Tough district meet on track

dmcqueen@lsjournal.comMay 14, 2014 

If last week’s Suburban Conference meets are any indication, then the upcoming Class 4 District 7 girls track meet could be quite the battle.

There’s Lee’s Summit North, which lost to Raymore-Peculiar by 5.5 points for the girls team title in the Gold division meet May 9 at North. Ray-Pec will be there, too.

And then there’s Lee’s Summit West, which racked up 242 points and crushed the competition at the Red division meet May 8 at St. Joseph.

Lee’s Summit West coach Jesse Griffin isn’t that concerned about team titles, since the object is to get as many individuals and relays into the top four and on to sectionals. But the Titans have won seven of the last nine district meets and should be in the hunt to win another.

“The way we approach the district meet is to get as many girls qualified in the top four in each event as possible to advance to the sectional,” Griffin said. “Of course we like to win the meet from a team perspective, but getting a high number of girls qualified in events that we hope they can score at the state meet is the main objective.”

The Titans should do a fine job of that at the district meet, which takes place May 17 at Lee’s Summit’s Bud Hertzog Stadium. West had seven individual and three relay champions on a stormy and windy night at St. Joseph, led by Jamie Newsome’s school-record of 56.96 seconds in the 400 meters. Newsome also raced on the Titans’ winning 800 and 1,600 relay squads.

West’s other champions included Sydney Watkins in the 100, Erin Sermons in the 200, Elizabeth Nolke in the 1,600 and Camille Oster in the 3,200, Abbey Bales in the high jump and Nicole Kallenberger in the pole vault. Kallenberger was also on the 800 relay team.

“This was our 10th conference title in a row and means we have never lost a conference title in track and field,” Griffin said, “I was very pleased with how the girls overcame the elements and still had excellent performances.”

Lee’ Summit North’s girls also had some excellent performances in the Gold meet in scoring 135.83 points. The Broncos’ winners included Imani Johnson in the discus and the 1,600 and 800 relay teams. The Broncos have one of the top 1,600 times in the state and their 800 squad set a new conference record with a time of 1:41.17.

Unlike the girls meet, the boys district isn’t expected to be much of a team battle. Blue Springs, which finished 101 points ahead of Blue Springs South in the Gold conference meet, is a big favorite to win the state meet.

“Conference went about as I expected,” North boys track coach Eric Davis said. “Blue Springs ran away with the title and left the rest of the conference in the dust to battle it out for the remaining spots.”

North expects to be in that battle. Jalen Ford, who won the conference high jump going away with a 6-foot-8 mark, should qualify, as should hurdler Matt Scaletty. North will also bring the conference champion 1,600 relay team and strong 800 and 3,200 squads to districts.

“We are rounding into shape here at the end and expect to move several kids through districts and on to state,” Davis said. “We aren't very deep but very talented in several areas.”

Lee’s Summit West’s boys, which won the Red division meet, will also be solid. The Titans have conference champions in Andrew Palmer (100), Trey Augustine (110 and 300 hurdles), Avery Carter (shot put and discus) and the 400 and 800 relay teams. Palmer also placed second in the 200 meters.

Lee’s Summit will have two Gold division champions with Zack Mitchell in the 400 and Davian Hawkins in the triple jump.

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