Members of West Platte’s 4x800-meter relay team decided to worry about themselves, run hard and try to avoid last place.
The quartet of underclassmen accomplished so much more. In the Class 2 Missouri State Track and Field Championships, the Bluejays’ best relay team ended up with a second-place finish behind Father Tolton Academy on Saturday, May 21.
West Platte sophomores Rachel Heili and Sikoya Richard and freshmen Lea Moose and Lindsey Goodwin shaved more than 15 seconds off their previous best time to claim the runner-up spot in 10 minutes, 6.37 seconds. That put them just 7 seconds off the school record, and the all-state finish added to District 8 and Sectional 4 titles won the past two weeks.
In fact, the group ran together for the first time at districts.
All four relay members ran sub-2:35 splits, but Father Tolton’s squad came in more than 15 seconds in front to earn the state title. The Blazers were about 11 seconds off of the Class 2 state record Principia set in 1992, helping them to the overall state title.
West Platte ended up with a trio of all-state showings and scored 16 points, tied for 19th in the final standings.
Sydney Oberdiek, a junior, again placed in the top eight in both shot put and discus, adding to her two runner-up finishes from her sophomore season. She started with a third-place showing in the discus Friday, May 20 and wound up seventh in the shot put on Saturday.
In the discus, Oberdiek set a new personal record. She qualified for finals with a throw 111 feet, 10 inches, and then bested her 2015 mark from Atchison’s Redmen Relays with a 116-7 effort. She put up a consistent six tries in the shot put with her seventh-place 35-8¾ coming during preliminaries.
Oberdiek’s personal record of 37-4 earlier in the season would’ve been three-fourths of an inch back of state winner Jillian VanVelzer of Lathrop.
Richard and Ciara Davies were West Platte’s only other individual qualifiers. Richard placed 14th in the 800 at 2:31.58 — a solid effort after spending most of her season running four relays and no open events. Davies was ninth overall in the 400 preliminaries Friday at 1:02.57 and missed a spot in the finals by just 0.29 of a second.
Heili, Goodwin, Richard and Davies also competed in the 4x400 preliminaries, finishing 12th overall at 4:20.44 but missing the finals by a little more than a second.
North Platte’s team of Maddie Lee, McKenna Fulton, Gracie Roach and Erin Manville qualified fourth out of preliminaries and then finished fifth for the Panthers’ only state medal showing. They ran a season-best 4:14.27 in preliminaries, and the quartet nearly matched that in the finals Saturday at 4:14.34 despite dropping a spot.
North Platte’s 4x800 team of Fulton, Lee, Manville and Lauren Payne finished 15th, while the Panthers’ 4x200 team of Roach, Manville, Emmie Lee and Brittney Gerling came in 11th in preliminaries. The 4x200 came in seventh in the second heat but missed a spot in the finals by just more than a half second.
West Platte’s boys didn’t end up with a medal.
Daniel Cicha, a senior, set a personal best in the 1,600 at 4:49.55 and placed 13th. He also ran on the 4x800 with Andrew Cicha, Max Davies and Dylan Lock, and the Bluejays were 15th in Friday’s race.