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.
And LS 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,” Jackson said.
If there was one thing that has hurt the LS 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,” LS North 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.
Blue Springs’ Darius Clark captures three golds
Much like the members of the Lee Summit North relay teams, Blue Springs’ Darius Clark had the best track day of his career.
Clark captured three gold medals Saturday, posting personal records in the long jump (24 feet 2 3/4 inches) and triple jump (48-9 1/4 ) while also winning the high jump (6-4).
While Clark showed his abilities the entire day, he did have a little hiccup in the long jump. On his second jump, he slipped on his takeoff, going face first into the sand. Needing a big-time jump to beat out Raytown’s Dominic Gicinto (23-5) on the final jump, Clark delivered with his personal record.
Clark laughed off the mishap on the second jump and was excited he bounced back with a winner.
“Just a weird takeoff on the second jump,” Clark said. “However, I knew I needed to deliver as he (Gicinto) had a very nice jump earlier and was in the lead. This was my last jump of the day, so I knew I needed to go out and deliver. My coach told me that 24-feet was definitely possible today, and it is all about trusting in all the work we have put in. I went out and did just that, and I am pleased with that.”
While his performance was stellar, Clark said it’s just the start for him.
“Today was great for me,” Clark said. “I came here and did what I wanted to do, but I have to be even better next week (at state), and I am confident I will be.”
Liberty’s Madelynn Hill good on the long and short
Liberty sophomore Madelynn Hill proved she has the ability to run both long and short distances Saturday, as she won the 1600 meters (5:05.31), while also placing second in the 800 (2:18.5) and second in the 1,600-meter relay (3:57.52).
With the state meet looming, Hill wanted to make sure she was able to go out and run her own race, and not let the other racers dictate her pace.
“I really liked my first lap on the mile,” Hill said. “I was able to go out and run my pace, and I was really comfortable throughout the entire race. I understand that the state meet there is going to be excitement and eagerness to get out, but I just need to use today’s race as an example of how I need to approach the races.
Other area multiple individual-event winners
From both the Class 5 sectional and the Class 4 sectional meets, both at Blue Springs South:
Class 5 girls: Liberty North senior Ekaolise Jose, long jump (18-3 1/4 ) and triple jump (38-5); Liberty junior Kaitlyn Lewis 200 meters (25.36) and 400 (55.64)
Class 4 girls: Warrensburg junior Makenzy Mizerra, long jump (19-03) and triple jump: (38-04 1/4 ); Pleasant Hill senior Donna Borer discus (134-09) and shot put (39-10.25).
Class 4 boys: Raytown South senior Vontrae Booker, 200 meters (21.88) and 400 (48.98).