Nilsen, Glaywulu lead Park Hill track to 2nd straight Red Division title

Park Hill senior Chris Nilsen’s record pole vault took most of the attention in the Suburban Conference Red Division Meet, and his effort helped the Trojans score 138 points.

That ended up enough to win a second straight league title for Park Hill, edging rival Park Hill South by eight points. In addition to his record-setting vault, Nilsen also found the energy to clear 6-6 in the high jump, tying with senior teammate Alijah Gee for the top spot. 

Papay Glaywulu added the field dominance while continuing his march up the charts in jumping events. The standout junior recorded an easy win in the triple jump (45-7) while setting a personal best to also top the long jump field at 22-6. Park Hill South’s Ryan Rippy came in second in the long jump at 20-3.

Grant Downes also posted a pair of first-place finishes for Park Hill. A junior returning state qualifier, he won the 100 hurdles (15.64) and 300 hurdles (41.96), and in both cases, he held off a 2-3 finish from Park Hill South for critical points in the team chase.

Nylo Clark led Park Hill South’s runner-up finish with a trio of victories and one runner-up showing.

A junior adding sprints to his event list, Clarke won the 100 in 10.81 and the 200 in 22.36 before coming up just short of victory in the 400. Truman’s Zion Piper posted a 50.52, beating Clarke to the line by 0.21 of a second with Rippy in third.

Clarke and Rippy then ran on the Panthers’ 4x400 team with Tanner Alderson and Jared Hernandez, beating Liberty for first place by less than a second.

Park Hill South ended up with a pair of relay victories bookending the meet. The 4x800 team of Eli Guzman, Brendan Briody, Tyler Dunn and Ewan Frick was victorious to start the day.
Frick, a sophomore, also placed second in the 3,200 behind Hunter Lund, a junior who rounded out the event winners for Park Hill.

Park Hill South also wound up second in the final girls team standings with 133½, 15½ back of Liberty.

Long-distance races and a pair of field event victories were the keys for the Panthers. Marti Heit, a sophomore, won the 3,200 in 11:52.08 to beat St. Joseph Central’s Abigail Burr by less than half a second with Park Hill South’s Lexi Maddox and Keely Danielsen coming in right behind to give the Panthers a trio in the top four.

Heit also finished second in the 1,600.

Park Hill South freshmen Jasmine Case and Alecia Westbrook went 1-2 in the high jump, while senior Vanessa Crawford cleared 9-0 to top the pole vault field. Those wins were enough to hold off the Panthers’ chief rival for second.

Park Hill came in third with 126½ points behind a dominant sprint effort.

In the 4x200, Park Hill went 1:46.44 with Amanda Alexander, Jena Hahlbeck, Gigi Hopkins and Sephora Koudou for Park Hill’s lone relay win. Koudou also won the 200 (27.02) and finished second in the 100. Alexander was third in the 100, while Park Hill’s Taiya Shelby finished just 0.12 behind Koudou in the 200.

Shelby topped the 400 field in 58.02, edging Liberty sophomore Kaitlyn Lewis by a second with Park Hill South’s Jasmine Crawford in third. Ariet King rounded out Park Hill’s winners, going 34-10 in the triple jump to beat Park Hill South’s Sarah Russ by a half inch. Russ, Auriell Maltbia-McKinney and Sydney Stewart made up a 2-3-4 finish for the Panthers in the event.
Park Hill and Park Hill South will be in the Class 5 District 8 meet Saturday, May 14 in Excelsior Springs, Mo.