The team standings may not show it, but Raymore-Peculiar coach Jamin Swift said the Panthers came out and did what they needed to do.
Ray-Pec’s boys and girls both finished fifth in the seven-team Suburban Gold Conference meet, the boys scoring 73.5 points and the girls 75.5. But scoring points and racking up titles wasn’t the objective Swift had in mind. This was a night for evaluation, and with that in mind, Swift liked what he saw unfold at Blue Springs High School.
“We don’t load up and put a lot of kids in four events,” Swift said. “We focus on really trying to figure out who we’re going to put into what for the district meet.”
Chris McKinzy was an exception to Swift’s plans, but the sophomore has already spent most of the season running in both hurdle races as well as competing in the long jump and triple jump. In the conference meet, McKinzy finished second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.12 seconds and also took second in the long jump to highlight the Panthers’ performance. He was also fifth in the triple jump and ninth in the 300-meter hurdles.
Chris is a solid competitor in both of his hurdles,” Swift said. “We ask a lot out of that poor guy.”
Swift also had praise for Laurana Mitchell, a sophomore in her first year of track who finished third in the girls 800 meters with a time of 2 minutes, 22.75 seconds that could make her a state qualifier in that event. Swift said the boys and girls 3,200 relay teams ran their best times of the season by a large margin, with the boys team of Jaren Jones, Luke Grimm, Chad Fox and Zachary Hill finishing third in 8:14.56 and the girls team of Marissa Dick, Mikayla Gifford, Anna Patterson and Mitchell taking second in 9:47.42.
Dick placed second in the girls 3,200 in 11:18.95 behind Blue Springs South’s Tori Findley, who shattered the conference meet record with a time of 10:51.52. In a fast-paced 1,600, Dick and Makenzie Stucker place fourth and fifth, with Dick finishing in 5:12.02 and Stucker right behind her in 5:12.17.
“That’s the fastest duo we’ve ever had in the mile,” Swift said. “Even with all of the girls we’ve had.”
There were other highlights, too. Tyler Musgrave finished second in the boys 1,600 and third in the 3,200, Jaren Jones was third in the boys 800, Haley Bossert was third in the girls 100 hurdles, Adriana Wright was third in the girls 300 hurdles and the boys’ 1,600 relay ran its fastest time of the year at 3:28.01 and placed fifth.
“Just some incredible performances from our kids top to bottom,” Swift said. “A great day for Ray-Pec.”
Ray-Pec will play host to the Class 5 District 6 meet Saturday at Panthers Stadium.