The 60th running of William Chrisman High School's Bill Summa Invitational was one to remember. The meet, held on Saturday, April 9, was loaded with talent on a gorgeous Spring Day at a great venue for track and field in the Kansas City suburb of Independence. Chrisman head coach Tyler Rathke and staff put together a great meet and even the weather cooperated. Temperatures were in the sixties, a few clouds high in the atmosphere slowly drifted across the day's beautiful blue sky. And, for what felt like one of the few times this Spring, the wind wasn't memorable, staying in check for the most part.
Rathke and staff attracted many excellent teams with many of the state's top individuals. They also put on a meet in a gorgeous setting. A new javelin runway and field that meets World Athletics standards sits as the base of school property. A few meters up from the javelin field, sits another field with two discus cages and a shot ring. Those all sit on the back side of the track's backstretch bleachers. A hill rises away from up from track's first and second turns to provide areas for team camps and spectator viewing.
The amenities were also hard to miss. An elevated pole vault runway was set up the day before on the infield, aligned to the projected tailwind direction after several days of evaluation. Chrisman also has gorgeous high jump standards that are just over 8' tall with customized padding on the outer sides.
The setting was matched by the action on the track and in the field. Raytown South junior Zaya Akins shined a month after her NSAF/Nike Indoor Nationals 400-meter title in New York City. Akins kicked off her day with a win in the 100-meter dash. She rolled to a more than 6/10ths of a second win in 11.99. While that came up short of her 2021 meet record of 11.67, she added two more meet records soon after.
Akins followed with a 7.7-SECOND win in the 400-meters. Akins dropped a MO#1 time of 55.23, and what felt like a minute later, the rest of the section finished. That bettered her 2021 meet record of 55.56. Akins closed out her day by just missing her own MO#1 clocking on the season in the 200-meters. Akins burst around the curve and finished the 200-meter dash in 23.95 to easily outpace the field and Caleia Johnson's 24.72 meet record from 2021, as a senior for Park Hill. The time was just 3/100th's of a second off her then season best time from the week before at the Blue Springs South Rusty Hodge meet.