Chris Nilsen went back to his old heights last week.
Competing in the Darwin Rold Invitational, the Park Hill senior cleared 17 feet, 1 inch in high school competition to set a new personal record in the pole vault Friday, April 15 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He set the Missouri State Track and Field Championships record at 17-0 last spring.
Nilsen needed the record-setting effort to hold off Lee’s Summit’s KC Lightfoot, who cleared 16-3¼ to finish second.
In addition to the pole vault win, Nilsen also won the high jump for his second victory in that event this season. He cleared 6-4 and tied with senior teammate Alijah Gee for the top spot.
Those big points helped Park Hill scored 89 points, finishing second to Lee’s Summit in the final team standings.
The Trojans were strong in the field events with junior Papay Glaywulu first in the triple jump (46-7) and second in the long jump (22-6½). He came in just 1½ inches behind Raytown South’s Tyree Sorrells in the long jump.
Hunter Lund also posted a runner-up finish for Park Hill, placing second in the 3,200-meter run while junior Grant Downes was third in the 110 hurdles.
Park Hill South’s Nylo Clarke ended up with a pair of runner-up finishes by agonizing margins.
In the 100, the Panthers junior came in at 11.14 seconds, just .01 of a second behind Liberty North’s Jon Redmond. Clarke’s time would’ve been top eight at state in Class 5 last year. He also came in second in the 400 in 49.03 — just .02 of a second behind Rockhurst’s Patrick Bowen.
Park Hill South scored 34 points and tied for 10th in the 13-team field.
Taiya Shelby collected Park Hill’s lone victory on the girls side, winning the 400 in a second straight meet. She posted a time of 58.41 seconds to win by more than half of a second. Park Hill South’s 4x800 relay placed second, while senior Sarah Russ posted the best individual finish, third in the triple jump.
Park Hill finished fifth in the team standings, while Park Hill South was eighth.
David Fulk’s resurgence continued during a dominant 4x400-meter relay showing Thursday, April 14 in Kansas City, Mo.
After an injury kept him out for most of the postseason last year, the Platte County senior ran a 50.6-second split to help the Pirates cap the meet with a win. The 4x400 team of Fulk, TJ Guillory, Jon Watts and Tyler Clemens finished in 3 minutes, 27.50 seconds to edge Grandview by just more than a quarter of a second.
Platte County finished third out of 12 teams with 112 points.
In addition to the 4x400, the 4x200 quartet of Guillory, Clemens, Fulk and Dakota Schmidt placed third in 1:33.55, just more than a second back of Grandview. The Pirates’ 4x800 team of Fulk, Jared Maksudian, Keegan Cordova and Nick Bjustrom finished as runner-up to open the meet, second to Kearney.
Watts tied for second in the high jump at 6 feet but wound up third on tiebreakers. Payton Sheehan cleared 12-6 in the pole vault to finish second. Platte County scored big points in the shot put with Dane Rader (45-1½) and Christian Encarnacion (43-5) finished 2-3.
On the girls side, Platte County finished fifth with 85 ½ points, just a half point back of Grain Valley.
The Pirates ended up with a bunch of third-place individual showings, including Hilary Mathurin in the 300 hurdles (50.50). Tori Farr was also third in the 100 behind two runners from Grandview and tied for third in the long jump (14-11) but ended up fourth on the tiebreaker of second-longest jump.
Rebekah Geddes came in behind two runners from Grain Valley in the 1,600, coming off a record-setting performance in the event two days earlier. Geddes did collect one of two wins for the Pirates, finishing the 3,200 in 11:46.69.
Tianna Daniel-Dalton scored her first career win, clearing 5-0 in the high jump for the first time.
The Pirates swept the team titles Tuesday, April 12 on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., winning five of eight relays in the process.
On the girls side, Sara Wyss, Lauren Johnson, Rachel Gilbert and Lindsay Johnson opened with a victory in the 4x800, while the 4x400 team of Mathurin, Geddes, Farr and Ava White closed with a first-place showing in 4:27.96. Geddes also set a personal record in the 1,600, winning in 5:23.35 with teammate Jessica Clark finishing as runner-up.
Mathurin and Hensley went 1-2 in the 300 hurdles after Hensley was runner-up in the 100 hurdles with Mathurin behind her in third.
White and Farr were also 1-2 in the 200 for the Pirates, and Farr finally cleared 5-0 in the high jump to win that event. Daniel-Dalton went 4-10 for second place, two days before also clearing 5-0 in her win at Winnetonka.
On the boys side, Fulk set a PR in the 800 with a 2:03 split on his leg of the opening relay. He combined with JD Crawford, Evan Edwards and Bjustrom to win the event — the first of three relay victories for Platte County. The 4x200 team of Guillory, Clemens, Jacob Mundell and Lloyd Lockett and the 4x400 team of Fulk, Guillory, Clemens and Lockett were also winners for the Pirates.
The 4x100 squad of Schmidt, Mike McNair, Michael Smith and Willie Smith came in
Clemens won the 400 in 52.23 with teammates DeAndre Rollins (third) and Schmidt (fourth) right behind. Kevin Neal topped the 300 hurdles field in 43.43, while Watts cleared 6-0 to win the high jump with Mac Leet behind him in second.
Christian Encarnacion set a personal record in the shot put at 45-5, while Bryce Bearden did the same clearing 11-9 in pole vault to round out the winners for Platte County. Okwar Jale (110 hurdles), Long (1,600), Fulk (800), Guillory (200), Edwards (3,200), Watts (long jump), Rader (shot put) and Sheehan (pole vault) all scored runner-up finishes.
Platte County’s Jake Tomlinson tied with Sheehan for second in the pole vault, giving the Pirates the top three finishers in the event.