EXCELSIOR SPRINGS — The quest to have the opportunity to compete – and hopefully excel – in the state meet is over successfully for Chillicothe High School athletes who participated in seven events in Saturday’s Class 3 sectional meet.
The meet provided a major achievement for one CHS sophomore girl and a huge disappointment for another, but in the final analysis ranked as Chillicothe’s best overall showing at sectional in a number of years with its total of qualifiers for this Friday’s and Saturday’s MSHSAA State Championships at Jefferson City.
Leading the advancers Saturday was Lexi?Snyder, who uncorked a huge triple jump to not only earn second place and her first trip to state, but also shattered an 11-year CHS record.
Her jump of 36’7” – more than three feet better than her district jump the week before – carried her 1’51⁄2” farther than Kristin?Jackson’s former Lady?Hornets standard, established way back in 2001. It also left her a mere three-fourths of an inch behind sectional winner Kayla McGee of Kansas City’s Lincoln?College Prep.
Joining Snyder in qualifying for the Class 3 state meet’s girls’ competition later this week were sophomore Erin?Gilliland in the 300-meters low hurdles – an event she finished second in at Jefferson?City last May, and both the 400- and 800-meters relay units.
Comprising the shorter of those units are Madison?Williams,?Mackenzie Barnett, Olivia Hayes, and Gilliland, while Jordyn?Circo joins Williams, Gilliland, and Barnett in the longer sprint.
On the boys’ side, junior thrower Alec Whiteside – last year’s state runnerup in the shot put – will go back to?Jeff City in that event and the discus throw after winning the discus and being third in the shot at Excelsior Springs.
Also joining him in boys’ state competition will be the Hornets’ 800-meters relay team of?Austin?Busse,?Zach?Alperin,?Walker Thomas, and DeEll Midgyett.?That group snared the fourth and final berth.
“We obviously had some tremendous performances,” CHS boys’ head coach?Bill?Shaffer said on behalf of himself and Lady?Hornets head coach?Karen?Williams and their assistants Ken Stull and Rachael?Parkey. “I'm very happy for our athletes who get to move on to state and we look forward to seeing what they can do next.”