In a preseason meeting last January, Liberty North High School boys track coach Jake Danneman first outlined his plan for the Eagles to win the Missouri Class 3 state championship. The rough sketch included a list of all the individual accomplishments he deemed necessary to make that happen.
It quickly became clear what would be required from junior Andrew Madison.
State championships. Plural.
He delivered three of them.
That was enough to lift the Eagles to their first state championship in school history — in any sport. And it has subsequently earned Madison the honor of The Star All-Metro track and field boys athlete of the year.
“Andrew’s preparation was like nobody else’s I’ve ever seen,” Danneman said. “I’ve never seen a kid so tuned in and dialed in. He went after those titles like it was his job.”
Madison won the 300- and 110-meter hurdles races at the Class 3 state meet at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, and he also ran a leg of the 4x200-meter relay, one of two relay victories for the Eagles.
As a result, Liberty North tied three-time defending Grandview atop the Missouri Class 3 team standings. Both teams were awarded state titles.
The three gold medals provided Madison with a fitting reward for the offseason strength program he signed up for less than a month after the conclusion of his sophomore season.
“He came out in the preseason already running the same times he finished last year with,” Danneman said. “He was stronger and more flexible from the get-go. You could sense it was going to be a successful season. And it was.”
The Star’s All-Metro track and field boys team
First team: Harvey Kendall, Grandview, senior. While he cracks the All-Metro team in the high jump, where he placed second in Missouri Class 3, Kendall won gold in the triple jump. He was also second in the 110-meter hurdles.
Honorable mention: Jalen Ford, Lee’s Summit North, senior
First team: Trevor Hillis, Lawrence Free State, senior. A new school-record holder in the pole vault, Hillis cleared the bar at 15 feet to win the Kansas Class 6A state title. The next best vaulter cleared 13 feet, 6 inches.
Honorable mention: Kai Miller, Blue Springs, junior
First team: Isaiah Simmons, Olathe North, sophomore. The Kansas Class 6A state champion won the title with a leap of 22 feet, 10.25 inches. He also had jumps of 22 feet, 8 inches and 21 feet, 5 inches at the state meet.
Honorable mention: Tyree Snorgrass, Raymore-Peculiar, senior
First team: Caelan Neal, Olathe East, senior. Neal repeated as the Kansas Class 6A state champion in the triple jump. He won with a leap of 48 feet, 8.25 inches, which was nearly 2 feet longer than his previous winning mark.
Honorable mention: Jacob Peister, Blue Springs, junior
First team: Carlos Davis, Blue Springs, junior. The longest high school discus throw in the nation this season belonged to Davis, who launched it 212 feet, 5 inches to win the Missouri Class 4 title.
Honorable mention: Khalil Davis, Blue Springs, junior
First team: Braden Smith, Olathe South, senior. An Auburn football signee, Smith repeated as the Kansas Class 6A state champion in the shot put and discus. His winning shot put measured in at 59 feet, 8 nches.
Honorable mention: William Morrison, Leavenworth, junior
First team: Andrew Henn, Paola, senior. Henn, an Arkansas signee, repeated as the Class 4A champion with a throw of 202 feet, 3 inches. He also had the top mark in the state this season with a throw of 204 feet, 5 inches.
First team: Justice Burks, Raytown South, senior. For the second straight season, Burks captured gold in Missouri Class 4, finishing in 14.42 seconds against a heavy wind. He also won the KU Relays.
Honorable mention: Austin Stephens, Olathe East, junior
First team: Andrew Madison, Liberty North, junior. One of Madison’s three gold medals came in the Missouri Class 3 300 hurdles. He also won the 110 hurdles and helped the Eagles win the 4x200-meter relay.
Honorable mention: Tyler Blair, Blue Springs South, senior
First team: Tamarick Quinney, Blue Springs, junior. The sprinter broke 11 seconds in the 100-meter dash (10.92), good for a third-place showing at the Missouri Class 4 meet. He won his conference meet.
Honorable mention: Dresden Wilbur, Olathe South, senior
First team: Jaymes Kelly, Grandview, senior. He made a first-place finish in the sprint look surprisingly easy, crossing the finish line in 21.66 seconds. He also placed in the Missouri Class 4 100 dash.
Honorable mention: Dalvin Wilkerson, William Chrisman, senior
First team: Tanner Green, Olathe South, junior. Although he just missed out on repeating as the Kansas Class 6A state champion in the 200, Green placed first in the 400 with a time of 48.55 seconds.
Honorable mention: Ian Jones, St. James Academy, senior
First team: Sam Oxandale, Kearney, senior. The Bulldogs’ senior settled for second place at the Missouri Class 4 state meet. He finished only 0.38 seconds behind winner Dylan Quisenberry from Lafayette.
Honorable mention: Will Henry, Oak Park, senior
First team: Sam Guinn, Blue Valley Northwest, senior. The Star’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Guinn repeated as the Kansas Class 6A state champion with a time of 4 minutes, 17.97 seconds. He also finished second in the 3,200.
Honorable mention: Zach Penrod, Raytown, junior
First team: Stephen Mugeche, Blue Springs, junior. Mugeche took second in the Missouri Class 4 race. He added fourth-place showings in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs.
Honorable mention: Ben Burchstead, Shawnee Mission North, senior
Rockhurst. The Hawklets repeated as the Missouri Class 4 short relay champions. Junior Matt Schell, sophomore Jake Fetters, senior Mitch Koeppen and senior Curtis Goldmon combined for the win.
Liberty North. The Eagles’ relay victories helped bring home a share of the Missouri Class 3 state title. Seniors Terry Lee and Charlton Miller, junior Andrew Madison and freshman Jon Redmond ran to the first-place finish.
Olathe East. The team of Kyle Evans, Nathan Matters, Dajuane Washington-Box and Parker Evans broke the Kansas state meet record and finished in 3 minutes, 17.07 seconds. The previous record was 3:17.97.
Blue Springs. The Wildcats took third place in Missouri Class 4 with a four-man team of seniors Jayme Allen and Eli Leavell and juniors Taysean Goodwin and Stephen Mugeche.
The Star’s All-Metro selection process
The Kansas City Star's All-Metro selections were made by members of the high school sports staff, who consulted coaches ballots. An athlete must participate in at least 60 percent of the competition for which the athlete has qualified to be eligible for first-team selection. Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, The Star only makes first-team selections in all sports except football, basketball and track and field. Only first-team selections are made in relays and the javelin (Missouri does not feature the javelin event).