After most of the fans had departed Dwight Reed Stadium at Lincoln University last Saturday in Jefferson City, and long after the awards podium had emptied, a group of Liberty North High School runners gathered in a circle near in the track, placed their arms around one another and formed a huddle.
Their celebration was quiet, but it was memorable.
Liberty North shared the Missouri Class 3 boys track and field state championship with Grandview, giving Liberty North its first state title — in any sport — in school history.
“In all honesty, it’s what we were shooting for,” junior Andrew Madison said. “This is what I expected. I’m happy we got it.”
Madison was the one to put the train on the right track. He won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, the two individual wins for the Eagles.
But that was enough to share the title with Grandview, a credit to an impressive showing in the relays.
Liberty North won the 800 and 400 relays, placed second in 1,600 relay and took third in the 3,200 relay. Those four races totaled 34 team points, more than half of the Eagles’ final total of 64.
The winning 800 relay team was made up of Madison, senior Terry Lee, freshman Jon Redmond and senior Charlton Miller. The winning 400 relay group was Redmond, Miller, junior Richard Richardson and junior Bry Moffet.
Adding to the team victory, Miller took fifth in the 200 dash, senior Nick Roofener was fourth in the triple jump and senior Ty Hughes was eighth in the 3,200 run.
After enjoying a record-setting regular season, North Kansas City junior Nekiesha Bailey settled for second place in the high jump at the sectional meet. She bounced back to win the Class 4 girls state title in the event by clearing the bar at 5 feet, 8 inches. Bailey also placed second in the long jump.
Winnetonka junior Sabrina Monsees ran to a second-place finish in the Class 4 girls 800 meters.
Kearney senior Sam Oxandale cut nearly a full second off his sectional time to place second in the Class 4 boys 800. He narrowly edged Oak Park senior Will Henry at the finish line. Henry finished third.