ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — North Platte continues to display plenty of depth while attempting to find the right events for the right athletes late in the season.
The Panthers finished third (boys) and fifth (girls) in the Christian Invitational on Thursday, April 20 at Christian Field. There haven’t been a lot of event victories but plenty of progression and promise shown during recent weeks.
West Platte will host the KCI Conference Championships, scheduled for Saturday, April 29 at Rudolph Eskridge Stadium in Weston, Mo. After that, the postseason will begin for small schools.
“We’re kind of putting some finishing things together,” North Platte coach Brendan Cary said. “Things like polishing handoffs and getting comfortable with who we’re working with in terms of relays and just figuring out where’s the best place to get people and setting ourselves up to get from districts to sectionals then sectionals to state.”
Just two years removed from nearly winning a trophy in the Class 2 Missouri State Track and Field Championships, North Platte’s girls continue to try and retool a roster with plenty of experience and plenty of youth.
McKenna Fulton, a junior, ran in the 300-meter hurdles along with relays at Christian. She just missed state spots in the hurdles each of the past two years and continues to look for a breakthrough while also dabbling in the 200 and 400 this season.
In the hurdles final, Fulton placed third with junior teammate Bailee Romaker right behind her in fourth. Romaker also placed fourth in the 100 hurdles and ran the 3,200, also looking for a breakthrough in the right event.
North Platte’s Miranda Daniel came in third in the shot put at 30 feet, 11½ inches and was fourth in discus at 79-7. Gracie Roach also continued to excel in the high jump for the Panthers but wound up fourth after tiebreakers while still stuck at 4-10.
The top relay for North Platte was the 4x100 of Abby Fisher, Frankie Davis, Madi DeBord and Roach, taking third in 56.10. Fulton also ran in the 4x800, 4x400 and 4x200.
“I feel like (Cary is) putting me, Gracie, Abby and Bailee around to figure out what we can do to help out our team and how we can get past districts to sectionals and to state,” Fulton said. “We’re really young this year, and we’ve been rebuilding in pretty much all of our sports, but I think we’re doing better than what we thought. I think we will step it up when it gets to districts and conference time.”
North Platte junior Corbin Green claimed the only win for North Platte at Christian, continuing to shine in the sprints. He entered four individual events and won the 100 (11.41) while taking third in the triple jump (39-5) and 400 (53.61).
Green came in fourth in the 200 at 23.66.
In addition, North Platte sophomore Tyler Meadows continued his development in the pole vault while also continuing to participate in long-distance running. He placed second with a vault 9-6 and just missed on getting back over his personal-best mark of 10-0.
North Platte’s Joe DeMarcus was third, scoring key team points.
The relays also continued to develop for the Panthers but only the 4x800 earned a medal. Meadows, DeMarcus, Caleb Crumley and Ty French were third in 9:19.02.
“We definitely have a better idea tonight than what we had two weeks ago,” Cary said. “We’re still going to be trying a couple things the last couple of meets to see what’s our best setup for those last few weeks.
“We’re at that point where we’re starting to move from just figuring things out to where we position ourselves for conference and districts and I think they have really grasped that.”