Liberty North High School junior Andrew Madison says competing against the very best draws out his finest performances.
It’s no wonder, because he put on a show at the 87th Kansas Relays last weekend in Lawrence.
Running against his stiffest competition of the season, Madison won the 300-meter hurdles Friday and placed third in the 110-meter hurdles Saturday.
“It’s not often you get to race competition like this,” Madison said. “This level of competition is insane. It puts pressure on you. I really like that. I really appreciate that. The fact is, racing these guys is really enjoyable.”
Madison has already easily surpassed his best times from last season, when he finished fourth in the Missouri Class 3 state meet in both hurdles events as a sophomore.
He finished the 300-meter hurdles in 38.43 seconds Friday at the recently-opened Rock Chalk Park, narrowly edging Hutchinson senior Jared Page by 53 hundredths of a second.
He wasn’t far off from adding another first-place finish the following day. Madison finished behind Raytown South senior Justice Burks and Grandview senior Harvey Kendall in the 110 hurdles. Burks is the defending Missouri Class 4 state champion, and Kendall was an all-state performer in three events last season.
“I’m hoping this just really motivates me to get better,” Madison said. “I’m crushing all my times from last year already, but I’m hoping this experience will motivate me even more to be that much better.”Liberty track
In developing the best strategy to win the 2,000-meter steeplechase last Saturday at the Kansas Relays, Liberty junior Madison Nasteff didn’t have much research to rely on. After all, she had never raced in the event.
So as she prepared to run the unique event that includes hazards for the first time, Nasteff decided to fall back on the same strategy she uses in her distance running.
“I just take my time when I run,” Nasteff said. “So I thought I would do the same thing here. Whenever I knew I could break away, I just went for it.”
The strategy transferred well, when Nasteff broke away from the lead pack to win the event in 7 minutes, 37.43 seconds.
While the event isn’t offered at the Missouri state meet, Nasteff may have found herself a new specialty anyway as she attempts to showcase her versatility for potential college offers.
Nasteff said she trained for the steeplechase over the last two months. It didn’t take her long to figure out the difficulties in the race.
“Right after you jump all the hurdles, you lose all your momentum,” Nasteff said. “So it’s just getting that momentum back to keep going that’s the hardest (part) in the race.”More from Kansas Relays
• A year after taking third in the high jump at the Missouri Class 3 state meet last season, Smithville senior Miranda Migletz has thrust herself into the mix for a state gold medal this season. A fourth-place finish at the Kansas Relays only reinforced her goal. Migletz cleared 5 feet, 4 1/4 inches and narrowly missed an attempt at 5-6, which would have qualified her for the final round, won by North Kansas City junior NeKiesha Bailey.
• The boys javelin throw isn’t offered at the Missouri state meets. That’s unfortunate for Oak Park senior Jimmy Beaird, who finished second in the event in Lawrence. Beaird’s top throw last Saturday was 185 feet, 11 inches, the best among Missouri participants by a good margin. St. Joseph Central’s Tanner Butterfield was next best among Missouri entrants at 156-1.
• Winnetonka junior Sabrina Monsees was more than two seconds short of her personal record in the 800 meters last weekend, but she still placed fifth in the event in Lawrence, the best performance among Missouri girls. That’s the same position she finished at the Missouri Class 4 state meet last season.