CHS APRIL 20, 2018, ROUNDUP: Track-and-field boys and girls capture combined-genders title in Mineral Water Classic meet at Excelsior Springs. Lady Hornets booters prevail on shutout, Kirksville "own" goal

Friday was a very successful day for Chillicothe (Mo.) HS spring sports teams with an overall title by the track-and-field teams in the Mineral Water Classic at Excelsior Springs and the soccer Lady Hornets’ seventh shutout victory of 2018.

Runnerup Showings Put CHS Thinclads Over Top
EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. — One of the Chillicothe track-and-field Lady Hornets’ best performances thus far in 2018 counterbalanced the voluntarily-diminished output of the Hornets Friday, April 20, allowing Chillicothe High School to bring home the combined-teams championship hardware from the Mineral Water Classic.
Keyed by Molly Jones’ and Kennedy Corzette’s shared win in the pole vault and with triumphs from Kylee Larson in the 300-meters low hurdles and the 1,600-meters relay, the Lady Hornets were a close second to host Excelsior Springs in the girls’ division standings, 118-1/2-105-1/2.
When paired with the Hornets’ second-place total of 127 points, CHS had 232-1/2 combined points, four more than host ESHS, which was third in the boys’ division with 110.
Richmond claimed the boys’ division title with 135 points, but that status comes with a disclaimer.
While the Spartans earned eight more points than Chillicothe, the Hornets almost-certainly would have reversed that result had they had full use of senior standouts Brett Shaffer and Walker Graves.
Graves and Shaffer participated in only three events at Excelsior Springs after spending part of their morning and afternoon competing in the high school division of the famed KU Relays at nearby Lawrence, Kan.
Hurdling star Shaffer ran in the 300-meters intermediate hurdles there, placing second among a national field, CHS coach Bill Shaffer reports, and Graves placed 13th in the discus throw at KU.
Once they made the trip from the west edge of the Kansas City metropolitan area to just beyond the northeast reaches of it, Shaffer entered two MWC events (the 200-meters dash and 1,600 relay) and Graves one (shot put) and were each fully victorious. However, their more-limited participation at Excelsior Springs conservatively reduced the Hornets’ points haul by 25-30 points, a total which would pushed CHS past Richmond by a healthy margin and turned the combined title competition into a runaway.
Even without full availability for Graves and Shaffer, the Chillicothe boys still were victorious in five events.
Isaak Rasche, in addition to being on the triumphant 1,600 relay squad with Shaffer, Jacob Anderson, and Kaleb Mullikin, claimed the 400-meters dash in 52.25 seconds and also was second to his teammate in the 200. Adding in his seventh place in the 100, that made him CHS’ top scorer on the day with 22-1/2 points.
The other Chillicothe boys’ victory was by senior Jack Willard in the pole vault. With Willard getting over 10’6” and teammate Jake Chapman taking third, the pole vault  matched the 400 – in which Anderson was third behind Rasche – as the Hornets’ second-most-profitable event, providing 16 points each. The 1-2 showing by Shaffer and Rasche in the 200 put 18 points in the CHS coffers.
Also having a fine day for Chillicothe’s boys was senior jumper Jon Burk, who took second in the high jump, third in the triple jump, and seventh in the long jump for 16 points.
The grouping of Deon Reynolds, Muhammad Ahmad, Chapman, and Austin Brown generated third- and fifth-place finishes in the 400- and 800-meters relays, respectively, showings worth 10 team points.
Graves won the shot put with a heave of 50’8”. Shaffer took the 200 in 23.37 seconds, 0.38 ahead of Rasche, and the 1,600 relay unit prevailed in 3:32.29.
On the girls’ side, the Corzette-M. Jones split win in the pole vault was the biggest “money-maker” for Chillicothe with the 18-points haul. Each cleared 9’.
Jordan Hibner netted a team-most 17 points by taking second place in the 400-meters run, third in the triple jump, and anchoring the winning 1,600 relay and seventh-place 400 relay unit.
Larson claimed the low hurdles in 51.72 seconds. Adding in her sixth in the 100-meters high hurdles and being part of the 1,600 relay victory (in 4:32.24) with Delaney May, Hunter Keithley, and Hibner, she posted 15-1/2 points.
M. Jones also took sixth place in the javelin throw and was on the seventh-place 400-meters relay, producing 12 tallies.
CHS’ varsity teams now will gear up for next Thursday’s Midland Empire Conference Championships at Maryville. Both Chillicothe squads placed second there a year ago, the boys behind Maryville and girls behind Smithville.

Jones Pounces on Kirksville Miscue, Gives Soccer Girls 1-0 Victory
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Chillicothe HS soccer Lady Hornets senior Harlie Jones pounced on one Kirksville mistake, which led to another and the only scoring of the match as the CHS girls posted their eighth victory and seventh shutout of the 2018 season Friday.
In the 55th minute of a then-scoreless match, Jones slipped past a KHS player to gain control of a short Lady Tigers goal kick about 30 yards to the offensive left of the hosts’ net.
With the Kirksville defense not reacting quickly to her intercept, Jones was able to touch the ball ahead a few yards and then step into a left-footed kick – her dominant foot – 26 yards from the goal line.
While the drive appeared designed to be a crossing pass toward teammate Gracy Reeter angling in from the right forward position toward the middle of the pitch, it led her just a bit too much. That worked out well, however, as the KHS back retreating toward her own net trying to mark Reeter stuck out her foot and contacted the ball about 15 yards from the goal. That redirected it from going well wide to the right to being at the net, catching Lady Tigers goalkeeper Annabelle Zimmer, who played well, going the wrong way and unable to stop her momentum as the ball went by her and in for an “own” goal.
While the goal – credited to Jones and thus both her fourth of the season and in as many matches – was a bit tainted, it allowed the team which had the clear territorial and scoring-chances advantage to gain the victory.
Chillicothe (8-3) had the ball in its offensive third of the pitch most of the opening 10 minutes and repeatedly pressured Zimmer, only to be denied by either the goalkeeper or the KHS back line.
That included CHS’ best first-half scoring chance when, from about 30 yards away, back Sydner Baxter’s free kick was targeted for the upper strata of the KHS net, only to be thwarted by Zimmer’s leaping grab.
Even once the host Lady Tigers began to generate some offensive flow, they didn’t create as much sustained pressure as their guests. However, until Jones’ clutch play, it was Kirksville which had come closest to scoring.
Not long after Zimmer’s big save on Baxter, Kirksville got the ball deep into the CHS end of John Spainhour Field. In a scramble to gain control of the ball inside the Lady Hornets’ penalty area, the referee’s whistle sounded, ruling either a Chillicothe foul or hand ball. Regardless of the exact cause, the result was a KHS penalty shot about five minutes before halftime.
As the Lady Tigers shooter stepped into her shot attempt, Chillicothe junior goalkeeper Kennedie Kieffer correctly guessed or read that the shot likely would be going to her left and dashed that way along the goal line. However, even as she did that and lunged, once she saw the ball was indeed coming that way, she could not get far enough to her left quickly enough to reach it.
However, Chillicothe was reprieved as the hard shot clanged off the left goalpost and caromed back onto the pitch right toward a Lady Hornets back, who controlled it and sent it out of the danger zone.
Neither side created a “grade A” scoring chance the final few minutes of the first half or the early minutes of the second until Jones delivered with the steal and long, deflected shot that found its way home and gave CHS its second 1-0 triumph over Kirksville this season.
The soccer Lady Hornets will return to Midland Empire Conference competition Monday, hosting St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond in a 5 p.m. match.