Three records fell and some of the City League's top senior track and field athletes went out in style last night in the championship meet at Rogers High School.
Most of the oohs and aahs were generated by the nation's top-rated high jumper, Rogers junior Erik Kynard, who cleared 7 feet to set the CL meet record.
"I left it a little low so I can break it next year," Kynard joked about missing at 7-2. "Everything worked out, but I was jumping from a little too far out [at 7-2]. It's kind of hard when everybody else is out and you're just warming up.
"When we get to the bigger meets there will be a lot more competitors still in, so I'll have somebody pushing me all the way. Today was a beautiful day. I would have liked to go higher."
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Also falling was the girls pole vault record as Whitmer senior Courtney Siebenaller won her fourth straight league title in that event by breaking her 2006 mark of 11-3 with an 11-6 effort.
Kynard and Siebenaller collected the outstanding field event athlete awards for their respective meets, and Bowsher seniors Meshawn Graham and Princeton Bryson took the individual track awards.
Graham, one of the top female competitors in City League history, won the 100 in 12.25, the 400 in 55.67 and closed her league career with a first-place effort of 19-1 in the long jump, the second-longest jump in CL girls history.
Brenda Morehead's 19-4 1/4 for Scott still stands from 1974. Graham has won state titles in the 100 and 200 dashes as well as the 800 relay over her first three years, and last year won CL crowns in the 100, 200, 400 and long jump.
She also led Bowsher to four straight girls City team titles.
The Rebel girls won with 152.5 points, four more than runner-up Central Catholic. Whitmer was third at 89, and Notre Dame Academy fourth at 61.
"It was just a thrill," said Graham, fighting back tears after her CL swan song. "The most important part to me was watching all the younger girls do all the relays today.
"I was thinking about all the work that we put in as a program, and just seeing the outcome and how happy everybody is. It's just a wonderful feeling." St. John's Jesuit repeated its boys team championship, outpointing runner-up Whitmer 160 to 132.5. Central Catholic placed third at 74.5 and Rogers was fourth at 71.
Bryson, the CL champion last year in the 100 and 200, nearly took that feat up a notch by adding a 400-meter title this time in 48.98. In fact, he did win the 100 in 10.76 and did finish first in the 200 at 22.03, but he was disqualified for a uniform violation.
The infraction was explained as "multiple logos on his uniform." The extra logo was not visible when Bryson lined up because it was located on attire under his Bowsher uniform. But it was spotted by an official while Bryson was running.
"It was right but it was wrong," Bryson said of his DQ. "He has to follow the rules. But, in the same case, just let the people that work hard get their awards. It was very bittersweet."
Jeremy Jones of Whitmer (22.40) got the 200 win.
Bryson and Kynard were the only multiple individual winners in boys competition.
Kynard won the long jump with a 22-4 1/2 leap on Wednesday. His winning high jump mark broke the meet record of 6-10 shared by three other Rogers jumpers - Fred King (1985), Eric Browning (1995), and Eric Jones (2002). Browning, a state champion his junior year in 1995, is Kynard's coach now.
Central Catholic senior Sharise Calhoun repeated her 2007 double in the hurdles, winning the 100 highs in 15.06, and the 300 lows in 45.08. She edged her longtime friend Siebenaller in each of those events.
"This year I was hoping to get back to 12 feet and set the bar high," Siebenaller said of the pole vault. "I couldn't quite get 12, but I had just run the hurdles and I was a little tired. It's exciting and kind of sad that her CL career is all over. But it's a good way to go out."
Despite running without
Graham on any of the legs, Bowsher's girls raced to titles in the 400, 800 and 1600 (record) relay titles. Paris Littleton ran a leg on all three winning Rebel units.
Rounding out the girls winners were Notre Dame's Ellen Guisfredi (2:20.45 in 800), Lauren Duncan (5:18.38 in 1600) and Ashley Aberl (11:38.27 in 3200); Bowsher's Jade Brown (25.39 in 200) and Ashley Harris (120-7 in discus); Scott's Shatora Lewis, who repeated her shot put title (40-4), and Central's Monique Dotson (5-1 in high jump). Central's girls won the 3200 relay on Wednesday.
Boys champion St. John's got individual wins from Joe Miller (4:16.18 in 1600), Kevin Yarnell (9:57.49 in 3200), Cody Riffle (57-7 1/2 in shot put) and Steve Pacholek, who repeated his CL discus title (157-0) on Wednesday. The Titans also won the 400 and 3200 relay crowns.
Another repeat boys winner was Whitmer's Derek Hopkins (14-6 in pole vault). Panther teammate Anthony Allen won the 300 hurdles (38.87). Whitmer added a win in the 800 relay.
Other boys event winners included Colin Pettiford of St. Francis de Sales (1:55.90 in 800), Garrett Ondrus (15.07 in 110 hurdles), and Clay's 1600 relay team.
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