LIBERTY, Mo. — Even people who witnessed what Chris DuPree did on the final leg 4x400-meter relay still had a hard time believing what actually happened.
The Park Hill South sophomore needed a mere 46 seconds to circle the track.
That alone is impressive.
The fact that he overcame a near 60-meter deficit and won without much of a challenge was pretty much unfathomable when he got the baton on the final race of the day at the Suburban Conference Red Division championships held Tuesday, May 1, at HyVee Field at Liberty High School.
“It was all God,” DuPree said after the 4x400 win. “I couldn’t gotten done without him. I was feeling a little bit weak before the race since I did the 200, 400 and 4x200. We said a prayer and before and after and God really answered it.
“When Ethan (Mick) passed me the baton, I knew I had to get out fast but still had enough to maintain and I did. I was talking to God my entire race, to give me the strength for the last 100.”
The win gave DuPree a sweep on the day with four first-place finishes.
DuPree won the 200-meter dash in 22.47, pulling away from Raytown’s Dontae Manning down the stretch. He added a victory in the 400 with a time of 48.44, easily beating second-place Drew Plum of Liberty that crossed in 51.91.
DuPree helped guide the Panthers to titles in the 4x200 and 4x400.
They won the 4x200 in 1:30.77. Charles Warren led off, followed by Melvin Walker, Braeden Denney and then DuPree.
In the 4x400 finals, DuPree ran the last leg and made the pass with 50 seconds left to help the Panthers finish in 3:29.12. Connor McCauley, Drake Chandler-Gilliland and Ethan Mick were also on the team that beat Liberty North by nearly a full second.
“He’s fast and he is even faster when there are people to run down,” Park Hill South coach Clay Lenhert said of DuPree. “I didn’t measure how far he was; I didn’t think there was any way he would catch that guy. He likes to chase them down.”
In the 800-meter run, Christian Ludtke took second and Eli Guzman took third, separated by three-tenths of a second.
Ewan Frick was the runner-up for the Panthers in the 3,200.
Guzman, Ludtke, Mick and Max Goertz helped the Panthers take second in the 4x800 relay.
Ethan Falconer was third in the 300-meter hurdles.
Park Hill South had three champions in the field events as well.
Junior Addison Snowball won the shot put with a heave of 49 feet, edging teammate Etinosa Reuben.
The Panthers had a 1-2 finish in the pole vault. Isaac Lee won with a leap of 11-6, while Brandon Nardi was second.
Benjamin Owere won the triple jump with a leap of 43-4½, while Saadique Perkins was the runner-up in the high jump.
Park Hill South finished second with 291 points, while the girls took third in the six-team meet.
Liberty North won the girls title, while Liberty took first on the boys side with 327 points.
The girls didn’t have a single champion, but had many finishes to help rack up 222 points.
Marti Heit had a trio of second-place finish in running events. The Oklahoma signee was second in the 800 (2:29.68), 1,600 (5:19.17) and 3,200 (11:29.75) and in all three, she came in behind Liberty’s Madelyn Hill.
Olivia Roth, Maryann Ball, Keely Danielsen and Paige Snider took second in the 4x800 relay for the Panthers, who ran without Missouri signee Emma Roth.
Park Hill South had a trio of thirds: Dymeria Guillory in the 100-meter hurdles; Grace Dielmann in the javelin and Alecia Westbrook in the high jump.