Hazelwood Central Wins 1st Girls State Track & Field Since 1988

By Jim Wieners

For the past three years the Hazelwood Central Girls Track & Field team watched the Boys celebrate state Class Four championships while finishing no better than 10th last year.

This year the Hawk ladies joined the men in winning state. Hazelwood Central scored 49.5 points to win Class Four, their first state title since 1988 and their third since 1987. It is also the second time Hazelwood Central Boys and Girls won state the same year, the other in 1987. Central was one and a half points better than second place Blue Springs (48), last year’s champion Francis Howell was third (44), Eureka was fourth (42), McCluer North was fifth (41), McCluer was sixth (28.5) and Hazelwood West was 34th (5.5).

According to a May 28 Hazelwood District press release Central head coach Glenn Norwood, who was on the 1987 Boys State title team, said “It has been 25 long years since the last girls state title. I am very proud of the girls. They have demonstrated to everyone they have the talent and right chemistry to be able to go out on top. We already are looking forward to next year.”

Ashley Henderson led the way for the Hawks by winning two individual events and anchored a relay team to a title. Henderson won the 100-Meter Dash with an 11.95-second sprint, the 200-Meter Dash with a 24.5-second sprint and teamed up with Devin Torbert, Prenecia Ponds and Alliah McClendon to win the 4×200 Relay (1:39.86). Ponds was second to Henderson in the 200-Meter Dash (24.87 seconds) and fourth in the 100-Meter Dash  (12.24 seconds), Alexis Miller shared fourth place in the High Jump with Alauna Ray, McCluer, and the Hawks finished seventh in 4×400 Relay

McCLUER NORTH fell one point shy of taking home a state trophy but the Stars won two events. The 4×100 Relay team (Kiana Harvey, Jayla Riggins, Rachel Culberson and Jennifer Watt) won the title with a 48.21-second effort while Kimberlin Simon won the 100-Meter Hurdles in 14.52 seconds. Culberson, who was seventh at 400 Meters (1:00.18), Simon, who was fourth in the 300 Hurdles (45.42 seconds), Jasmine Barge, who was third in the 300 Hurdles (44.51 seconds) and Michela Woods took the 4×400 Relay Team to a second-place finish (3:50.59-1.53 seconds behind Francis Howell.

McCLUER had a pair of second-place finished from Shaelyn Grant, who finished behind Simon in the 100 Hurdles (14.58 seconds) by six-hundredths of a second and behind Morgan Smith, Raymore-Peculiar in the 300 Hurdles (43.84 seconds) by 0.12 second. Ray, besides sharing fourth with Miller in the High Jump, was seventh in the Triple jump (36’10.5”), Lydia Harold was sixth at 400 Meters (58.8 seconds) and the 4×400 Relay was sixth (3:58.78).

HAZELWOOD WEST took home two state medals as Tyler Kelly finished fifth in the 300 Hurdles (45.69 seconds) and Lauralyn Rosenberg shared seventh place in the Pole Vault (11’3”) with Michela Rudolph, Francis Howell North. Rosenberg’s effort is the best by a Girls Pole Vaulter from an area school.

In the CLASS THREE triple jump NORTH TECH’S Vivianna Carter finished second (36’1”) to Sydney Deeken, California (37’4.5”), while LUTHERAN NORTH’S Eric Mueller finished seventh (35’3”).

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