When it comes to sectional track, the biggest goal is to do what is needed to make state and stay fresh for the big meet. Someone forgot to mention part of that to the Lee’s Summit North boys relay teams.
Lee’s Summit North produced school records in the 400-meter relay (41.63 seconds) and the 800 relay (1 minute, 26.87 seconds) while also winning the 1,600 relay (3:21.44) at Saturday’s Missouri Class 5 sectional meet at Blue Springs South. The top four finishers in each event advance to the Class 3-5 state meet starting Friday in Jefferson City.
And North sophomore Nyles Thomas was not only part of the 400 and 800 relays, but he also won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.16 seconds.
Breaking the relay records wasn’t necessarily the goal, but Thomas said it shows a lot about him and his teammates.
“We came here today to compete and do what we could do to make sure that the team made state, but I think today we showed what we are made of,” Thomas said.
“All of us came out today and competed very hard, and to break the record is definitely something we are proud of.”
The 800 relay team was running with a couple of alternates in the lineup, but junior Jamad Jackson said that just shows the heart of this team.
“Being able to do what we did today just shows the heart we all have,” said Jackson, who also qualified for state in the 200 along with Thomas.
If there was one thing that has hurt the North relay teams this year, it has been handoffs. On Saturday, not only were the hand-offs improved, but they were nearly flawless.
“That has been something we have been working on this entire year, and it just hasn’t been as good as we would have liked it to be all year,” North assistant coach Jason Starnes said. “We worked on it this week, and it paid off as the guys did a great job the entire day. In the 4-by-100 our handoffs were a huge reason why we won the race.”
Joining Thomas and Jackson on the 400-relay team were Dauntee Walker and Keyon Mozee. John Eldridge and Todd Pinkowski competed on the 800-relay team with Thomas and Jackson. LS North’s 1,600 squad was composed of Pinkowski, Matthew Hughey, Damond Anderson and Myles Madge. Pinkowski also placed first in the 400-meter run.
North’s boys also qualified Devon Richardson in the high jump and Rian Daily in the discus.
North’s girls placed second to advance in the 400 relay, with Sydney Ross, Nicole Collens, Tiffany Hughey and Johnae Hightower running a time of 49.33 seconds. Hightower also place second and advance in the long jump.
West girls roll again
Defending champion Lee’s Summit West will have 21 girls in 13 events and four relays in the state meet after the Class 5 sectional meet in Waynesville.
West placed first in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 relays and second in the 400 relay as it won the sectional team title by 94 points. Erin Sermons, who ran on the 800 and 1,600 teams, also placed first in the 200 and 400. Sermons won the 400 last season at state. Kyra Atkins, who was also on the relays, placed second in the 100 and 300 hurdles, which she won at state last season.
Junior Makayla Kelby will defend her titles in the discus and shot put after placing first the discus and third in the shot put Saturday. Jessica Haney, who won the high jump last year, qualified again with a second-place finish and also advanced in the triple jump. Jana Shawver won the 800 and took third in the 400 and Alex Marko advanced in the 1,600 and 3,200.
West’s boys had sectional champions in Blayne Godshall in the long jump and Isaiah Childs in the shot put. Childs also qualified in the discus.
Vonzell Kelley was second in the 110 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles, Caleb Furnell was second in the high jump and Ben Burnett was third in the 3,200. The Titans’ boys 400 and 800 relay teams also advanced.
Lee’s Summit’s boys capped off the meet by winning the 1,600 relay, with Christian Moreno, Evan Sanders, Dante Davis and Kyle Heeney posting a time of 3:20.97. The Tigers’ 400 and 800 relays also advanced.
KC Lightfoot was first in the pole vault for the Tigers with a 16-0 mark, and Dakota Collins won the javelin at 150-1. Moreno was second in the 300 hurdles and Connor Rohrich took fourth in the pole vault.
Lee’s Summit’s girls had to state qualifiers: Ashlyn Cook, who was third in the javelin, and Claire Burch, who placed fourth in the high jump.
Queen back for one more
Summit Christian Academy senior Carlie Queen can’t win another Class 2 girls high jump championship, but she will have a shot at the Class 3 title after qualifying at the Class 3 sectional meet in Clinton.
Queen, who won three straight Class 2 titles before SCA moved up a class in track this season, cleared 5 feet 8 inches to win the sectional. She also took first in the pole vault.
SCA will also have two three-event qualifiers in the Class 3 girls meet. Lenetta Lee took first in the 100 and 200 and second in the long jump, while Kaylee Lunn was second in the 100 and third in the triple jump and 300 hurdles.
The SCA boys 800 relay team of Simon Neuria, Malek Looney, Isaiah Vigliano and Zach McConnell placed first and the 1,600 relay of Joshua McConnell, Looney, Zach McConnell and Vigliano took third. Ethan Lind was third in the discus and Cade Robinson placed third in the shot put.