Class 2 Girls
Lee, Businga Square Off In 100, 200; Win Long Jump, 300H Respectively
Summit Christian Academy's Lenetta Lee and Principia's Busiwa Asinga know each other very well, even though they come from opposite sides of the state. On Saturday, they met once again to do battle at the state track meet, but this time instead of in Class 3, they were both running for Class 2 state titles.
It was a busy weekend for both ladies, one which finished with several medals between them. For Lee, the senior pulled down a victory in the long jump as her 18-2 (+0.1) was more than good enough to secure the victory. Lee noted that she hadn't even planned on competing in the event this year, until she jumped 17-11.25 and a career best 18-9 in her first two meets.
Asinga grabbed a victory in the 300m Hurdles in a new Class 2 state record of 43.32. Her time is also the second fastest mark in the entire state this year and 58th best in the country. In only two years competing in the Missouri track circuit, Asinga won state titles in both of her attempts at the 300m Hurdles, once in Class 3 and now in Class 2.
In regards to the state record, Asinga said, "I've been working so hard [to break 44] and I just feel amazing and I'm so grateful that I accomplished that."
Both girls got to win state titles without the other in their event, but they also had to face off against each other in the 100 and 200. For as cordial as they are with each other and in general, the competition in both races was much too fierce to think they let each other have one while the other took the other.
But that's how it panned out.
Asinga would take the 100 in 12.00 (+0.4) while Lee settled for second in 12.48 (+0.4). It was much closer off the jump than it ended up being as Asinga pulled away in a major way in the second half.
Lee would get her revenge, though, in the 200 as she took home her second gold medal of the weekend with a 24.92 (+1.7) clocking. Asinga made it much closer than the 100 as she finished in 25.00 (+1.7).
For Asinga, she'll finish out her high school career right on the cusp of breaking two major barriers in 12.00 and 25.00. She was at least able to shatter her 44.02 best in the 300m Hurdles from last year, though.
"It's really fun because she's really nice so we get to talk about it, not like talking trash to each other," Lee said of competing against Businga all weekend. "It's really fun to have someone that pushes me throughout the track."
"If I Pass Out, I Pass Out:" Gibbs, Sharp Take It To The Line In 3200
The senior, Steelville's Allie Gibbs.
The freshman, Brookfield's Alex Sharp.
The bell lap.
Two talented ladies enter, only one leaves victorious.
The 3200 isn't known for keeping spectators on the edge of their seat, but on Friday afternoon, the Class 2 Girls 3200 provided one of the closest finishes of the day. Yes, the 2-mile.
Running stride-for-stride throughout the race, it ended up coming down to an all-out kick for the win as 12-time all-stater and 2-time state champion Allie Gibbs had to give it all she had to hold off freshman phenom Alex Sharp. Gibbs would cross the line in 11:34.99 with Sharp just falling a step behind in 11:35.08.
When asked what she was thinking about as she tried to fend Sharp off in the last 100, Gibbs said, "This is my senior year, I really don't want to end it on a bad note. So I'm just like, 'If I pass out, I pass out,' and I just start booking it."
The West Point commit would go on to take third in the 1600 (5:27.47) and fifth in the 800 (2:28.89), closing out an illustrious career which included nearly 200 individual performances across cross country and track.
For Sharp, it was her first loss of the season in the 3200, after having won the previous 11 races she had ran. Her weekend was far from over, though, as she would go on to take the 1600, remaining undefeated (13/13) in the event, and running a personal best 5:20.53. Later Saturday, she would suffer her first loss of the season in the 800, but still place fourth in 2:26.09. After placing 5th at the Class 2 state championship in cross country, Sharp appears ready to compete for the individual win this upcoming fall.
West Platte Moves Up To Class 2, Wins Another Team Title
After being one of the largest schools in Class 1 in 2018, West Platte (Enrollment: 133) was bumped up to Class 2. The cutoff for Class 1 was 129.
That was no matter for the Lady Blue Jays, though. They were unfazed by the move, though, as they brought 15 athletes with them to the state meet and won their second state title in as many years.
The girls got a number of points from several events with no one athlete really shouldering the load. MiKenna Peters was the top individual point scorer for them, as the sophomore grabbed a victory in the 100m Hurdles in 15.72 (+0.8) and placed third in the 300m Hurdles (46.72)
The relays came up big for West Platte, as well, as they benefited from victories in the 4x800 and 4x200, as well as a runner-up finish in the 4x100. In addition to running legs on the 4x200 and 4x100 teams, Hannah McGivern and Gretchen Raney contributed seven points in the 100.
The ladies from West Platte return several scoring athletes and will be on the prowl to win a third straight state championship in 2020.
Jefferson R-VII Uses Depth To Piece Together Runner-Up Finish
At the Class 2 District 2 meet, Jefferson R-VII showed that they were a force to be reckoned with. There, they qualified at least one athlete to the sectional meet in every event and finished 135 points ahead of 2nd place. At their sectional meet, they scored 160 points and won by 62.
This weekend, the Lady Blue Jays had athletes competing in 15 events with a chance to win it all. Though they ended up in second behind the West Platte Blue Jays, they still showed that even through adversity, their depth could propel to them to the podium.
It was a full team effort led by senior standout and Wichita State commit Anna Heacock. Coming off an injury earlier in the season, Heacock was unable to defend her state titles in the 100 and 300 hurdles, but still grabbed four points in the 100 Hurdles and ran a leg on the third place 4x100 relay. All smiles throughout the meet, she remarked after the award ceremony: "Coming with a small team is great, but having a larger team is even better because you have so many other people you can depend on... and plus you get to see so many more people succeed."
Fellow senior standout Taya Allen, also coming off an early-season injury, held on to place third in the 100m Hurdles, also ran a leg on the 4x100, and contributed a leg on the fourth place 4x400. Ashley Edmond cleared 10-0 in the pole vault to finish fourth, Jenna Courtois finished fourth in the long jump and third in the triple jump, Catryn Cattoor placed fourth in the discus, and the 4x800 also contributed a point with their eighth place finish.
A lot of small point totals added up to a big day for the Jefferson R-VII girls as they walked up, hand-in-hand, to the state meet podium to receive their second place trophy.