What do Domenik Peterson, Justin Robinson, Hasani Barr, Brandon Miller, Chris DuPree, and Kearney's Logan Arellano all have in common?
They are the only 6 freshmen to break 49 seconds in the 400 meter dash in the state history.
An illustrious list no doubt, Logan Arellano added his name to it last June when he ran 48.94 at the Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The mark may have been lost in a sea of stellar Missourian performances, but deserves your attention nonetheless.
After finishing 6th at the Class 4 State Meet in the event in 49.72, Arellano made history with the sub-49 performance, placing him not only among the top runners in the Class of 2022, but spelling the beginning of what could be another incredible quarter miler career as we head into the 2021 season and beyond.
The last name Haney at Lee's Summit West is usually synonymous with four-time state champion high jumper Jessica Haney, but don't look now - Bryan Haney is making his own path in the hurdle events.
During the 2019 outdoor season, Haney was the only freshman to break 15 seconds in the 110 Meter Hurdles and 40 seconds in the 300 Meter Hurdles, making him tops among all of his classmates in both events. His first time under 15 at the District meet (14.93) helped him on his road to a qualification for the state meet, but he was able to improve upon that at his AAU District Qualifier and closed out the spring with a 14.91 best.
In the 300 Meter Hurdles, Haney's 39.94 best came at the Suburban Gold Conference Freshman Championship. He proceeded to finish 12th at the state meet. Over the summer, he added a 55.79 personal best in the 400 Meter Hurdles, 5th in the 15-16 age group, and 4th among freshmen nationally.
Watch out for Haney as he looks ready to pull in major points for the Titans in the hurdle events in the coming years.
Similar to Kearney's Arellano, Grain Valley's Logan Pratt made state history when he became the 6th freshmen to break 22 seconds in the 200 Meter Dash, all-conditions. His 21.89 was easily tops in the state among freshmen and tied for 21st nationally.
Pratt also ran a MO No. 2 among freshmen in the 400, 50.90, making him one of the premier long sprinters coming up over the next two years. He padded his resume with indoor personal bests of 23.01 and 52.29 this winter.
The argument could be made that Parkway Central's Kayelyn Tate is already one of those athletes who is setting the state ablaze, but her breakthrough winter should not go unmentioned.
After finishing as the runner-up to perennial all-star Alicia Burnett in both the 100 and 200 at the Class 4 state meet last spring, Tate was showing all the signs that she was gearing up to steal the stage this spring. She closed out her freshman campaign with personal bests in the 100, 200, and 400 of 12.10 (-2.3), 24.44 (1.1), and 1:00.29.
On the indoor circuit, though, Tate threw down a MO No. 1 and t-US No. 21 7.53 in the 60 meter dash not once, but twice. She also posted a MO No. 2 24.94 in the 200 meter dash, behind only Nerinx Hall state champ Courtney Williams.
Though she was hampered by a hamstring injury heading into the season, Parkway Central Girls Head Coach Ryan Banta noted recently that she would most likely be ready to contribute major points to the extremely deep sprint squad no later than the state series. Most likely a four-event horse, Tate would have been an important cog in Parkway Central's quest for their first team championship in school history.
Francis Howell North's Amani Jones closed out her freshman campaign last spring as the fifth fastest freshman 300 meter hurdler in state history when she posted a 44.13 at the Class 5 Sectional 2 meet. She's behind only Tyra Wilson, Jaden Wiley, Tiffani McReynolds, and Lindsay Vollmer, four of the state's all time greats.
Jones was also among the top freshmen in the 100, 200, and 400, running 12.16 (+2.3), 25.52 (NWI), and 1:02.10 in each of the events. Her 200 mark was second only to the afore-mentioned Tate. She also placed 12th at the Class 5 state meet in the 100 meter dash after qualifying in the 100, 200, and 300 meter hurdles.
We expect Jones to be competitive in the hurdle and sprint events throughout the next two seasons.
Howell High's Zora Williams may not have been among the top freshmen in the 100 or 200 once the season ended, but her breakthrough 58.81 400 meter mark to win the Class 5 Sectional 3 meet vaulted her into the top 3 among her classmates in the event.
Williams broke 60 seconds three times in the open event in 2019, including a 9th place finish at the Class 5 state meet in 59.18 and a second place finish to Class 3 state champion Madison Fuller at the Lutheran South invitational in 59.00.
On the indoor circuit, she warmed up for her sophomore outdoor season with 27.20 and 1:02.30 postings in the 200 and 400, but, as she's shown, the warm weather was sure to bring some much stronger marks.