Blue Springs High School is one of the most dominating teams in the last 10 years. Well coached from top to bottom, loads of talent, and seem to peak at the right time. Blue Springs has a great athletic tradition and Coach Cusack's leadership has the track & field team leading the entire program forward. This season they were pressure by Lafayette's all-world Austin Hindman. However, through an entire team effort, Blue Springs once again was victorious in late hours on the last Saturday in May. Congrats to all the athletes and coaches.
Mo.milesplit: Coach, a great way to finish the season is winning a top four trophy. How do you feel about the outcome?
Cusack: I am extremely happy for each member of the Blue Springs boys track & field team and the coaching staff. This group was determined to do something we had not previously done in my ten years @ Blue Springs and that was to finish an undefeated season. We feel fortunate to be crowned the 2017 MO Class 5 Boys State Championship team because we knew it would take our best effort to top Lafayette. We have great respect for Coach Warren and the Lafayette program. This was a classic battle to the end. Congratulations to Lafayette, Lee's Summit North, CBC, and Lee's Summit West for their outstanding team performances.
Where did this trophy fall in the scheme of your overall plan?
After finishing third in 2016, the boys really wanted to get back on top. We felt good about our depth and believed it could be the key to winning. So capturing the first place trophy was on are mind since May of 2016.
What was the biggest turning point for your squad at state?
Tyler Bronston, our discus qualifier, reached the finals in sixth place. After finishing eighth place a year ago, he wanted to have a better showing. So, in the finals, Tyler moved up to fourth place and earned five big points.
Another key turning point occurred when Victor Mugeche moved to second place in the home stretch of the 3200 meter run and Oaklee Hauschild moved to fifth. These twelve team points kept us within striking distance of Lafayette (they scored sixteen points in the same event).
Finally, our 4x400 relay team of Matt Marzolf, Tyree King, Markel Cotton, and Josh McCullough ended the longest of days by finishing second and completing a great comeback victory for the 2017 Blue Springs Wildcats!
Who had the biggest breakthrough in the meet?
The biggest breakthroughs came from Oaklee Hauschild in the 3200 meter run and his leg of the 4x800 meter relay and the eighteen points earned in the long and triple jumps (nine points in each horizontal jumping event provided by Tre' Wheaton and Darius Clark). With Darius nursing a bad hip flexor, Tre' really dug in deep to capture second in the long jump and third in the triple jump. And, one week removed from the best meet of his career, Darius gave everything he had to help our team come out on top.
Was there any history made at the meet for your program. Medals earned, records broken, or first time all state events?
We earned 28 medals with 17 of our 19 competitors earning all-state honors. My records show this to be the most medals earned by any boys team (all classes) and Dylan Cowling set the state record in the javelin (all classes) with his winning throw of 188' 02".
How do you feel your athletes handled the conditions?
Our boys did a nice job handling the over five-hour rain delay. We returned to our hotel and rested in a room adjacent to the lobby. We had a late lunch and eventually loaded up and returned to the track. The boys never lost focus.
Is there anything you believe the state should do to enhance the state championship or the sport of track and field?
I think the MSHSAA should be commended for handling a difficult situation and not panicking. We weathered the storm and it was most exciting to finish up under the lights. I know it is not easy to finish up so late, but running and jumping under the lights was exciting and provided energy for our team.
In closing, I think the sportsmanship shown between the Lafayette Lancers and the Blue Springs Wildcats was one of the biggest highlights in my twenty years of coaching. Thank you to Coach Warren and staff and each and every member of the Lafayette team.