LIBERTY, Mo. — For a few minutes, Platte County junior Maya Sullivan took the program record in the pole vault in her first competition with the Pirates. Abbie Schwieder, a senior, then took her record back before going even higher and shattering her previous best.
Schwieder finished second in the competition during the Ron Ives Invitational on Friday at HyVee Field at 3.51 meters behind Liberty sophomore Rachel Homoly at 4.01 meters. Missouri has started measuring field events in meters rather than traditional feet and inches.
“It was exciting to see Schwieder break the school record in the pole vault,” first-year Platte County coach Jerod Smith said. “I have a feeling that she’s not done improving that record. Sullivan also had a great day in the pole vault.”
A transfer from Park Hill South, Sullivan tied for third at 3.20 meters, part of a fifth-place finish for Platte County in a tough eight-team field. A transfer from Park Hill South, she cleared 10-6 early in the competition to take the school record, briefly giving her the top mark for both the Pirates and Park Hill South.
Schwieder’s previous best had been 10-1 while winning the 2019 Suburban Conference Blue Division Championships pole vault title. On Friday, she cleared 11-0 and then 11-6, even if the winning height was now referenced in meters.
Prior to Schwieder, Blaire Sampsell held the record from 2011 until late in 2019. Schwieder missed all of last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but already signed to Northern Iowa, she wasted little time in her final season at setting a new bar.
Platte County also had a pair of individual titles, starting with the very first race — the Ron Ives 4×800-meter relay, named after the former Liberty coach. The team of seniors Aly Anderson, Jenna Jurgensmeyer, Bryn McGehe and freshman Sisley Mitchell finished in 10:17.46 to post a winning margin of about 8 seconds over Blue Springs.
Anderson, Jurgensmeyer and McGehe were a part of Platte County’s 2019 Class 4 Missouri State Track and Field Championships qualifying team, although Anderson didn’t run at state.
“Our 4×800 relay girls made sure we had a great start to the meet with their first-place finish,” Smith said. “All four of the 4×800 girls consistently trained this winter, and the benefits of their hard work showed through their performance.”
Platte County sophomore Meah Salzman, also making her debut due to last spring’s lost season, won the 100 hurdles (17.45 seconds) and came in as the runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles (50.04).
Schwieder and Salzman also contributed to successful relays. The Pirates’ 4×200 team of seniors Emma Seckinger, Schwieder, sophomore Kenzie Palmer and junior Molly McBratney placed third third (1:53.95), while Schwieder, Anderson, Jurgensmeyer and McGehe took fourth in the 4×400 (4:19.39).
Platte County also claimed top-five spots in field events with Reese Pickett fourth in the long jump (4.53 meters) and Palmer and junior Kate Brown going third-fourth in the triple jump at 9.73 and 9.60 meters, respectively. Pickett had a busy day, also placing fifth in the 100 hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles and high jump.
Despite being without 400 state runnerup Haley Luna and expected long-distance specialist Taylor Giger, Platte County finished with 82 points. McGehe, a state qualifier in the 800 as a sophomore, also didn’t compete in her best individual event.
Platte County’s boys were seventh out of nine teams, as the Pirates look to almost completely rebuild from the 2019 fifth-place Class 4 state team. Chandler Steinmeir, a junior, recorded the top two finishes for the Pirates, claiming an individual title in the 300 hurdles (41.31) and coming in as runnerup in the 110 hurdles (16.19).
Steinmeir was a sectional qualifier in the 300 hurdles as a freshman.
“Steinmeier looked great in the hurdles,” Smith said.
Platte County senior Joey Schultz and sophomore Chandavian Bradley both placed in high jump and triple jump. Schultz came in third in the high jump (1.77 meters/5-9¾) and fourth in the triple jump (12.64 meters).
Bradley, who is becoming a highly coveted football recruit with recent offers from Oklahoma and Missouri this week, was fifth in both events. He matched Schultz’s height in the high jump, but five competitors hit that mark with tiebreakers forcing him down the leaderboard. His best triple jump in the first competition of his high school career was 12.5 meters.
In the shot put, Platte County senior Dylan Montes placed fourth with a 13.38-meter effort.
Platte County’s best showing from the four relays were the 4×100 and 4×200 teams, each taking sixth. In the 4×200, the team of sophomore Carter Salzman, senior Luke Filger, junior Cole Rhoden and Steinmeir ran 1:35.76. Salzman, Rhoden, junior Trevor Scott and sophomore Garrett Smith comprised the 4×100 team that finished in 45.41.
“All of our kids performed well against the high level of competition,” said Smith, who coached the only team in the field that wasn’t in the two largest Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference divisions. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.”
Platte County will compete at two different locations on Friday. The throwers will be home at Pirate Stadium competing against Kearney and Basehor-Linwood in Flight Night, starting at 4 p.m. At that same time, the rest of the team will be at the Staley Invitational at the North Kansas City District Activities Complex.