Dale Collier Invitational Meet Preview

The Dale Collier Invitational hosted by Kirkwood High School is on a new weekend this year, and it has attracted top level competition from across the State. This is probably the most stacked meet to take place in Missouri this year, and is shaping up probably be the fastest meet this season other than the State meet in May.


The first sprinting event we'll see will feature Class 5's best hurdlers. Michelle Owens (McCluer North) who has that second fastest time in State history with a 13.83, and will be joined by two more sub 15 runners including Kiara Strayhorn (Jefferson City). On the boys side crosstown rivals Courtney Watkins (Hickman) and Martez Manuel (Rock Bridge) will make the trip from Columbia to race, both owning times of 14.23 this season. Watkins will also square off with Jaden Williams (Cardinal Ritter) in the 300 hurdles, having ran 38.23 and 38.18 respectively.

The girls 400m features nine girls sub 60, lead by a pair of Parkway Central teammates, Nnenna Okpara and Eliana Liebman who have ran 58.22 and 58.26 respectively. The boys 400m will be an interesting matchup between Baylor signee Hasani Barr (Cardinal Ritter), 800m star Lazarus Williams (St. Louis University High), and 300m Hurdle star Martez Manuel (Rock Bridge).


The boys 1600m will feature five boys sub 4:30, including defending 3200m champion Christian Baker who has a season best of 4:18 from the Kansas Relays last week. Look for him to pull the entire field to some fast times. The girls 1600m looks to be a three way race between breakout star Amie Martin (Fox), Ally Kruger (Liberty-Wentzville), and Safiya Ratliff (Parkway North) as the three have ran 5:15, 5:16, and 5:17 respectively.

The boys 800m will have five runners who have broken 2:00, and will be lead by defending Class 5 State Champion Martin Strong (Kirkwood) who has a season best of 1:56. He will be joined by Chandler Gibbens (Hickman), Lucas Rackers (St. Louis University High), Patrick Hetlage (St. Louis University High), and Charles Werth (Hickman) who have all ran 1:59. 

There are five boys entered in the 3200m who are sub 10, with Class 5 3200m Champion Christian Baker (Kirkwood) at the top of the list with a 9:14. Like the 1600m, look for Baker to pull the rest of the field along to some fast times. Amie Martin (Fox) leads the girls field with season best of 11:09 and like Baker could pull the field of runners with her to some season bests.


The field events is where the depth of this meet shows. In the girls high jump there are eleven girls over 5-0, and four over 5-4 including Morgan Gratza (Washington) who has cleared 5-6. State leader Cooper Wise (Kirkwood) highlights the field of boys high jumpers with his 6-10 season best, and just behind him is Donald Hatfield-Jackson (Fox) who has cleared 6-9 this season. This has the making for a really exciting day at high jump.

Girls long jump has four girls over 18 feet, and eleven over 17. Kiara Strayhorn (Jefferson City) is the top Missourian with a jump of 18-6, followed by Leah North (St. Teresa's) at 18-3.5, and Michelle Owens (McCluer North) at 18-2. The Boys long jump has four boys over 22 feet, including Donald Hatfield-Jackson (Fox) who has a season best of 23-2.25.

Triple Jump is headlined by U.S. No. 10 jumper Rasheed Ricketts (Cardinal Ritter). He comes in with a season best of 49-4, and he'll look to climb higher in the national rankings with a big performance this weekend.


Two of the top throwers in the State will be throwing girls discus on Saturday. Karly Parcell (Hickman) enters with a season best throw of 143-2 from the Kansas Relays, and Carlee Brehe (Jefferson City) enters at 135-9. Both those marks rank first and third in Class 5 respectively. The boys discus also will have the first and third ranked throwers in Class 5. Devin Roberson (Jefferson City) enters with the U.S. No. 2 throw of 205-3 which he threw into the street last weekend. His teammate Cory Suttle (Jefferson City) also is third in Class 5 with a 174-5. Roberson and Suttle are also throwing shot, where their throws of 59-1.5 and 52-7 rank 1st and 5th in Class 5 respectively. 

The Girls Javelin features Sydney Juszczyk (Trinity Catholic) who has the fifth best throw in the country this year with a 155-0. Also throwing javelin will be Natalie Telep (St. Teresa's) who has the fifth best throw in the State right now with a 136-00.


The Girls 4x800 features four teams under 10:00 and six who have ran 10:01 or faster. I'd be willing to bet we we will see some season bests from this race. Blue Springs is the top Missouri School with a 9:56, followed by St. Teresa's at 9:56, Kirkwood at 9:57, Francis Howell at 10:00, and Parkway North at 10:01. The boys 4x800 will see four of the state's perennial powers square off. Blue Springs leads the way at 8:04, followed by Hickman at 8:05, then Kirkwood at 8:10, and Jefferson City at 8:12. I would be surprised if we don't see two of the schools sub 8 this weekend.

The girls 4x200m looks to be LOADED. Not counting the two Illinois schools up front, there are seven schools seeded at 1:45 or lower. Parkway Central, Hazelwood East, Jefferson City, McCluer North, Parkway North, and St. Teresa's all will competing in what is likely to be the fastest 4x200m races in the state all year. The Boys 4x200 should be equally as explosive with four teams sub 1:30. Rock Bridge, Hickman, Cardinal Ritter, and Blue Springs will be those top four teams and should push each other to some season bests.

The Girls 4x100 is also very strong with nine teams sub 50, with Parkway North, Hazelwood East, and McCluer North leading the way with times in the very low 48's. The Boys 4x100 looks to be a thriller with Rock Bridge (42.15) and Cardinal Ritter (42.31) squaring off in what should be dual for the ages. That doesn't even count the other eight teams that are sub 45. 

The Girls 4x400 should have some fast times as well with Parkway Central (4:05), Cardinal Ritter (4:05), and Blue Springs (4:08) competing alongside East St. Louis (Illinois) who is entered at 3:57. On the boys side all eyes will be on the Cardinal Ritter dream team who is entered at 3:20 who could load their team up with Hasani Barr, Jameson Williams, Jaden Williams, and Lee Steward if they choose too. 

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