After winning a Class 1 title last year, needless to say the West Platte girls track and field team were interested in picking up the MSHSAA program last weekend at the annual MSHSAA Track and Field Championships in Jefferson City.
The Bluejays tied Worth County for first place last year and won a coin flip to take home the first-place trophy last spring.
When the team opened up the official program to see their photo it wasn’t there. Worth County, though, was.
“The girls response was, I guess we just have to win one outright,’” and that is exactly what they did,” West Platte girls coach Bailee Giger.
For the second year in a row the Bluejays racked up 50 points and this time they won a state championship — going up from Class 1 to Class 2 this spring.
The girls won three state titles in events held on Friday and Saturday, May 17-18 at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City.
The first of the championships came on Friday, May 17 in the first race of the day.
The 4x800-meter relay team of Katie Tharp, Sophia Rush, Katie Groom and Lindsay Goodwin took the Class 2 title, a year after West Platte won the Class 1 4x800 race.
Goodwin, a senior, made a late charge down the final 50 meters to hold off Madison Kauth of Clark County, who was running stride in stride.
West Platte finished in 10 minutes, 12.29 seconds, while Clark County crossed in 10:13.02.
“It was a blessing, being my senior year and being able to repeat this year from last year,” said Goodwin, who needed her asthma inhaler after the race. “I was so happy to get to do it with these girls because they are my second family.”
Rush, a sophomore, mentioned she had tears running down her face after Goodwin secured the win.
West Platte led for only one lap in the race, with Plattsburg leading throughout much of the race.
“They pushed us all year, it was a blessing to have competition,” Rush said of the fellow KCI school that ultimately took fifth in the race.
The Bluejays got another state championship from the 4x200-meter relay, while the 4x100-meter relay was the state runner-up.
The 4x200-meter team secured a state championship by running 1:46.62. The team of Gretchen Raney, Gracie Raney, Tori Norman and Hannah McGivern were seeded second after prelims behind Caruthersville. In the finals, the team took nearly a second off the time in the final to edge the Southeast Missouri school in a close call, 1:46.62 to 1:46.66.
Gretchen Raney, Daire Stelljes, Faith Stevens and McGivern took second in the 4x100, staying in the same spot after prelims. They lost to Caruthersville, which set the new Class 2 record with a time of 48.87. West Platte came in second at 49.84.
The third state championship came from sophomore MiKenna Peters.
She sat in second place after prelims of the 100-meter hurdles, but took first in the finals on Saturday, beating the favorite Jenna Shipley of Adrian narrowly, 15.72 to 15.77.
Late in the day, Peters took fourth place in the 300-meter hurdles, moving up two spots.
West Platte got a pair of medalists in the 100-meter dash. McGivern was fourth and Gretchen Raney took seventh place, giving the Bluejays seven points.
“This weekend was surreal,” Giger said. “Winning one state title is hard, but moving up a class and doing it the next year doesn’t seem possible. The girls have worked incredibly hard and handled adversity throughout the season, which prepared them for the state meet. The keys were our strong seniors who are leaders and true competitors, plus a talented group of sophomores that had experience at the state meet.”