On Friday, RBHS’s track team made the long pilgrimage to Jefferson City’s Lincoln University for the MSHSAA State Championships. Twenty-three sophomores, juniors and seniors qualified to compete in state, participating in a range of events suited to their demonstrated talents.
Both are considered “class four” teams, meaning that RBHS is among the largest schools in the state, pitting track up against such large districts as Blue Springs. Despite such competition, however, RBHS students came out with high honors.
“The whole experience was great,” junior Margie Crosby said. “My awesome teammates and I took part in breaking two school records, both in the 4×8 and 4×4 [relays].”
Crosby has been running track for two years, and sees this year as being a great one for the sport, giving credit hers and the team’s successes on the huge support received from their coaches this year. Teammate, junior Sam Farmer, with whom Crosby beat a school record, agrees.
“Coach [Neal] Blackburn prepared us really well with our training and such,” Farmer said, “so our success is no doubt because of him and his hard work.
Their success this year is remarkable. RBHS’s women took seventh overall in points from state, and RBHS’s men tied for second with Lee’s Summit West in points, vastly surpassing their ranks from last year’s state championships in which the boys took twenty-first and the girls tied for fourteenth with Washington.
After this year’s season of successes, assistant coach Megan Gabel is already awaiting the near future of the track team.
“The freshman and sophomores and jv teams have shown a lot of potential, so we’re looking forward to even next year,” Gabel said. “We’ve got a lot of graduating seniors, which is always kind of a sad deal, but were also really hopeful, what we’re seeing as far as talent.”
By Madi Mertz