Miranda Dick didn’t think she’d be on the podium at the state track meet. Heck, the Raymore-Peculiar junior didn’t even think she’d be at the meet.
But there she was May 26 back at Jefferson City High School, making her way to the medals stand for the third time after taking sixth place in the Class 5 girls 3,200-meter run at the Class 3-5 state track meet.
Dick also placed sixth in the Class 5 girls 1,600 the day before, and she began the second day anchoring the Panthers’ fourth-place 3,200 relay team.
It was a satisfying end to a season that early on that didn’t show all-state promise.
“I actually didn’t expect to qualify in most of the events because I just did not have a very good season,” Dick said. “I’m just beyond grateful I was able to get back to it and qualify.”
Dick had high hopes for the season after placing fourth in the 3,200 and sixth in the 1,600 at last year’s state meet. She also finished all-state last fall in cross country when she took fourth overall in the Class 4 race.
But Dick developed swelling in her ankles as the track season began, which forced her to miss some early meets. And when she returned to the track, her times were nowhere near where they used to be.
“I had swelling but I didn’t know what it was,” Dick said. “We never figured it out, but eventually it got better and I figured out how to run through it.”
Dick said her times started dropping late in the season, just in time to get through districts and regionals. Neither of her state times – 11 minutes, 17.55 seconds in the 3,200 and 5:10.22 in the 1,600 – were personal bests, but she was only off by a couple of seconds from her best run in the 1,600.
Her most encouraging performance came on her anchor leg in the 3,200 relay. Dick clocked a 2:23 split to give her, Marissa Dick, Makenzie Stucker and Laurana Mitchell a time of 9:27.59.
“The last race I ran in the 800 I ran a 2:27, so I knocked it down quite a bit,” Dick said.
Dick is already looking forward to her senior year, especially with fellow juniors Mitchell and Stucker and her sophomore younger sister set to return next season.
“I don’t think I’m back to what I was last year in shape for track, but I always have next year,” Dick said.
Ray-Pec’s Kylie Mitchell, Aliyah Green, Jaylynn Tucker and Garionna Pearl place sixth in the Class 5 girls 400 and 800 relays. The foursome ran the 400 in 49.19 seconds and the 800 in 1:43.72
Janae Thurston of Ray-Pec took fifth in the Class 5 girls javelin. Thurston, a junior, had a throw of 134-7.
Ray-Pec sophomore Braden Zaner took fifth in the Class 5 boys 3,200 with a time of 9:36.12. The Panthers’ Class 5 boys 3,200 relay team of Zachary Hill, Nolan Dick, Marlon Williams and Jeron Jones took seventh.
Happy run for Harp
Harrisonville sophomore Kaylee Harp didn’t have high hopes going into the Class 4 girls 400 final. Not after posting the slowest time among the eight qualifiers in the preliminaries.
So Harp was far from disappointed when she crossed the finish line in sixth place. That satisfied one of her goals, as did her time of 59.78 seconds.
“That really surprised me considering I was ranked last after (the prelims),” Harp said. “My goal today was to beat a minute and see how far up the podium I could get.”
The sub-minute 400 had been a goal of Harp’s all season, and now she’s hoping to get it down under 57 seconds her junior year. Getting a medal in the 800 will be another goal. Harp just missed that this year with a 10th-place finish.
“I just got done running the 400 (preliminaries) and I was tired,” Harp said. “First lap was great, but in the second lap I wasn’t passing enough people.”
Harrisonville also had Bethany Cox place 14th in Class 4 girls high jump.
SCA’s Lee doubly fast
Lenetta Lee trained hard all season against a talented Summit Christian Academy teammate.
Lee was the only sprinter on her team, but that didn’t keep her from winning the Class 3 girls 100 and 200 meter dashes Saturday. Lee, a junior, won the 100 in 12.11 seconds and finished her day by winning the 200 in 24.60 seconds. Lee had the top qualifying times in both after setting personal-bests in Friday’s prelims.
And that was after taking seventh the day before in the Class 3 girls long jump.
"It was a lot of work," Lee said. "I just pushed myself to do my best and I got here."
SCA had another all-state athlete in senior Kaylee Lunn, who placed sixth in the Class 3 girls 100-meter hurdles.
Other area finishers
Lauren Redwine of Pleasant Hill placed third in the Class 4 girls javelin with a throw of 130 feet. Redwine, a senior, was also 14th in Class 4 girls shot put. Allee Brattin was 12th in the shot put.
Pleasant Hill junior Chloe Bloom also made the podium with a fifth-place finish in the Class 4 girls discus. Bloom had a best throw of 128-0.
Jerod Rottinghaus of Pleasant Hill was 12th in the Class 4 boys 1,600 and 10th in the 3,200. Jared Clapp was 10th in the Class 4 boys shot put.
Noah Floyd of Belton finished 13th in Class 4 boys 800.