WASHINGTON, Mo. — Haley Luna has came a long way in a year.
The Platte County sprinter capped off a banner season by finishing as the runner-up in the 400-meter dash on Saturday, May 25 at the MSHSAA State Track and Field Championships at Washington High School.
She finished the 400 dash in 57.97 seconds, coming in behind McCluer’s Cheyenne Melvin, who won in 57.12 seconds. It marked the second time this year the sophomore broke the Platte County school record in the event.
“I wasn’t upset that I didn’t get first considering how close behind I was to the girl that won,” said Luna, a two-time qualifier in the event.
In her state debut last May she finished 15th — next to last — and ran the one lap around the track in 1:02.94. A calendar year later she was one step away from the top spot on the podium.
Both of the top finishers in this year’s event are sophomores, which could mean a showdown could be repeated in May of 2020.
The runner-up finish was the highest for the Pirates’ girls team since Rebekah Geddes won a state championship her junior year in the 800-meter dash in 2017. Luna is the first runner-up for Platte County’s girls in Class 4 and the first runner-up since Ashton Stubbs was second in the Class 3 1,600-meter run in 2009.
Luna helped the Pirates account for their other five points by running the anchor leg of the 4x400-meter relay team that was fourth. Platte County had 13 points and 20th place in the standings.
The team featured all underclassmen — junior Isabelle Geddes and sophomores Bryn McGehe, Abbie Schwieder and Luna. The team finished in a school record 4:03.10 and was fourth in the second heat and fourth overall. Geddes will graduate early though and head to Weber State meaning at least one new runner will be needed next spring.
There was a four-second gap between the champion Parkway North and Platte County.
“By the time the 4x400 came around it was really hot (heat index was at 90) and I was pretty exhausted,” said Luna, who was 12th in the 200-meter dash in her first event on Saturday. “I still pushed myself to run fast and to not let down. I’m just really proud of myself and the relay team for placing and achieving a medal at state because the competition is so competitive.”
Platte County had four other events competing at the state meet.
The closest to earning a state medal was Schwieder, who jumped 10 feet in the pole vault and just missed on being the top nine that advanced to the finals. She capped this year as the school’s record holder in the event.
Taylor Giger was 11th in the 3,200-meter run and McGehe was 14th in the 800-meter run.
Those two joined Ryanne Rhude and Jenna Jurgensmeyer — on an all sophomore replay —that was 14th in the 4x800-meter relay.