SMITHVILLE, Mo. — After coming up 1 inch short of an already ambitious target, Sydney Oberdiek went a little further.
West Platte’s standout junior thrower set a career best in the shot put during the Smithville Invitational on Friday, April 1. Then she bettered that mark with a staggering effort of 37 feet, 4 inches. Previously, Oberdiek’s best came last year in the Class 2 Missouri State Track and Field Championships at 35-4½.
Oberdiek hit 35-11 on her third try at Smithville before hitting her new personal record on the final try.
“That was unexpected,” said Oberdiek, who peeked at the end of last season with third-place finishes in both the shot put and discus at state. “I know that I’m capable of doing that, but it still means I have a lot of work to do. I was working over the winter, and I didn’t do that last year.
“I’m hoping to just keep building, and we’re going to see how it’s going to go. I definitely don’t expect to do that every single meet, but who knows?”
Oberdiek placed fourth in a solid field to highlight a record-setting day for West Platte’s throwers.
Jessica Lintner, a senior, also set numerous personal records and finished with a 33-1 effort in the shot put. That put her in fifth, edging North Platte senior Mackenzie Daniel (32-8) for that spot.
Despite bitterly cold winds and increasingly overcast weather, Oberdiek shined in both throwing events and nearly met another personal best in the discus. She threw 108-0 to come up just about 5 feet short of a mark she set in similar weather conditions last season in the Redmen Relays in Atchison, Kan.
Daniel came in fifth with a season best 103-7 in the discus.
“Actually, I usually do my best in this weather,” Oberdiek said. “I threw like 113 (in Atchison) and it was a lot like this: windy, cold miserable. By summer, hopefully, I’ll be in better shape and be able to throw it farther no matter what the weather is.”
Oberdiek and stacked relay teams helped West Platte to a sixth place finish in the final team standings with 55½ points. The Bluejays were 10 points back of Lathrop but well in front of seventh-place North Platte in the 14-team field.
Rachel Heili (fourth, 800), Lea Moose (fifth, 3,200 and 1,600) and Emily Norman (fourth, 100 hurdles) also earned big individual points for West Platte, but other events were eschewed to take a look at relays in a field of larger schools. The Bluejays’ 4x400 (Ciara Davies, Heili, Lindsay Goodwin and Sikoya Richard) came in fourth out of the slow heat to finish in front of North Platte (Maddie Lee, McKenna Fulton, Gracie Roach and Erin Manville) by a little more than a quarter of a second.
West Platte’s 4x800 (Gretchen Hiatt, Davies, Heili and Richard) also came in fourth, just back of Smithville.
With participation up, West Platte has shown huge strides in the early part of the season after winning the North Platte Invitational earlier last week. Oberdiek provides the big point possibilities as the only state qualifier from 2015, but the depth now offers chances to be more competitive.
“This year, we’ve got a little more pressure to take the final step,” West Platte coach Brad Basel said. “They’re starting off this year knowing they can do some good things. Last year, they started off the year not having any idea what they could do. They’re starting at a level higher this year. Hopefully, we can finish a level higher.”
The majority of North Platte’s 38½ points also came from relays.
The Panthers’ 4x100 (Abby Fisher, Emmie Lee, Brittney Gerling and Callie Pataluna) came in fourth, just a tenth of a second back of Grain Valley, and the 4x200 (Roach, Emmie Lee, Gerling and Manville) ended up third in 1 minute, 56.09 seconds. Roach (tie for third, high jump) and Pataluna (fourth, long jump) were the other top individual finishers.
On the boys side, North Platte came in 11th out of 14 teams with big help from a new addition.
Jordan Hendricks joined the track and field team this season as a senior, his first action since running at Platte County as a sophomore. In his first big test of the season, Hendricks ran 11.80 to place sixth in the 100, while also helping the 4x100 team, which also includes Van French, Josh Dutcher and Corbin Green, to a fifth-place finish.
The Panthers ran 47.71 in the slow heat but bested three teams in the second heat for its place.
“I wanted to be a part of it,” said Hendricks, who also placed sixth in the long jump at 18-4¾ and could run the 200 at some points this season. “Handoffs have actually been pretty good. I really need to get better at getting out of blocks and doing the little things.”
Hendricks just edged West Platte’s Jan Farkas for sixth in 100. Farkas ran out of a slower heat for his placement and then added a fourth-place effort in the 200 at 24.15, .02 of a second out of third.
Daniel Cicha came in fourth in both the 1,600 and 3,200, helping put West Platte at 10th in the team standings
North Platte’s Eric Brown took fourth in the pole vault at 9-6 and also placed sixth in the triple jump.
North Platte Invitational
Consistent results carried West Platte to the girls championship Tuesday, March 29 in Dearborn, Mo.
The Bluejays put up a top-three finish in 12 of 18 events, including three of four relays, to finish with 115½ points. They won three events to North Platte’s two, and the host Panthers finished in second place at 97 points.
Lea Moose, Davies and Heili led the way for West Platte.
A freshman, Moose scored key points with a victory in the pole vault to go with a runner-up showing in the 3,200-meter run. She also ran a leg on the 4x800 relay with Heili, Richard and Lauren Moose, a group that beat North Platte (Maddie Lee, Shelby Fisher, Erin Manville and McKenna Fulton) for the top spot by more than 18 seconds.
Heili also medaled in the 3,200 (second) and 1,600 (third).
Davies won the other individual event for West Platte in the 400 (1 minute, 4.78 seconds), also running on the second-place 4x400 with Richard, Hiatt and Lauren Moose. Oberdiek finished top three in all three throwing events — shot put (second), javelin (second) and discus (third).
North Platte won the 4x400 (Manville, Fulton, Emmie Lee and Roach) and came in top three in all of the relays, including second in both the 4x100 (Abby Fisher, Emmie Lee, Pataluna and Gerling) and 4x200 (Gerling, Roach, Emmie Lee and Abby Fisher). West Platte’s 4x200 (Logan Eagan, Norman, Davies and Richard) came in third.
Roach also won the high jump (5 feet) for the Panthers, while Daniel finished second in front of Oberdiek in the discus and third one spot behind her in the shot put. North Platte’s McKenna Fulton edged Norman for third in the 300 hurdles, while Norman came in third in the 100 hurdles.
North Platte’s boys used a strong showing in throwing events to push into fourth place in a crowded 18-team leaderboard.
The Panthers ended up with 51½ points and were just 10½ out of third place. Gentry Scrivener, a senior, won the shot put (42-3) and came in second in the discus (111-6), while Jonathan Collins, another senior topped the javelin with Panthers teammate Josh Dutcher in third.
The javelin did not count toward the team standings.
Brown came in second in the pole vault (10-6) for North Platte, while Dutcher, Van French, Corbin Green and Hendricks tied for third place in the 4x100 at 48.03. Hendricks also placed fourth in the 100.
Cicha came in second in the 1,600 and 3,200, helping the Bluejays to a ninth place team finish.