After a day of competing in the wind and the rain, West Platte had to win one more event to take home the Missouri Class 1 girls team trophy.
Rock, Paper, Scissors.
For the record, West Platte beat Worth County in the third round. The trophy was theirs, but the championship belonged to both after they finished in a tie for first place on Saturday in the Missouri Class 1-2 state track meet at Jefferson City High School.
West Platte led 50-40 after 17 of the 19 events were completed. Worth County won the long jump, the next-to-last event to be decided, for the tying 10 points.
Then it was Rock, Paper, Scissors.
“I’ve never had this experience before as a coach,” West Platte girls track coach Bailee Giger said. “A championship in track is a big deal, but Rock, Paper, Scissors? That’s kind of crazy.”
The day started with an hour-long lightning delay just before the start of the running events. The rain started about two hours later and alternated from sprinkle to a deluge as a chilly wind picked up.
It was in those conditions that West Platte’s 800-meter relay team of Faith Stevens, Gretchen Rainey, Tori Norman and Ciara Davis had to battle to a second-place finish that Giger said was both crucial and a pleasant surprise. The Blue Jays had run the third-best time in Friday’s preliminaries.
“The rain was pouring down on them,” Giger said. “It was such a big race for us, and they were really gutsy. It really mattered in the end.”
West Platte’s only victory came in the Class 1 girls 3,200 relay, which Sophia Rush, Rachel Heili, Lindsay Goodwin and Sikoya Richard won in 10 minutes, 7.17 seconds.
Rush, who placed second in the Class 1 girls 1,600 on Friday, added another second in the 3,200 on Saturday. West Platte also had MiKenna Peters place third in the 300 hurdles and fourth-place finishes in the 400 and 800 relays.
And not one point in field events.
“The last few years we’ve had a really dominant thrower, and I was worried about coming down here without those points,” said Giger, who coached West Platte to the Class 1 girls cross country championship last fall. “Our running and our relays took over, and it was nice to know we didn’t need points from the field events.”
Two golds for Baston
Ariyonna Baston didn’t exactly have a bad state track meet her freshman year. She did take home a second-place medal, after all.
Still, Baston, a University Academy sophomore, thought she had something to prove in her second trip to state. Baston sprinted to convincing victories in Class 2 girls 100- and 200-meter dashes and ran a leg on the Gryphons’ second-place 400 relay team.
“This year I had to come out strong,” Baston said. “Last year I was kind of shaky, so this year, I came for revenge.”
Baston looked anything but shaky as she pulled away in the 100, which she won in 12.44 seconds. In the 200, the race she took second in last year, she got in front early and won in 25.57 seconds, well ahead of runner-up Grace Culver of Hartville.
“I usually try to start hard,” said Baston, who posted the fastest qualifying times in both races during Friday’s preliminaries. “If you start hard, you can finish hard.”
Baston’s 200 victory came on a run through the rain, as did her run in the 400 relay with Eriana Townes, Ariel Johnson and Domini Johnson.
“It didn’t affect me a lot,” Baston said. “I was kind of chilly, that’s all. Basically it’s just all depends on how strong you are as a person.”
Robins stars for Lutheran
Lutheran’s Christien Robins ducked in and out of the locker room after the rains hit in an effort to stay warm and dry. It wasn’t how he planned on spending his day.
“This rain just kind of came out of nowhere,” Robins said. “I was expecting it to be blazing hot.”
Robins didn’t let the weather keep him from winning the Class 1 boys 100 with a time of 11.22 seconds. He placed second in the 200 when he was nipped at the finish line by Jacob Querry of Rich Hill.
“The 100 went exactly how I wanted it to go,” said Robins, a senior who placed third in both races last season. “In the 200, I knew it would be close. I was hoping for a really close second or a close first. I’m pretty happy.”
Robins’ finishes helped Lutheran tie for third place in the Class 1 boys team standings.
Other area results
Molly Miller of Lutheran placed second in the Class 1 girls long jump.
Max Davies of West Platte finished second in the Class 1 boys 1,600.
Aaron Woods of Drexel finished fourth in the Class 1 boys 110 and 300 hurdles races.
Bret Gibler of Lone Jack took third in the Class 2 boys 100.
Midway placed two on the podium in the Class 1 boys pole vault when Landon Meerkatz took fifth and Chandler Stephens finished sixth.