By Christopher Tenpenny
The Harrisonville boys 4×400 meter relay team knew what they needed to do heading into the final race of the day, win. The boys were in third place as a team, but were only two points behind Warrensburg. As the race was coming down to the final leg, Dawson Schrock handed the baton off to teammate Noah King in second place, right on Ruskin’s tail. King made sure the race ended the other way around as he passed Ruskin on the final stretch and let out a yell as he crossed the finish line. The 4×400 team was victorious and the boys had secured a second-place Class 4 District 7 plaque.
“What make that team so special is that they won’t quit and they don’t give up,” head coach Brian Bliss said. “They are all fighters and work hard to make sure they give their teammates their very best not only in competition, but also in practice.”
The boys 4x400m team is one of 24 events Harrisonville qualified for sectionals. The boys have 18 moving on while the girls have six.
“All of the athletes had a great day at Districts,” Bliss said. “Going into a meet like that, we try to prepare athletes as best as possible and rely on them to execute on the track or in the field. Nearly all of the events set personal best times on the day.”
For the girls, Madie Johnson will be competing in three events at sectionals as she placed first in the 300-meter hurdles, third in the 100-meter hurdles and anchored the girls 4x400m team to a fourth-place finish.
“M.J. is an incredible athlete,” Bliss said. “She works hard at practice to be the best she can be at whatever event she does. That work ethic is paying off for her in the fact that she is moving on to sectionals in three events as a sophomore. I am excited to see how the rest of the season turns out for her and am excited to see how she improves over the next two years.”
Harrisonville will also be sending three pole vaulters to sectionals. For the girls, Makiah Clark won districts with a vault of 8-06 while teammate Brooklyn Rhoney finished fourth with a vault of 7-05.75. Brayden Talley finished second for the boys and vaulted 10-11.75. Bliss said he is impressed with the mental toughness of his vaulters.
“Pole vaulting is an interesting event because the conditions and the mentality of the athlete are a big part of the event. They had good conditions Saturday and made the choice to go out and compete and move on to sectionals. I also believe the work they put in at practice over last two weeks helped give them the push they needed to be successful and compete well.”
Sectionals will take place Saturday at Odessa High School.