SMITHVILLE, Mo. — Corbin Green didn’t waste time getting up to speed this season.
A junior for North Platte, Green has turned in some impressive and maybe a bit unexpected performances early in the season. He’s in just his second year on the team and already posted career-bests in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter runs, including some individual victories.
Most impressive so far, Green — an All-KCI Conference finisher in the 200 and 400 a year ago — won the 200 in the Smithville Invitational on Friday, March 31 at Smithville High School.
“He ran mostly relays last year, but he was definitely not lacking in speed,” North Platte coach Brendan Cary said.
Green swept the 100 and 200 in the season-opening North Platte Early Bird and now has a career-best 11.04 in the 100 — an event he didn’t run a year ago. His 23.36 in the 200 at Smithville was his best time in that event.
Still early in the season, Cary plans to use Green in a variety of events. He also took fifth in the triple jump at Smithville, tying with West Platte junior Gavin Raney at 36 feet, 5 inches.
Green could also again factor in the relays, having anchored the Class 2 Sectional 4 qualifying 4x400 team for the Panthers a year ago. They just missed a state berth but have plenty of options for this year’s quartet.
“He’s coming along,” Cary said. “He’s a weapon that can be used in a lot of ways that can spend of lot of the season kind of figuring out where all of our parts are coming together at. He seemed excited today, and we’re feeling a positive vibe on where things are going, and that’s good that it’s not just me seeing it.”
“(Green) is seeing the success, and our kids are seeing that we’re successful.”
North Platte finished 10th out of 15 teams with sophomore Tyler Meadows posting a runner-up showing in the pole vault. He cleared 10-6 to set a personal best, having cleared 10-0 or better in two straight meets.
On the girls side, North Platte came in 11th, but junior McKenna Fulton continued to show off her versatility. Cary continues to test her in different events, and she came in third in a tight 300 hurdles field.
A Sectional 4 qualifier in the event each of the past two years, Fulton posted a 52.44 and came in just 0.15 of a second behind winner MacKinzie Cantrell of Lathrop.
“I think we had a really good showing,” Cary said. “I thought we had strong performances individually, and our relays are looking good. They’re kind of coming into shape, too, so I’m really happy with it still being in March. We’re running some times that we ran in districts last year in May.”
West Platte’s girls continued to impress despite the absence of junior Rachel Heili (illness).
Bailee Giger, the Bluejays’ first-year coach, made some last minute relay changes. The Bluejays still posted 90½ points and came in third behind Class 4 schools Smithville (132) and Notre Dame de Sion (97½).
West Platte junior Ciara Davies even posted a victory in the 400 (1:04.76), while helping the 4x200 team to a fourth-place showing — one of three top-five relays for the Bluejays. Davies qualified for the Class 2 Missouri State Track and Field Championships in the 400 a year ago and hopes to see even more success with a shift down to Class 1.
The Smithville Invitational results provided a shot of confidence.
“We came in against some bigger schools so we were a little nervous about that, but you just have to run and make sure you run your own race,” Davies said. “My times are a little slow compared to last year, but I’m confident that I can drop them back down and get better.”
Even against the bigger competition, West Platte freshman Faith Stevens came away with a victory in the triple jump. She posted a season-best of 31-3¾ to beat Harrisonville junior Bethany Cox for the top spot.
West Platte senior Sydney Oberdiek added to the field success, placing second in the shot put (35-11) and javelin (91-6) and fourth in the discus (103-7).
“It’s bigger schools so you see kind of a higher level of competition” Giger said, “which it’s fun to run against those type of people to see where we stand overall but then also get us ready because we’re Class 1 this year. If we compete against these bigger schools in a bigger competition, then we’ll be in a better place at the end of the season.”
West Platte’s boys were sixth in the final team standings with sophomore Max Davies again posting solid showings in long distance. He came in second in the 1,600 (4:56.18) and third in the 3,200 (10:45.66). Hardin-Central senior Riley Gorham won both events.
Raney also placed fourth in the long jump to go with his tie for fifth in the triple jump.
North Platte Invitational
West Platte’s girls repeated as champion in the team standings with a balanced showing Tuesday, March 28 in Dearborn, Mo. The Bluejays boys were second in a tight race.
A pair of relay victories helped West Platte accrue 143 points, finishing 25 clear of Mid-Buchanan. The Bluejays topped the 4x800 (Heili, Sikoya Richard, Lindsay Goodwin, Alexa Raney) with three of the four members of last year’s record-setting group leading the way, and the 4x200 (Ciara Davies, Tori Norman, Emily Norman, Kathryn Layton) edged North Platte’s team of Abby Fisher, Gracie Roach, Fulton and Frankie Davis.
West Platte nearly pulled a third relay victory in the finale, but Mid-Buchanan pulled the victory in 4:39.14, about a half second ahead of the Bluejays’ team of Ciara Davies, Heili, Rheagan Buckler, Stevens.
Ciara Davies, Heili and Stevens accounted for three of West Platte’s four individual victories, too. Davies won the 400 in 1:04.72, edging out North Platte’s Fulton in what could be the first of many head to heads between the two, while Heili topped the 800 field in 2:40.10.
Stevens’ victory came in the high jump at 4-8, and Oberdiek also took a field even title, winning the shot put (34-10½). She also competed in the javelin and finished second with a throw of 93-4 — one foot behind East Buchanan’s Kierston Cook.
North Platte finished ninth in the team standings with 41 points.
On the boys side, Max Davies won the 3,200 (10:54.22) by more than 10 seconds after finishing as runner-up in the 1,600. He helped the Bluejays total 77 points, 19½ behind team champion South Holt.
West Platte didn’t have any other event wins, but the 4x400 team of Brayan Rodriguez, Raney, Dylan Lock and Cole Vandel came in second to close the meet.
North Platte’s Green continued to impress in the short distance running events, winning the 100 for a second straight meet. He finished in 11.59 to easily best Deonoven McKinzy of University Academy.
Green also placed second in the 400. The Panthers also received a runner-up showing from Meadows, who cleared 10-0 in the pole vault.