by Michael Smith
Six girls represented Grain Valley in the Class 5 Missouri State High School Girls Track and Field Championships this past weekend.
And in the end, all six came home with something to show for their efforts.
The Eagles earned All-State honors in three events as every girls competitor earned a medal at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City.
At the end of the state meet, the 4x400 relay team of Avery Huffman, Emma Jane Ogle, Raegan Fisher and Madison Rogers had an emotional final race as a foursome, taking fifth place with a time of 4:02.39.
“We broke the school record twice in the last 24 hours,” Grain Valley girls coach Brian Winckler said. “It’s very, very exciting stuff for them. The girls ran well. Every girl we brought down here left with a medal. I am excited for all of them.”
It was the last meet for Huffman, a senior, who was teary-eyed after she and her teammates received their medals. She gave her three teammates hugs as she will be moving on to the University of Kansas City-Missouri to play softball next year.
“We have run together a lot, I love these girls so much,” Ogle said. “We are going to miss Avery so much. She is a huge part of this team. We just have fun and go out there and compete no matter what."
Fisher expressed similar feelings toward her teammates.
“I had a lot of fun. This is my first all-state medal,” Fisher said. “I am excited, but I am sad that Avery is going to be leaving. I love these girls. They are all my really good friends and I love running with them.”
Huffman admitted she will miss running with her teammates.
“All my senior emotions came out. I am happy I got to run with these girls one last time,” Huffman said.
For Rogers, it was a season to remember.
“I wouldn’t want to run with anyone else,” Rogers said. “It’s honestly really motivating to get to run with them to the finish line. I don’t think the season could have gone better.”
Joining those four in getting a medal was sophomore McKenah Sears, who was ranked in the top 10 national all season in the javelin event, finished third with a throw of 143 feet, 11 inches. It was the sophomore’s second all-state honor in as many years.
“I am really excited (to be all-state) again,” Sears said. “I give all credit to God for giving me this ability. It was a lot of fun to earn the medal.”
Sears admitted that her first throw is always her best one and this was the case when she competed on Friday.
“My adrenaline is pumping on the first one,” Sears said, “so the first throw always comes natural.”
Sears wasn’t the only thrower to shine over the weekend. Senior Jory Huber ended her career with her first all-state medal in the discus with a throw of 121 feet, finishing seventh.
“I am super excited and really grateful,” Huber said. “I think the steps were good and that helped me finish seventh. I really put it together there at the end.”
Grain Valley senior Avery Huffman races forward teammate Reagan Fisher to hand off the baton during the 4x400 relay. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley junior Raegan Fisher runs toward Madison Rogers to hand off the baton during the 4x400 relay. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley sophomore Emma Jane Ogle races toward the finish line during the girls 4x400 relay. Photo credit: Michael Smith
The 4x400 team of, from left, Emma Jane Ogle, Raegan Fisher, Madison Rogers and Avery Huffman earned all-state honors by taking fifth with a time of 4:02.39. Photo credit: Michael Smith