Carlie Queen had been waiting for this moment a long time. And was before the lightning flashed and the rains came.
Ever since she was a freshman, one high jump goal had kept eluding Queen, and it had made the Summit Christian Academy athlete’s trips to the Missouri state track meet less than satisfying, almost disappointing: the all-class record of 5 feet, 9 inches that had stood since 2000.
Late Saturday night, in the shadows of a darkened Jefferson City High School stadium and nearly five hours after she was supposed to compete, Queen grabbed that record, and then some. Queen made the record hers with a leap of 5-9 1/4 , and she embellished it with a personal-best 5-11.
“It was great to finally get that record,” Queen said. “I’ve been chasing it since my freshman year.”
Queen set the Class 2 record of 5-7 3/4 as a freshman, but she never matched it as a sophomore or a junior as she battled injuries. When severe weather shut down the meet after 12:30 p.m. and kept it from resuming until after 6 p.m., she feared this would be another disappointing day.
“I’ve just never since that day had a good day at state, whether it was for injuries or not just on,” Queen said, “And I kind of thought it was going to start out the same way today.”
Queen’s fears appeared to come true when she missed her first two attempts at 5-6, even though she already had her fourth state title by then. She needed another three tries to clear 5-8, well under her previous outdoor best of 5-10 3/4 .
“I think the shadow of the pit was making me feel too far away,” Queen said. “I’ve never jumped in night before, so I think that kind of affected it.”
Queen said she had solved the problem before the 5-9 1/4 jump, which she made on her first try. She made 5-10 on her third attempt and cleared a wobbling bar at 5-11 on her second try. She made three stabs at 6-0 before calling it a long day and night.
“More than the 5-11, the 5-9 1/4 was such a relief,” Queen said. “That has just plagued me for so long. I’m like I’ve jumped over this so many times I can do this, and so it was just such a relief to finally get that.”
Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit West defended their Class 5 team titles. Blue Springs edged out runner-up Lafayette of Wildwood 70-66 for the boys team title, while LS West overwhelmed the girls field with 109 points, the most ever scored by a girls team.
Chris McKinzy of Raymore-Peculiar and Vonzell Kelley of Lee’s Summit West have been battling each other on the track since they were little boys in AAU meets. A couple of years ago, they discovered they were cousins.
Which made the rivalry all the more intense.
McKinzy and Kelley found themselves shoulder to shoulder again Saturday, this time in the Class 5 110-meter hurdles. McKinzy won the bragging rights and the title, hitting the finish line in 14.48 seconds to Kelley’s 14.57.
McKinzy and Kelley have been battling like this all season, from the first meets of the spring to last week’s sectional meet, where McKinzy also nipped Kelley in the 110 hurdles. But as hard as they compete against each other, they push each other even more.
“In prelims, he just told me to pull him through the finals,” McKinzy said. “When we made it to finals we had it set in that we were going to take the top two.”
This certainly won’t be the last time McKinzy, who also placed seventh in the Class 5 triple jump, and Kelley, who also finished second in the 300 hurdles final, will fight for a gold medal. The two are just sophomores, which means this rivalry should go on for some time.
“We’ll do it again next year,” Kelley said.
Broncos bounce back
Lee’s Summit North had no trouble qualifying for the Class 5 boys 800 relay final. They just had trouble with their qualifying time.
While it was the second-best time posted, it fell short of the 1:26.87 the Broncos posted the week before in sectionals. They turned that disappointment into motivation on Saturday, using it to spur them to a state title in 1:27.77.
“Yesterday we didn’t do as good as we wanted to, because we wanted to dominate both days,” said Jamad Jackson, who anchored the Bronco foursome. “But we wound up dominating only one day.”
Jackson and teammates Nyles Thomas, John Eldridge and Todd Pinkowski, who won the Class 5 boys 400 after the rain delay, met after Friday night and decided they had to sharpen their handoffs. And for the most part Saturday they did — until Jackson couldn’t find his handoff mark.
“I couldn’t tell which one was mine and I didn’t know which one to go from,” Jackson said. “When he got closer to me I just took off.”
LS North, which finished second in the 400 and fifth in the 1,600 relay, took third place in the Class 5 boys standings.
This season had been a struggle for William Chrisman’s James Bailey, and that struggle continued Friday when he scratched three straight times in the Class 5 boys shot put.
Bailey felt he had to make amends Saturday in the Class 5 discus. He did that and then some, recording a toss of 173 feet, 10 inches that won him a gold medal. Devin Roberson of Jefferson City also had a 173-10 throw, but Bailey took first by making one fewer foul.
A line of severe thunderstorms brought the meet to a halt at 12:30 p.m. Participants and spectators ran for cover and the girls Class 5 1,600-meter run was stopped in its tracks after almost three laps. A tornado warning prompted the evacuation of the tent city set up by the teams across the street from the stadium, and a second storm with powerful winds tore up several of those tents.
The meet didn’t resume again until after 6 p.m., just over two hours after the final event was originally scheduled to start.
▪ Kearney won the boys Class 4 3,200 relay, taking command on the second leg to win in 7:56.23.
▪ North Kansas City’s Osayi Omorodion won the Class 5 girls 100-meter hurdles in 14.22 seconds. Kyra Atkins of Lee’s Summit West finished second.
▪ Raytown South’s Class 4 girls 800 relay team finished first in 1:42.71.
▪ Liberty North senior Jon Remond won the Class 5 boys 100-meter dash in 10.51.
▪ Ekaolise Jose of Liberty North was first in the Class 5 girls high jump. Jose won with a 18-9 1/2 leap.
▪ Ciara Corley of Raytown South won the Class 4 girls high jump with a mark of 5-4.
▪ Jessica Haney of Lee’s Summit West set a new Class 5 record when she won the girls high jump with a leap of 5-8.