GRANT CITY, Mo. — The sophomore girls class at Northeast Nodaway has been a much talked-about group — making big impacts in basketball and softball — but Tuesday’s Tiger Relays in Grant City truly showed how talented and relied upon that group is.
Every single participant for the Bluejay girls was a sophomore as they racked up six individual medals.
“They all came and competed the best that they could,” Bluejay assistant coach Sheldon Saxton said.
Paige West led that charge with three medals. West got things started in the long jump where she leapt 16-foot-1.5. She says the key to the improvement in that event has been height instead of focusing solely on length.
“A lot of people think that you don’t have to get high in long jump because it is long jump, but I’ve really gotten higher with my long jump and that has helped the distance,” West said.
West continued that success on the track where she was third in the 300-meter hurdles and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles. In those races, she faced veterans like Worth County’s Anna Gladstone, North-West Nodaway’s Kristin Herndon and South Holt/Nodaway-Holt’s Olivia Richards, but West says she enjoys testing herself against those accomplished runners.
“I just try to keep up with them,” West said. “I just have to keep telling myself, ‘I can sprint it, I can sprint it, I can do it.’”
Madelynn Mattson added to the medal count with a third-place finish in the shot put. Anne Schieber and Alba Vozmediaro each finished sixth in the 800-meter and 400-meter runs respectively.
Senior Colton Wilmes had the team’s only first-place finish as he won the shot put with a throw of 46-foot-8. He also had a 50-foot throw just hit out-of-bounds.
“He is a great kid,” Saxton said. “He knows what it will take and is just ready to get down to state.”
Wilmes added to his day with a second-place finish in the discus with a 128-foot-11 throw. He fouled on another very long throw in the discus as well.
“I felt pretty good,” Wilmes said. “I think I’ll get a little more distance if I fix my form a little bit. I think I threw some that were out-of-bounds a little further.”
Junior Nathan Schieber earned a fifth-place time in the 800-meter run and Mitchell Sherry was sixth in the high jump. Freshman Levi Germann had a strong day with a sixth-place medal in the 400-meter dash.
“I think that is his first medal of the year and he is only a freshman,” Saxton said.