STANBERRY, Mo. — Colton Wilmes is facing a new challenge in his senior season at Northeast Nodaway.

Wilmes was pushed in the shot put last season by area standouts like Worth County’s Drake Kinsella and Mason Hawk, West Platte’s Cole Whalen and Mound City’s Jacobi Tunnell, but this season all those former rivals have graduated so the reigning 275 Conference champion is having to rely on himself and that goal of making it to state for internal motivation.

“Last year, there were a lot of good throwers,” Wilmes said. “This year, I’m still pushing myself because you never know. Anyone could come out there and throw one farther. I still want to push myself and I put a lot of it on myself to go harder and get where I want to be.”

That worked well Friday in the Stanberry Invitational where Wilmes won the shot put with a throw of 45-foot-5. That throw was more than two and a half feet farther than the rest of the field managed.

“I’m getting better with my form,” Wilmes said. “I feel like I did decent today, but I still have a lot to work with on my form. I feel like I should be throwing a little farther. I still have a lot of practice to do.”

Wilmes continued his strong day by moving over to the discus and taking second behind Rock Port’s Dalton Stevens. Wilmes‘ throw was 123-foot-7.

“I really have to clean up my finish,” Wilmes said. “I don’t feel like I come through very strong. I think most of it is just mental because I’m worried about scratching instead of just throwing it.”

Junior Nathan Schieber took third in the 800-meter run with a 2:19.5. He also helped the team to a fifth-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay along with Ethan Adwell, Rory Bredlow and Levi Germann.

“We are starting to build up, starting to get a little stronger and we have that strong group of freshmen and they are doing really well,” Wilmes said.

The Bluejays also took sixth in the 4x400-meter dash on a team that included Landen Allen, Preston Hillyard and Germann.

“A lot of our relays are really young, but I’ve been really tickled with the way they put things together,” Northeast Nodaway coach Jared Freemyer said. “I had four freshmen in this (4x400) and they ran well and showed some guts. That is what I want to see for the future.”

Sophomore Paige West led the effort for the Northeast Nodaway girls with three individual medals. Her day started in the jumps where she cleared 4-foot-8 in the high jump to earn fifth and long-jumped 15-foot-1 to take fourth.

“Paige did a good job,” Freemyer said. “She did really well on high jump. My high jumpers (West and sophomore Victoria Moran) both did very well and set PRs today. (West’s) 300 hurdles looked really good.”

West’s best finish of the day came in the 300-meter hurdles where she was third behind Worth County junior Anna Gladstone and North Nodaway senior Kristin Herndon. West finished with a 53.4.

Sophomore Madelynn Mattson took fourth in the shot put with a throw of 31-foot-10.5. Sophomore Anne Schieber rounded out the Bluejay medalists with a 2:47.5 run in the 800-meter run to take fifth.

“I put her in some really hard competition there and told her to sit on some of those girls that normally win and she stayed right with them.”          

Northeast Nodaway’s next meet will be Tuesday in Rock Port before going to Worth County the following Tuesday.