Boys relays, McCain shine at State meet
by Michael Smith
A lot of track and field events are individual based.
In most events, it’s one person who determines how many team points their team earns in any given meet. The one style of race that does not apply to are the relay races.
That happened to be what the Grain Valley boys track team thrived in all season long. This past weekend, the Eagles earned all-state honors in the 4x200 and 4x400 relay races at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City. Not only that, but senior Mason McCain went out with a bang, getting a medal in the 800-meter run.
“It was really nice to see all three boys events that we brought get all-state,” head boys track coach Erik Stone said. “Everyone who came down here went home with a medal which is very exciting.”
The 4x400 team of Mason McCain, Logan Pratt, Jace Weems and Keagan Hart closed a strong state meet for the Eagles as they took eighth with a time of 3:26.73.
“We ended our season with a medal, so it shows all the hard work that we put in this year,” McCain said.
Added Weems: “We gave it our all. (Pratt and McCain) are going to college and we got this next year. We (Hart and himself) are going to come back and work hard.”
All four had competed in one event earlier in the day.
“We had a big break in between the 4x200 and 4x400 so I felt pretty good,” Hart said. “There wasn’t really any fatigue. “
Weems, Pratt and Hart joined Caleb Larson on the 4x200 team that took seventh with a time of 1:30.45, giving Weems, Pratt and Hart two medals on the day.
“It feels good (to be All-State),” Larson said. “We worked hard all off season and we came out every day in practice even when days were tough. We have a great group of guys here. We weren’t together all year, but we came together toward the end of the season.”
The foursome wasn’t together all season due to Weems and Hart splitting time between the track and field and baseball teams. That didn’t seem to affect their chemistry, but didn’t come without challenges.
“I am feeling it now,” Weems said of the body aches and fatigue from playing two sports in the same season. “We had a tough loss against Blue Springs in baseball (to end the season), so it was good to come out here and run and get our mind off baseball.”
Hart echoed similar sentiments.
“It does affect your body when you just go, go, go,” Hart said. “It’s really hard to balance those two. I have felt my body recover a lot better lately when I get to concentrate on just one sport.”
That’s what McCain was able to do as his lone focus was track. Not only did he earn a medal in the 4x400, he was also all-state in the 800 with a time of 1:57.63.
“It felt pretty good, I came out pretty fast,” McCain said of his individual performance. “I was able to just hold on. It was a good race overall.
“I got very tired at the end. I knew the finish would be strong, so I set myself up in a good position in the final 200 meters.”
Grain Valley senior Logan Pratt looks to complete the third leg of the 4x400 race.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley senior Mason McCain heads toward the finish line in the 4x400 relay.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley junior Jace Weems hustles to hand off the baton to Keagan Hart during the 4x400 relay. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley junior Keagan Hart heads toward Logan Pratt to hand off the baton in the 4x400 relay. Photo credit: Michael Smith
The 4x400 team, from left, Jace Weems, Keagan Hart, Logan Pratt and Mason McCain earned All-State honors, taking eighth place with 3:26.73. Photo credit: Michael Smith
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