The Grandview boys' track and field team used the Class 3, Sectional 4 boys meet to prove that it remains the team to beat heading into the Missouri Class 3 state championships this weekend in Jefferson City, but Liberty North Liberty North showed it plans to stay in the hunt.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Liberty North placed second at the sectional meet last Saturday and finished behind Grandview, the defending two-time state champions.
As it did a week before in the district meet, Liberty North use a variety of quality performances to climb up the team standings.
Sophomore Andrew Madison gave the school its lone individual win. He edged Grandview's Harvey Kendall in the 300-meter hurdles. Liberty North also won the 1,600 relay. In all, the Eagles qualified for the state meet in eight events.
Smithville's Junior Fairbanks won the pole vault by clearing 13 feet, 9 nine inches.
Platte County senior Kylie Guthier headlined a group of area winners at the Missouri Class 3, Sectional 4 girls' meet. Guthier won the shot put last Saturday and picked up some steam heading into the state championships this week.
Smithville placed sixth in the sectional, led by Miranda Migletz's victory in the high jump. The Warriors also won the 3,200-meter relay to kick off the day. Senior Katie Tuck placed second in the 1,600.
Liberty North's Sammy Laurenzo took second in the 3,200.
Lawson senior Janee Kassanavoid placed second in the shot put.
GOLF: Learning experience
In the matter of two days, Kearney junior golfer Adam Lechner experienced just about everything the Missouri Class 4 state golf tournament had to offer.
In a span of 24 hours, his opening-round jubilation flipped into final-round heartbreak.
Lechner grabbed the first-day lead of two strokes with a sparkling round of 69 last week at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield last week. He and Zac Dittmer of Liberty were the only two golfers to post scores under par in the first round.
It took only six holes, though, for Lechner to give up his lead. He was 7-over through 10 holes, and although he managed to fight back into contention, he eventually settled for a three-way tie for sixth place.
“It was over in my mind,” Lechner said of his mind-set after 10 holes. “But once I calmed down and talked to my coach, I realized I still had a good as a shot as anybody.”
Lechner pulled back within one stroke at one point, but Rockhurst senior Patrick Byrne and Kirkwood Vianney junior Matt Mueller shared medalist honors.
With a year of high school golf still ahead of him, Lechner reflected on the state meet as a learning experience.
“I'm just going to remember how great I played the first day and I was able to refocus and come back (in the second round)," he said. "I'll be more prepared next year.”
TENNIS: State on deck
Fresh off all-conference recognition from a collection of Suburban Red Conference tennis coaches, Park Hill South's top doubles tandem is headed to the Missouri Class 2 state tournament.
Zack Royle and James Geary breezed through a semifinal match to grab the second qualifying spot at the Class 2, Sectional 8 tournament. They will move on to play in the state tournament Friday and Saturday at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
Kearney's Leon Kroeq and Liberty's Corey Oiler lost in singles semifinal matches and missed missing state qualification.
To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to email@example.com.