by John Unrein
Mother Nature pushed back the starting time of the Class 5 District 7 track meet at William Chrisman High School on May 15th. Patience with the weather was taken in stride by both Grain Valley boys and girls track teams as the meet started to unfold. Each team would earn a highly respectable third place finish at the meet. A showing that was aided by eight first place individual or relay finishes by Grain Valley.
Grain Valley First Place Finishes
Girls 100 Hurdles- Jayonna Perry (16.07)
Girls 300 Hurdles- Jayonna Perry (46.08)
Boys 400 Dash- Cole Keller (49.04)
Boys 800 Dash- Collin Clemens (1:58.36)
Boys High Jump- Carter Day (1.90m)
Girls Javelin Throw- McKenah Sears (39.26m)
Boys 4x200 Meter Relay- Jacob McAhan, Logan Pratt, Carter Vrlenich, and Cole Keller (1:28.57)
Boys 4x400 Meter Relay- Carter Vrlenich, Keagan Hart, Logan Pratt, and Cole Keller (3:22.81)
Grain Valley’s numbers in track have been strong this season. In part due to the recruiting effort of coaches like David Allie. A fact that Lady Eagles head track coach Brian Winckler was quick to point out. Winckler was joined by head boys track coach Eric Stone in throwing praise at the student athletes and assistant coaches who have been instrumental in the success of both teams this Spring.
“The quality of work ethic from the girls this season has been impressive. Our coaching staff has done a tremendous job of getting kids out for this sport. Our numbers are way up this season, for a total of 60 more boys and girls out for track when compared to last year. That is pretty impressive considering going through COVID-19,” Winckler said.
“Our chemistry has not been affected by the jump in numbers either. We continue to see personal bests by our kids as the season progresses.”
Winckler continued, “Coaches being willing to have conversations with kids about running track has helped. Coach Allie has done a tremendous job. We have more throwers than we ever had. His ability to identify talent and get it out for this sport has been great.”
“Kids are having fun and that has spread through word of mouth. We start every practice with a group stretch and a dance party on the girls side.”
“We measure our success by results and level of intensity. Our goal is to get out and compete against the best. We have done that all year. This is the toughest district in the State of Missouri, and we are excited that we get to be a part of it.”
Stone had no hesitation conveying how enjoyable this season has been for him personally after not getting to watch kids compete last season due to the pandemic. A point of pride for Stone is the fact that there were first time district performers at the meet. Something that is only matched for Stone by the willingness to compete his team has displayed consistently.
“At the end of the day, if this team competes and lets the chips fall where they may, that is all you can ask. The comradery on display within our team as well as those that we are matched up against is fun to watch,” Stone said.
Eric Rhymes finishes tenth in the boys long jump at 5.94 meters.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
Ella Casey finishes 6th in the girls' 3200 race with a time of 12:12.28.
Photo credit: Valley News staff