Also took fifth in highs, anchored fourth-place 400 relay, and led off sixth-place 1,600 relay for 4-medals showing
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.
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 squad finished sixth, securing Gilliland's fourth individual medal).
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.
With, barring a disqualification, a medal awaiting the girls' 1,600-meters relay later in the afternoon Saturday, Chillicothe is virtually assured of a 7-medals haul at state.
In addition, Whiteside had a better-than-even shot at placing in the top eight in the discus throw at mid-afternoon, which, if he did, would give CHS eight state medals.
If achieved, the sixth girls' medal would match 1979 as the Lady Hornets' most ever in a single state meet. They'll come up short of the 1979 contingent's record of 36 meet points.
Eight combined medals would be the third-most in CHS history behind the 10 earned in 1979 and the nine accomplished in 1980.