Thirds, Fourths Power Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Track, Field Lady Hornets to First in Mineral Water Classic

Boys take fifth; CHS teams’ composite total falls short of meet’s school crown by point

As reported to C-T
Rudy Yutzy, senior on the 2021 Chillicothe High School track-and-field Hornets, holds tight to the pole for the ride up to the bar during the pole vault competition in last Friday's Mineral Water Classic meet at Excelsior Springs. Yutzy earned second place as one of only two entrants able to clear 9'11-3/4" (3.04 meters).

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. — While it’s always nice – and advantageous – in track and field to win individual events or at least take second, the 2021 Chillicothe High School Lady Hornets are emphasizing, with apologies to the ASPCA, there are other ways to “skin a cat.”

Although not doing it totally sans event wins, like they did in their own Chillicothe Joe Shy Relays two weeks before, the CHS girls created nice separation between themselves and the other 10 teams participating in last Friday’s Mineral Water Classic meet, outdistancing runnerup host Excelsior Springs by over 30 points by racking up 13 third- or fourth-place finishes to go with two event victories and three (including one 3-ways tie) second places.

The thirds and fourths provided over half (72) of the Lady Hornets’ 135-1/3 points, compared to the 42-1/3 they got from the wins and runnerup showings. Just that batch of 114-1/3 points would have been enough to beat out Excelsior Springs.

While the Lady Hornets were creating separation with the rest of the field, the Hornets were both failing to win any events and having some lower-than-normal finishes in two or three. That relegated them to a fifth-place team standing with 87 points, 45 back of meet boys’ champion Harrisonville.

Whether it was understood at the time of the final event of the meet – the boys’ 1,600-meters relay, the meet’s overall school crown (determined by combined genders’ total) – won multiple times by CHS – eluded their grasp by a single point with Harrisonville – third in the girls’ standings – nosing it out 223-1/3 to 222-1/3.

In the last race, Harrisonville’s boys won with Chillicothe fourth – a 5-points pickup for the school south of Kansas City. That followed HHS’ girls nipping Chillicothe for second in the distaff race, 4:29.12 to 24:29.46. That 0.34 second difference in Harrisonville’s favor gave it eight points in the girls’ race and left CHS with six. Had Chillicothe reached the finish line ahead, it would have (with the same boys’ finish) meant the school crown for CHS by a 3-points margin, 224-1/3 to 221-1/3.

Senior Delaney May, right, completes the exchange to 2021 Chillicothe High School track-and-field Lady Hornets teammate Kadence Shipers for the junior's third leg of the 3,200-meters relay at the start of the track competition in the Mineral Water Classic meet at Excelsior Springs Friday, April 23. The CHS unit in the race – also including leadoff runner Madison Albaugh and anchor Jolie Bonderer, both freshmen – won comfortably in 11:08.36, helping push CHS to the girls' team title.

The champion Lady Hornets' event conquests both came on the track, beginning with the very first race.

With freshman Madison Albaugh in the leadoff spot and classmate Jolie Bonderer as anchor with senior Delaney May and junior Kadence Shipers in between, the CHS girls took the 3,200-meters relay in 11:08.36, an almost-8-seconds margin over the second-place group.

Not a long time later, Bonderer took to the track in the 1,600 meters and outdueled Ford Nelson of Kansas City: St. Pius X by just over a second to win it in 5:51.03. The event dumped 14 points in the Chillicothe coffers with sophomore Aliyah Briner finishing fifth.

Bonderer, who closed her day with a team-most 22 points after running a leg of the meet-finale 1,600 relay, also provided one of the three second places when she ran the 800 in 2:46.01.

The other Lady Hornets solo second was delivered by sophomore Hope Helton in the javelin throw. With teammate Ella Leamer finishing right behind her in third with a throw of 89’1-4”, Helton fired the spear 98’1-1/4” as Chillicothe reaped another 14 points from that event.

The other second-place medal was gained by freshman pole vaulter Sarah Boon, who matched two others in topping out at an even 7’ with an identical number of misses.

Joining Leamer and Helton in providing one each of the CHS girls’ nine third-place finishes were Belle Englert in the triple jump (29’6”), Cami Jo Carpenter in the high jump (4’6”), Emmy Dillon in the 100-meters hurdles (18.08 seconds), Briner in the 3,200 (13.:50.68), and the 1,600 relay.

Delivering the 20 fourth-place points were Trista Tipton in the discus throw, Katelynn Fleener in the shot put, Isabella Garr in the 800, Albaugh in the high and triple jumps, and Shipers in the 3,200.

In the boys’ competition, Chillicothe’s four second-best showings all came in the field.

The Hornets’ most-bountiful event turned out to be the discus throw, but not in the normal matter.

Sophomore Isaiah Sprong, who tacked a fifth place in the javelin onto his discus finish, exceeded (by a couple of feet) his previous personal-best with a fling of 121’9” to earn second spot. Meanwhile, junior Damarcus Kelow had a difficult day, coming up with a longest attempt of 114’11-1/2”, far below his customary distance.

Kelow took second place in the shot put with a best heave of 44’4”, a mere three inches behind the champion. That allowed him to lead the Chillicothe scoring with a modest 13 points, 3/4 of a point more than Braxten Johnson, who scored in three races and one jump.

In the vertical events, senior Rudy Yutzy matched the pole vault winner’s best height of 9’11-3/4”, but lost out on more misses to settle for second.

In the high jump, junior Tristan Forck cleared 5’9-3/4” to be runnerup to a Kansas City: Central jumper who went four inches higher.

On the track, Chillicothe managed only two top-3 finishes – both thirds.

In the 1,600-meters run, senior Hayden Simmer finished in 4:55.74, while junior Quentin Cranmer was clocked in 55:04 in the 400, missing second by a minuscule 0.09 second.

The 13 points the Sprong-Kelow combo generated in the discus made it the Hornets’ most-profitable single event.

Next on the Chillicothe track-and-field teams’ slate is the Midland Empire Conference Championships, which CHS will host, b that meet isn’t until Tuesday, May 4.