Park Hill South brought home a championship plaque to highlight the showing from the area schools at the KU Relays held last Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, in Lawrence, Kan.
The prestigious meet, which has a college meet run along the same time as the high school one, brings teams from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado.
The Panthers boys 4x800-meter relay team of Christian Ludtke, Ethan Mick, Max Goertzen and Quentin Worley finished in 8 minutes, 2.66 seconds to take first by nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up Omaha Creighton Prep.
The same group of runners were third in the 4x1600-meter run (18:28.22).
The Panthers also got a first from Chris DuPree in the 400-meter prelims but the junior decided not to compete in the finals on Saturday. Connor McCauley was in the 400 as well, making the finals as the seventh fastest and then took sixth at 50.72.
DuPree (15th), Ludtke (16th) and Mick (19th) all ran in the 800.
In the field events, Park Hill South got a trio of top-10 finishers.
Benjamin Owere took sixth in the triple jump (44-10 ½), while Addison Snowball took sixth in the shot put with a throw of 57-1. Snowball was 14th in the discus.
That mark easily broke the previous school record of 51-11, held by Cory Meachem.
In the girls high jump, Alecia Westbrook took fifth for the Panthers, jumping 5-3.
The Trojans had six top-10 finishes on the girls side and broke a record on the boys side during the event.
“Our kids were able to hold their own and had some really great performances on both Friday and Saturday,” Park Hill coach Rob Self said.
The best finish was a pair of runner-up finishes in the relays. The 4x100-meter team of Jordan Birmingham, Kristen Birmingham, Caleia Johnson and Teresa Thomas ran 48.96 — It was the second fastest time in Missouri this year — in the prelims and set a new school record. In the finals, they ran 49.08 and came in behind Edmond (Okla.) Memorial.
Thomas, Kristen Birmingham, Johnson and Rierra Sanders ran 1:44.27 to take second in the 4x200, coming in behind Edmond Memorial again. The time is the third fastest in Missouri this year.
The Trojans won their heat in the 4x400 and had the third fastest time after prelims, but didn’t compete in the finals. The team of Thomas, Kristen Birmingham, Manuel Ngo Tonye Nyemeck and Johnson comprised the team that ran 4:02.32 — the second best time in Missouri this year.
Thomas was seventh in the 100 dash, while Johnson took fifth in the 400. Both had top-five times in the state of Missouri this year with their showings.
LaShunda Tapp took sixth place in the shot put with a throw of 41-5 ¼ and broke her school record again. The junior threw 126-6 ½ in the discus — a personal best — and broke the school record. She took 12th.
Birmingham took seventh in the high jump with a jump of 5-3, two spots behind Westbrook.
Park Hill set a pair of school records in the 2,000-meter steeplechase as junior Abaigal Fette took 14th (8:42.95) and Isaiah Phillips took 12th (6:56.80).
Fette had never competed in the event before, Self noted.
Kolby Heinerikson, a Nebraska signee, took 10th place in the javelin with a throw of 162-4 ½.
The Panthers took three relay teams and sophomore Maddie O’Neil, who competed in three events.
She took eighth place in the 400 dash (1:00.14), while taking 20th in the 100 dash. She also ran on the 4x200- and 4x400-meter relay teams.