[UPDATE 6 P.M. May 25, 2013]
JEFFERSON CITY » What a Class 3 MSHSAA track-and-field state championships for Chillicothe High School in 2013!! Medals from eight events and a team top-4 trophy for the Lady Hornets, Chillicothe's first since 1980!!
In his final prep competition this (Saturday) afternoon, William Jewell University-bound Alec Whiteside completed a 5-state-medals CHS career with a win in the discus throw, Chillicothe's second gold medal of the meet.
Even though it was about 15 feet short of his career-best, Whiteside's top throw of 158'11" today was 1-1/2 feet better than the next-best, giving him his first state-meet title after a pair of seconds, a third, and seventh over the past three years.
When his victory was followed about a half-hour later by the Chillicothe girls' sixth-place performance in the 1,600-meters relay, CHS had bundled up eight medals from this year's state meet, its most since a 9-medals showing in 1980. The most Chillicothe ever has garnered was 10 in 1979.
Slated to run that relay for the Lady Hornets were Claire Chapman, Ali Stephens, Madison Williams, and Erin Gilliland. Assuming Gilliland did so, the medal CHS earned was her maximum-possible fourth of the meet, to go with her CHS record-smashing gold (first-place) in the 300-meters low hurdles, her part in the fourth-place 400-meters relay unit, and her fifth place in the 100-meters intermediate hurdles.
Speaking of fourth, that finish in the final relay pushed the sectional-champion Chillicothe girls' team points total up to 29, good for fourth place in the team standings and a team trophy.
That is Chillicothe's highest team finish (either gender) since the 1980 girls took second with 33-1/2 points. The 1979 team scored more points (36), but was third in the state standings.
In terms of individual medals for Chillicothe competitors (each top-8 finish in a relay means four runners medal), Gilliland not only earned her four, but Williams copped three and Whiteside, Chapman, and Olivia Hayes bring back two each.
Chillicothe medaled in two-thirds (eight of 12) of the state events in which it participated.
(Posted earlier Saturday) JEFFERSON CITY » With the action still in progress, a school-record-shattering and state-title-winning performance by junior hurdler Erin Gilliland highlighted today's (Saturday's) second and final day of the 2013 Missouri State High School Activities Association Track-and-Field State Championships.
Running her seventh of eight races of the 2-day meet, Gilliland not only earned his first state championship by crossing the finish line first in the 300-meters low hurdles, but did so while obliterating the CHS record she established a week before.
In what had to have been a nearly-perfect performance, the Lady Hornet streaked around the red all-weather surface in an amazing, electronically-timed 43.94 seconds. That not only was a third of a second faster than runner-up Kendra Perron of DeSoto, who had won the 100-meters intermediate hurdles earlier in the afternoon (with Gilliland finishing fifth), but cleaved a whopping 1.2 seconds off the Chillicothe record she'd set in the previous weekend's sectional meet at Blue Springs.
Page 2 of 2 - Her phenomenal performance in the low hurdles gave the CHS junior her third medal of the meet, having sandwiched an anchor leg on the Lady Hornets' fourth-place-finishing 400-meters relay between her hurdles races. A fourth medal likely awaited her in the Class 3 girls' meet's final race, the 1,600-meters relay at around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
The second day of the state meet saw Chillicothe hike its overall medals haul to six, following Alec Whiteside's third place in the shot put and Lexi Snyder's fourth in the triple jump Friday.
Gilliland's first medal was gained when her time of 15.73 seconds got her fifth in the 100-meters hurdles.
A while later, after sophomore long-shot Lauren Jones was unable to clear the opening height in the pole vault, Olivia Hayes, Madison Williams, Isis Baker, and Claire Chapman ran 800-meters relay in 1:47.44, placing them seventh (one team was disqualified for being out of its exchange zone).
A short time after that, Williams and Hayes joined Mackenzie Barnett and Gilliland in claiming fourth place in the 400 relay in 50.007 seconds, missing third by a super-scant four-thousandths of a second.
That time was .05 seconds faster than the quartet had run in Friday's preliminary heat, but was almost two-tenths of a second slower than their school-record clocking at sectional.
The six girls' medaling events matches 1979 as the Lady Hornets' most ever in a single state meet.