Mac Leet already lost the time. He can’t bring it back, only try to make the most of every meet remaining in his career.
A senior, Leet holds on to his lofty goals in the high jump, even after a painful knee injury limited his growth in the event a year ago. He still hasn’t earned a spot in the Class 4 Missouri State Track and Field Championships, but the potential coaches saw in him as a lanky sophomore remains evident.
Leet has cleared 6 feet, 2 inches in each of his first two meets this season, including an easy win in the field-events-only Pirate Flight Night on Friday, March 31 at Pirate Stadium. He’s still trying to get back to the 6-4 mark he hit as a sophomore with eyes on Kevin Schultz’s school record of 6-7 set in 2014.
“Right now, I’m pretty much just trying to get back to where I was before I was hurt,” Leet said. “I’m trying to get back to that pace and get even higher.”
Leet’s first jump at Flight Night won the competition, but instead of moving on to his next event, he went higher to continue testing himself.
A Class 4 Sectional 4 qualifier each of the past two years, Leet knows the value of each meet. He struggled with left knee pain a year ago, which affected his takeoff at the bar. Doctors told him he suffered from Osgood-Schlatter Disease, a common condition in growing teenagers known to cause discomfort where the patellar tendon attaches to the tibia.
Late in the season, Leet changed up his entire approach and started jumping off of his right foot — a dramatic shift in technique and footwork. He advanced out of District 8 despite clearing just 5-8 but went on to make 6-0 in Sectional 4 competition for a second straight year.
Leet placed fifth and missed state by just one spot.
“I almost made it to state with my right foot, but I didn’t’,” Leet said.
The pain subsided in the offseason, and Leet now feels back at full strength. Doctors have told him he’s done growing.
Leet reset his goals and received a unique opportunity in his first home meet of the season. Schultz, a 2014 graduate now jumping at Northwest Missouri State with a personal-best near 7-0, ran the competition with Leet hitting on his first attempt at 5-8, 5-10, 6-0 and 6-2 before three misses.
“Right now, the first goal before the postseason is to break the school record,” said Leet, who has signed to continue his track career at Northwest Missouri State. “If I don’t break it before the postseason, then my whole focus will be on getting to state. That’ll be my main priority. I’ve been there enough times. I know what I have to do.
“So far, I’ve been jumping heights I haven’t hit before at the start of the season, so I’m confident.”
In addition to his high jump success, Leet also set a personal best at 19-11 to win the long jump.
Three teams backed out of the second-year meet due to various scheduling conflicts, leaving a limited field of competition. Platte County dominated with the Pirates taking wins in six of seven events on both the boys and girls side.
Platte County didn’t just win but put up record showings in the process.
JP Post, a junior, gave the Pirates a sweep of the boys jump events, going 40-5½ in the triple jump before finishing second to Leet in long jump. The girls took all three jump events as well behind a standout showing from senior Tori Farr.
Also looking for a state breakthrough this year, Farr set a personal best at 16-11 in the long jump and barely scratched on her final attempt, negating a jump of nearly 18-0. She also matched her career best to win the high jump at 5-0.
Farr believes a 17-foot-plus long jump is within sight and hopes to help replace state medalist high jumper Tianna Daniel-Dalton’s presence after she moved from the district in the offseason.
Platte County junior Karleigh Wise finished second to Farr in the long jump and then won the triple jump at 31-4¾.
“I hope to go to state in long jump, high jump. I’m trying to fill the leader spot,” said Farr, who just missed a state berth in the high jump last year after clearing 4-10 in Sectional 4 competition.
Platte County’s javelin record also fell multiple times during the meet.
Dakota Schmidt, a junior, broke his own school record during the competition then watched senior teammate Cade Goettling better him at 128-8. Schmidt ended up throwing 136-3 to win the competition and reclaim his title.
Platte County sophomore Jaycie Stubbs won the girls javelin (101-5) after again setting a school record at the Kearney quad to open the season.
Xavier Keith, another standout sophomore for Platte County, set his season best at 50-5½ to win the shot put, while senior Derek Kohler came in second in the discus at 123-4 — just 6 inches behind Nolan Harris of Lexington. Bryce Bearden, a senior, bettered his own school record, going up to 14-0 to win the pole vault.
Platte County senior Liz Peterson also set a personal best to win the shot put at 35-2½. The final win for the girls came from freshman Jaycie Call in the pole vault (7-0) with all four entrants in the event from Platte County.
With Pirate Flight Night going on at home, Platte County’s runners participated in the Falcon Relays on Friday, March 31 at North Kansas City District Activities Complex.
Okwar Jale (42.31 seconds) and Kevin Neal (42.95) took the top two spots in the 300-meter hurdles and also led the Pirates to victory in the 4x110 shuttle hurdle relay. Will Hay and Mason Claire rounded out the team that finished in 1:15.49 — about a second and a half behind winner Staley.
Park Hill South also fared well in the non-traditional relays, as well as the 4x800.
The team of Jacob Prososki, Eli Guzman, Andrew Reece and Ewan Frick took the 4x800 in 8:35.43 to beat Staley by nine seconds. The Panthers also took both sprint medley relays and the distance medley relay.
Dillon Thomas, Melvin Walker, Nylo Clarke and Chris Dupree made up the 100-100-200-400 sprint team, while Dupree, Michael Garrison, Clarke and Brendan Briody were the 200-200-400-800 for Park Hill South. David Rouse, Reece, Briody and Fricke then won the 1,200-400-800-1,600 distance medley relay, beating out Platte County’s team of Evan Edwards, Devin Richardson, Keegan Cordova and Jackson Letcher by about 6 seconds in a tight 1-2-3-4 finish in the event.
Platte County and Park Hill South also combined to win four of the girls relays.
Park Hill South took the 4x100 shuttle hurdles (Jasmine Case, Jordan Lenz, Dymeria Guillory, Ally Hammond) in 1:09.18 along with the 4x800 (Emma Roth, Jasmine Crawford, Marti Heit, Lexi Maddox). Platte County’s wins were in the 1,200-400-800-1,600 distance medley (Rebekah Geddes, Isabelle Geddes, Jessica Clark, Lexi Elmore) and the 200-200-400-800 sprint medley (Lilliana Harrison, Taylor Farr, Amanda Sullivan, Rebekah Geddes).