Missouri Class 4 and 3 state track: Five things to watch

05/29/2014 7:01 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

1. Wildcat takes aim. Blue Springs junior Stephen Mugeche settled for second place at the Missouri Class 4 state championship cross country race in the fall. He thinks his true calling is on the track. Results back up his case. Mugeche swept the 3,200-, 1,600- and 800-meter runs Saturday at the Class 4, Sectional 4 meet, helping Blue Springs roll to the team title. The Wildcats have claimed a district and sectional championship in back-to-back weeks. Mugeche will face stiff competition in all three races at the state meet Friday and Saturday, but it will take a strong effort to knock him off in the two distance races.

2. Grandview-Liberty North battle. The Grandview Bulldogs have won three straight Class 3 boys track and field state championships. Liberty North is doing all it can to ensure there won’t be a four-peat. The Eagles topped Grandview for the Class 3, Sectional 4 team title Saturday — a much-desired boost of confidence heading into the state meet. To no one’s surprise, junior Andrew Madison led the team effort by winning the 300- and 110-meter hurdles races for the second consecutive week, but he had some support. Liberty North also won the boys 800 and 1,600 relays. Madison and Grandview senior Harvey Kendall figure to produce an intriguing battle in the hurdles races Friday and Saturday.

3. Champion wants more. This is the time of year when Fort Osage senior Asia Cole excels. She won two shot put and one discus state championship over the last two seasons, and she’s hungry for more. Cole cruised to victory in both events at the Class 4, Sectional 4 meet Saturday. She won the discus throw by more than 21 feet — using a toss of 146 feet, 4 inches — with Lee’s Summit North senior Imani Johnson placing second and Truman senior Allie Webb taking third. Cole was also nearly five feet better than second-place Wendi Siavi of Blue Springs South in the shot put.

4. Long jump aces. Some of the top competitors in the Class 4 boys long jump reside in the Kansas City area. Raytown South junior Isaiah Hutchinson, Raymore-Peculiar senior Tyree Snorgrass, Rockhurst senior Curtis Goldmon and Fort Osage senior Elijah McGill qualified for the event by placing in the top four at the Class 4, Sectional 4 meet Saturday. McGill placed second in the long jump at the Class 4 state meet last season, with Goldmon taking third.

5. Closing the gap. Winnetonka junior Sabrina Monsees realizes she is running an uphill battle anytime she competes against a defending state champion. But she’s proving to be up for the challenge. Eureka junior Hannah Long won the 800-meter state championship in Class 4 last spring, and she’s posted the state’s best times this season. But Monsees is closing the gap. She completed the run in 2 minutes, 14.72 seconds to win the Class 4, Sectional 4 event by almost three seconds Saturday, with Notre Dame de Sion junior Meghan Kearney placing second. Monsees placed fifth in the 800 at last season’s state meet and is looking to finish among the top three this weekend.

To reach Sam McDowell, send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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