College Heights girls track overcomes regular-season obstacles to clinch first ever state title

Local Sports

JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s the biggest time of the year for high school athletics, with all sports heading into the postseason., And the College Heights Christian School girls track team has had an impressive one.

Their athletes placed first in four events at the Missouri Class One meet, including the 100 meter and 400 meter dashes, as well as the 4×100 meter and 4×200 meter relays.

Individual wins are nice, but everyone wants to hear their team’s name called for an overall win, and for the first time in program history this past weekend, that was reality for the team.

Daniel Lewis, College Heights head coach, says, “It means a great deal to us because we have to overcome a lot of odds. We don’t have a track, so we run on grass, we run out in the field..”

Practicing without a track hasn’t even been the most difficult thing for this group of girls; getting everyone to practice at once was the bigger challenge.

Addison Lawrence, College Heights sophomore, says, “It was really hard for us dual sport athletes because we had to go to multiple practices every day, after school, before school, so training for two sports isn’t the easiest.”

Their soccer team’s season ended at the district championship, and the softball team’s, at the state quarterfinal- so track was their last shot at a state title.

The Lady Cougars were doing so well at the Class One meet, they knew that had it in the bag before the meet was even over.

Jayli Johnson, College Heights sophomore, says, “They were doing the announcements, and we were in first, so we knew going in we were gonna win even if we didn’t get first in [the 4×400 meter relay] so we were like, let’s do this for fun.”

With the win, they were doing more than having fun: they were making history, and making dreams reality.

Grace Bishop, College Heights senior, says, “It’s every senior’s dream to go out with a state championship, let alone two in one year with cross country and track, and so it’s a major blessing and I’m super grateful for the success our team has had this year.”

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