Several girls on the Lee’s Summit West track team traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina over the weekend to compete in the national high school track and field championships. The standards to get in this meet are very difficult and athletes must compete with others from their own high school. So there are no all-star teams allowed which makes this a true national championship meet and the only one of its kind in the country. The top six in each event are named to the All-America team.
JAVELIN (4th Place and All-American)/SHOT PUT 9th Place/400 HURDLES (34th Place)
On Friday evening Maddie Harris started the meet off on Friday evening with a fourth place finish in the Championship Javelin at 144-4. She also competed in the Championship Shot Put and threw 45-4.5 and placed ninth on Sunday narrowly missing another All-American spot. Akirah Venerable competed on Sunday in the Emerging Elite 400 Hurdles and placed 34th in 1:08.32. The Emerging Elite division is the second tier division that is just under the qualifying standards of the championship events. There have been many Olympians that have competed in the Emerging Elite division in the early stages of their career and standards are very difficult to get into those races as well.
4×800 RELAY (3rd Place All-Americans)
The girls competed in the Championship 4×800 Relay on Saturday evening and placed third running 9:02.36 which ends up being ranked #6 best time in the US on the final high school rankings for all track meets. The following splits were recorded for each 800 the girls ran. Audrey Parson 2:15.88, Ginger Murnieks 2:17.52, Hailey Hardin 2:20.21 and Madison Hulsey 2:08.77. Madison Hulsey ran the fastest split of any girl from all teams in the 4×800 at the national meet. This is the second year in a row that the girls have placed third at the national meet in the 4×800 Relay.
DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY (National Champions)
On Sunday the girls competed in the Championship Distance Medley Relay. The distance medley relay is made up of the follow distances 1200 meters (3 laps), 400 meters (1 lap), 800 meters (2 laps) and 1600 (4 laps). The girls have never been able to qualify for the championship division until this year so this was a first for them competing in this very competitive event. The girls had one of the best performances for any event at any track meet in school history and secured our first national championship running 11:48.17 (10 laps on the track). The time they ran ends up being the #4 best time for all track meets in the United States this Spring into Summer.
Head Coach Jessie Griffin said, “Trust me the weather was tough with high temps and the times that are ranked ahead of them ran in much cooler weather. Girls ran the following splits Madison Hulsey 1200-3 laps (3:34.65), Akirah Venerable 400-1 lap (57.86), Audrey Parson 800-2 laps (2:15.77) and Ginger Murnieks 1600-4 laps (4:59.90). This was one of the most fearless and gritty performances I have witnessed in my 11 years coaching career at LSWHS.”