JEFFERSON CITY — The first time Anglerne Annelus walked the Grandview High School hallways, she was there to pick up her freshman class schedule. She doesn’t recall much about that day, except the way one particular wall caught her eye. It listed names of former athletes, followed by their achievements.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
The list intrigued Annelus, and she asked a teacher how she could go about adding her own name to the shrine.
Win a state championship, she was told.
“That’s why I train so hard,” Annelus said. “You don’t understand how bad I want to get my name up there.”
The next time Annelus looks at that list, she will see her name.
Annelus won three state championships Saturday at the Missouri Class 3 meet, capturing gold in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and anchoring a 400 relay victory in front of a full stadium on Lincoln University’s campus.
“I feel like I just accomplished my all-time goal,” she said.
The school’s shrine will also have to make room for the Grandview boys team, which won the Class 3 championship for the third straight year. Its 58 team points edged John Burroughs, which finished with 551/2.
The Grandview boys did not win any individual events Saturday, instead relying on three second-place finishes from Harvey Kendall, who finished runner-up in the high jump, triple jump and 110-meter hurdles.
The Bulldogs also performed admirably in the relay races, taking second in the 400 and third in the 800.
“This one matters the most, because you can’t win another one after your senior year,” said senior Ivan Lofton, a member of both relay teams. “We wanted to do something that would build up the program for the years after us.”
Repeat titles for a pair of throwers
After a record-setting day at her sectional meet a week earlier, Fort Osage junior Asia Cole figured the Class 4 state meet was as good a time as any to get greedy. So she set a goal beyond winning a second straight state championship in the shot put — she wanted to break a state record, too.
She settled for one out of two Saturday. While Cole fell short of a record, she repeated as the Class 4 shot-put state champion.
Cole’s top throw was 44 feet, 51/4 inches, nearly 3 feet shy of her sectional mark. The state record is 47-73/4.
“I’m a little disappointed knowing the state record was right there,” Cole said. “But I know I have next year. I’ll be back to try it again.”
There is no next year for O’Hara senior Cydnee Reese, but she will leave behind plenty of accomplishments.
A week after stumbling in the sectional meet, Reese bounced back to repeat as the Class 3 state champion in the discus throw.
This time, it wasn’t close. Reese open the competition with a throw of 151-10, and it stood for for the remainder of the day.
Watkins’ postseason surge
As he headed into a Class 4 district meet only two weeks ago, Blue Springs senior Dante Watkins knew he was nowhere near the form he would need to contend for a state title in the long jump.
After an extended brainstorming session with his coaches, Watkins began counting the distance between his strides. His goal was consistency, and he found it.
The move led Watkins to his first leap over 22 feet at the district meet. He followed it up with another at sectionals and took home the Class 4 gold medal in the long jump Saturday with a jump of 21-101/2, narrowly besting Fort Osage junior Elijah McGill.
“That first time I topped 22 (feet) was a blessing,” Watkins said. “That gave me a lot of confidence. I remember telling my coaches the next day I thought I had what it took to win state. Here I am.”
On the first day of the Class 4 state meet, Raymore-Peculiar junior Morgan Smith finished third in her preliminary heat of the 300-meter hurdles.
She viewed it as a victory. After a yearlong battle searching for the right timing, Smith said she felt as comfortable as she had all season.
Smith set a personal-best time on her way winning the the 300-meter hurdles gold medal. She finished in 43.72 seconds and set a school record.
“I was stuttering throughout a lot of races this year — it just wasn’t flowing,” Smith said. “Today, everything was just smooth.”
Rockhurst relay victories
Rockhurst qualified two relay teams for the Class 4 state meet Saturday, and they finished in similar style.
Rockhurst’s Chaz Trujillo, William Thompson, Alex Lombardo and Carson Bode opened the day by winning the 3,200.
A couple of hours later, teammates Max Linscott, Dylan Stoetzer, Tommy Seitz and Curtis Goldmon won the 3,200.
Burks nails an upset
Raytown South junior Justice Burks said he lacked a marquee victory for much of the season. He has one now.
Burks pulled off an upset in the 110-meter hurdles, winning the event with a personal-best time of 14.64 seconds.
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