CHS track, field teams continue early development

As reported to C-T
Already winner of the meet's 110-meters high hurdles race, Chillicothe High School junior Braxten Johnson clears the last hurdle on the curve during the 300-meters intermediate hurdles race during the March 30 Brookfield Open meet held in Chillicothe. Johnson took this race by over two seconds with his 48.34 seconds clocking.

After nearly two years without true competition, Chillicothe High School’s 2021 track-and-field teams are being brought along slowly by veteran head coaches Bill Shaffer and Karen Jackson and their assistants.

Freshman Bronlyn Ward of Chillicothe High School strides to the finish line the winner of the 100-meters dash early in the track portion of Tuesday's Brookfield Open meet held in Chillicothe. Ward finished in 13.5 seconds.

This past Tuesday, subbing as host site for another “open” meet initially arranged by Brookfield, the CHS athletes got their second taste of meet action, this time against six other smaller schools.

As an “open” meet (unlimited number of entries in any given event for all schools), again there was no team-scoring component.

In that setting, some Chillicothe athletes attempted different events from what they’d done in the previous outing, while others focused on settling into events in which they’ve shown good potential.

CHS produced 12 triumphs out of the 38 events – eight on the boys’ side and four among the girls.

Showing the way for the Hornets with a pair of event victories each were juniors Braxten Johnson and Quentin Cranmer and senior Hayden Simmer.

Johnson was the CHS boys’ overall top points scorer, adding a second place in the triple jump and third in the long jump to his triumphs in both hurdle races. He took the 110-meters highs in 18.55 and the 300-meters intermediates in 48.34.

Reigning in a pair of events again, as they had in last Friday’s Chillicothe “Time Trial” meet, Cranmer this time took both the 200- and 400-meters dashes in times of 23.89 and 55.92 seconds, respectively, and Simmer had another sweep of the long-distance races, running the 1,600 in 5:11.04 and, later, the 3,200 in 11:19.

Joining Simmer and Cranmer in notching event wins Tuesday were juniors Damarcus Kelow in the discus throw (146’4”/44.62 meters) and junior Isaiah Sprong in the javelin throw (126’5”/38.55m).

Junior Byron George was second to teammate Simmer in the two longest races, while Cayden Potter, still battling a sore ankle, made his season debut by being second in the 100. Freshman Sam Reeter was runnerup to Cranmer in the 400, Rudy Yutzy No. 2 in the pole vault, Sprong second to Kelow in the discus, Cranmer second in the long jump, and Kelow second in the shot put.

Had there been team scoring, the Hornets would have reaped 152 team points just from its wins and second places and almost certainly would have had the top team total.

The girls’ division saw Chillicothe, Marceline and Brookfield all have strong days, with the smallest of the three – Marceline – likely to have produced the most points, had there been team scoring, with its eight event wins and several runnerup showings, as well.

Chillicothe’s four event victories were by freshman Bronlyn Ward in the 100-meters dash (13.5) and sophomore Belle Englert in the long jump (15’1-1/4”/4.6m), along with the 1,600- and 3,200-meters relay groups (participants not reported).

The Lady Hornets had two runnerup finishes from Jolie Bonderer in the 800 and 1,600, both times behind Brookfield triple winner Alexandra Sharp, who also took the 3,200, Kirsten Dunn in the 300-meters low hurdles, Aliyah Briner in the 3,200, and Maya Snyder in the javelin throw.

Sharing top billing in the meet, individually, on the girls’ side were Brookfield’s Sharp with her three triumphs and Marceline’s Ramzee Bruner, who won the high and triple jumps and was second in the 400-meters run. Bruner’s winning height of 5’4-1/4” (1.63m) in the high jump broke the Lady Tigers’ program record.

Also among the schools competing were Southwest Livingston and Tina-Avalon, each of which had event champions.

SLHS Wildcats seniors Chase Neptune and Patrick Warren took the triple and high jumps, respectively.

Warren cleared 5’7” (1.7m) with fewer misses than runnerup Bryant Carpenter of Macon. Neptune, fourth in the long jump, as well, topped the triple jumpers at 37’8-3/4” (11.5m).

T-A’s Logan Singer out-distanced CHS’ Kelow in the shot put, sending the steel ball 42’5-1/2” (12.94m).

Chillicothe hosted its own scheduled quintangular meet – also involving Excelsior Springs, St. Joseph: Lafayette, Lawson, and St. Joseph: Benton – on Thursday before getting primed for next Friday’s annual Chillicothe Joe Shy Relays.