the 300-meter hurdles. His time of 37.63 seconds was 1.19 seconds faster the the No. 2 finisher, Walter Powell of Hazelwood East.
Dodd also squeaked into the 200-meter finals with an eighth-place time of 22.15.
Blue Springs South’s Ben Harvel will join Dodd in the finals of the 300 hurdles. His time of 40.02 is seventh.
Fort Osage also had a strong day by earning two finals berths. E.J. Gaines cut .41 of a second off his seed time to gain a spot in the 100-meter finals. His time of 11.05 seconds was seventh best.
Gaines also helped the 800 relay squad a spot in the finals with the third-best time (1:27.99) in the prelims along with Nathan Hancock, Tyler Lee-Banks and Edward Pearl.
Blue Springs’ Chrisman didn’t try to sugarcoat his performance or hide his disappointment in the shot put.
“If I told you this doesn’t mean anything to me, or that I’m not disappointed, would be a lie,” Chrisman said. “I don’t know what happened today. I threw 59 (feet) in practice and came in here today feeling great.
“Then, I just don’t know …”
The senior fouled on his first two attempts in the preliminaries and got off a 50-7 throw on his first attempt to go into the final round in seventh place.
“Not a lot of confidence going into that final round when you’re seventh and you’ve fouled twice,” Blue Springs coach Joe Cusack said. “When you get in a hole like that, you start thinking about not fouling, instead of doing what you have to do to win the event.”
Chrisman said the fouls did weigh on his mind.
“I was thinking about them,” Chrisman said, “but when I got out of the prelims, I thought everything would be OK and I could get back (and have success) in the second round.”
Bruce won on his final attempt.
“I was sixth at state last year, and I’m pretty excited right now,” Bruce said. “Finishing second the last three weeks let me know I was right there. I just picked the right meet to finish in first.
“It’s pretty exciting.”
The Lee’s Summit North 3,200 relay team of Kolton Shelton, Jon LaPlante, D’Andre McKenzie and Connor Moylon finished third with a time of 7:58.91.

CLASS 3: Oak Grove’s Tyler Banks claimed a pair of berths in Saturday’s Class 3 finals. He had the third-best time in the 800 (1:57.34) and the fifth-best time (48.97) in the 400. Banks and the 1,600 relay team of Aaron Stout, Pedro Ramirez and Kyle White also made the finals with a seventh-place time of 3:25.18.
Grain Valley’s Tyree Meadows finished 13th in the 800 and did not advance. The Eagles’ 3,200 relay team of Meadows, Wilson Gaschler, Tyler Ishmael and Matt Tecce just missed an all-state finish, taking ninth in 8:13.57. Ishmael finished 11th in the 3,200.
Oak Grove’s Chase Tryon was 16th in the pole vault.