Cardinal Ritter girls win 4th straight MSHSAA championship

Cardinal Ritter's 4-peat is now complete.

Now, the quest to become the first program since Hamilton to win five in a row starts. The Class 2 program won five straight titles from 2007-12. The Lions won the fourth straight in Class 5 on Saturday as the MSHSAA Class 5 Track and Field Championships in Jefferson City. 

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Now, Coach Tiffany Spain will try to keep the Lions at the top of the summit.

A reason for the success goes back to the practices. The athletes say they are hard but Spain has a reason.

"I tell them all the time the meet is the easy part, practice is hell," Spain said with a laugh.

The Lions won a fourth straight Class 5 championship by rolling up 103 points -- the third most ever scored in MSHSAA history for a girls team, trailing Trinity Catholic's 118 points in 2019 and Lee's Summit West's 109 points in 2017.

In seven events, the Lions scored 10 or more points -- including 17 in the 200-meter dash. That featured Aniyah Brown, finishing second, Brooklyn Brady fourth, and Kyndall Spain taking fifth.

The Lions won the 4x100 and 4x200 relays with the same teams of Brady, Kayla Watkins, Takia Tiller and Mekenzie Rogers


Rogers, Tiller, Kyndall Spain and Brown were on the 4x400 that finished as the runner-up behind Blue Springs, which broke a Class 5 record. 

Kyndall Spain (pictured at top) won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles in 13.64 and 42.53, respectively. She repeated as the 300 hurdles champion from last year, when she joined her mom and coach, Tiffany, as a state champion in the event. Tiffany did so at St. Louis' Gateway High School. As mentioned, Spain added a fifth-place finish in the 200 -- one of three Lions to place in the race. 

Senior and Ohio State commit Aniyah Brown won her 3rd 100-meter dash state title in four tries. Brown ran 11.60 with a stronger than allowable wind for record purposes behind her -- 3.2 m/s, besting Pattonville's A'laji Bradley, who took 2nd in 11.66. Last year, Brown took second in the 100 behind Raytown South's Zaya Akins.

Brown earned a silver medal in the 200 in a wind-aided 23.61 (3.0 m/s wind) behind only A'laji Bradley and her 23.511 wind-aided time. The finishes give Brown 3 golds and a silver medal in the 100 in 4 years, and 2 golds, a silver, and a bronze medal in the 200 meter dash in her four years of competition. Add that to her gold medal haul in the 4x100 and 4x200, and Brown's resume and her performances make her one of the greatest sprinters in Show-Me State history. 

Hannah Wallace added the other individual state title for the Lady Lions. The senior won the triple jump, nearly breaking the 40-foot barrier. On her 2nd attempt, she hopped, skipped, and jumped 12.16m/39-10.75 for a 1-centimeter or 0.25-inch victory over Hickman's Athena Peterson.