With the bell ringing in her ears signifying the final lap of the girls distance medley, Ginger Murnieks glanced up at the giant scoreboard at the north end of Rock Chalk Park. Her legs may have been moving fast, but her brain was working faster, as she calculated what lap time she needed to beat the Kansas Relays meet record.
“I was just trying to give everything I had and press into the wind,” said Murnieks, a senior at Lee’s Summit West. “I could see as I was coming that we were a little bit under.”
For the average high school runner, 78 seconds may seem like a tall order. But for Murnieks, who recently joined Lee’s Summit West’s already illustrious girls track and field team from Sprague High School in Oregon, a 78-second lap as the anchor of the Titan’s distance medley team could be described as a stroll in the park.
Clocking in at better than 8 seconds ahead of her goal, Murnieks put her team’s name in the KU Relays record books with a meet record time of 12 minutes, 11.40. The previous high-school record (12:19.65) was also set by the Titans at last year’s KU Relays.
“It feels really good,” Murnieks said. “We actually set it last year, but I wasn’t on that team, so it’s really cool to run with this group of girls.”
Murnieks ran alongside Madison Hulsey, McKenna Butler and Audrey Parson. Hulsey and Parson both featured on the distance medley team that set the KU Relays record in 2018.
With LS West also finishing the 2018 KU Relays as the Most Outstanding Team, the distance medley squad was just one of many highlights for the Titans on Friday: Several athletes claimed top-three finishes to set LS West up well to finish strong on Saturday.
“We’re doing very well,” said LS West girls coach Jesse Griffin. “We were fourth this morning in the 4x1600, and we had a decent race. We’re off to a good start.”
LS West senior Maddie Harris finished third in the shot put (43 feet, 3.25 inches) and senior Jessica Haney finished third in the triple jump (37-10).
Other notable high school results
North Kansas City senior Adetomiwa Adebawore finished second in the boys discus throw, sending his discus 181 feet, 10 inches on Friday.
Olathe Northwest senior Jaleesa McWashington finished second in the girls triple jump with a final jump of 37-10.5. She finished one spot ahead of LS West’s Haney, who’s final jump of 37-10 vaulted her from seventh to third.
Lee’s Summit sophomore Jonny Brackins took home gold in the boys triple jump with a leap of 48-1.25.
While LS West dominated the girls distance medley, the Blue Springs boys distance medley also finished first with a time of 10:31.27.
St. Theresa senior Addie Coppinger, a younger sister of former Jayhawk Courtney Coppinger, finished first in the girls 800 meters with a time of 2:16.92. LS West West’s Parson also competed and finished third.