Panthers, Pirates excel at Kearney track meet

Last Friday was a perfect day to run, jump and throw and the Park Hill South and Platte County track teams took full advantage of it at the Kearney Classic. South’s boys won first place at the 15-school event and its girls took second. Platte County’s boys weren’t far behind with a third-place finish, while the Lady Pirates team came in 10th. Park Hill South’s boys scored 91.5 points, while host Kearney had 86 and Platte County, 70. South won two boys events – C.J. Whisnant won the 400 meters with a time of 49.62-seconds and the 1,600 relay team of Seth Hudson, Mitch Henderson, Darrien Case and Whisnant grabbed the gold with a time of 3-minutes, 28.09-seconds. The Panthers also took second in five other events: the 3,200 relay team of Henderson, Case, Isaac Frieden and Tucker Melles; Whisnant in the 100 meters; Case in the 800 meters; Melles in the 3,200 run and Austin Miller in the shot put. South’s girls were led by senior Morgan Keesee, who won the shot put and discus; and Janae Hammond, who took second place in the high jump and 100 meter hurdles. Platte County boys got a first-place finish from Kevin Schultz in the high jump of 6-feet, 6-inches. His effort tied his own school record, which he set earlier in the week at the Grandview Invitational. The jumps were good for the Lady Pirates, as well. Shelly Laures jumped a season-best 5-2 and took third place, while Abby Goodman placed fifth also with a season-best. “Our kids competed hard tonight,” Platte County coach Gabe Middleton said after the meet. “I am very proud of how many athletes are responding and making the best out of their abilities.” Middleton said another highlight was the boys and girls 1,600 relay teams. “It is always good to end the night in a positive way - both girls and boys 1,600 relay teams did that tonight,” Middleton said. Led by Aliek Reed’s 52-second leg of the relay, the team, which includes Mateo Tanis, Jacob Witt and David Taylor, captured third place in the event with a season-best time of 3:37. The girls, led by Lauren Huggins’ 1:03 split, finished fourth with a time of 4:19. The team also includes Rachel Gilbert, Laures and Gabby Robinson. Platte County highlights from the Grandview meet included: Schultz’s record-setting high jump, good for second; the 3,200 relay team of Schultz, George McMillian, Hunter Long and Nathan Straubel taking first; Jacob Witt, first in the 300 hurdles; Laures, first in the high jump and Jordan Branson, first in the long jump. Platte County will compete at the Winnetonka Invitational April 17 and Schultz, Witt, Branson, Laures and Lindsey Lange in the long jump, will compete in the KU Relays Saturday in Lawrence.