The Missouri Class 4 and Class 3 track and field state championship meets take place Friday and Saturday at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
1 The quest for a three-peat
Last spring, the Grandview boys compiled seven individual top-five finishes on their way to a second consecutive team championship. The athletes responsible for six of those seven are gone. But don’t count the Bulldogs out just yet. A late-season surge has Grandview back in the Class 3 championship picture for a third straight year after it ran away with the Class 3, Sectional 4 title a week ago. If the team is to successfully three-peat, look for junior Harvey Kendall to play a key role. He is a threat in all four of his events (110- and 300-meter hurdles, high jump and triple jump). Jaymes Kelley is a contender in the 100 dash after placing third a year ago. And once again, Grandview has reliable relay teams in the 4x200 and 4x100.
2 Two for one
One team state championship may not be enough to satisfy Blue Springs. The Wildcats are gunning for two. The boys and girls teams each took home first-place trophies in the Class 4, Sectional 4 meet, and they are loaded with firepower ready to contend at the Class 4 state meet. On the girls side, senior Jazmin McCoy is looking to defend her title in the long jump and add others in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. Some of her toughest competition in the 200 will come from teammate Gabby Hall. The Wildcats are also favorites to compete for gold in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
3 Ready to launch
Fort Osage junior Asia Cole is the defending Class 4 state champion in the shot put and discus, and her coach warns the best may be yet to come. But Cole will have fierce local competition. Blue Springs senior Tyra Bickham has steadily increased the distance on her throws over the past month, and she won the discus at sectionals last week. Lee’s Summit North senior Cydnee Holmes also qualified in both events, and Staley senior Ali Taylor is a threat in the discus. On the boys’ side, a seasonlong battle between Blue Springs’ Khalil Davis and Park Hill South’s Cody Kildow is set to reach its climax.
4 Speed exhibition
Much of the talk after the Class 4, Sectional 4 meet centered around Truman sprinter Roy Bay, who has owned the state’s top time in the 100-meter dash all season. He can back up the numbers Saturday. He will also race in the 4x100 and the 200 dash, during which he figures to be closely followed by DaVante Wilkerson and Dalvin Wilkerson from William Chrisman.
5 Others to watch
Truman freshman Alexis Hart won the triple jump in back-to-back weeks and owns the school record in the event. Liberty senior Heather Glenn has been at the top of the statewide standings in the pole vault for most of the spring. Truman junior Cole Rockhold and Blue Springs sophomore Stephen Mugeche are two of the top distance runners in Class 4. Liberty North sprinter and hurdler Andrew Madison, Smithville pole vaulter Junior Fairbanks and Grandview sprinter Anglerne Annelus are other Class 3 athletes to keep an eye on over the next two days.
| Sam McDowell, email@example.com.