Lady Dragons save the best for last while qualifying for state
WARRENSBURG — Cameron High School will send four athletes to the Missouri State High School Activities Association Track and Field Championships after qualifying in two events at last Saturday’s Class 3 Sectional 4 Meet.
Cameron High School juniors Bailey Robinson, Justice Brewer, Ella Jameson and sophomore Addi McVicker will compete for state titles Friday and Saturday in the 800-meter run and the 4x400 meter relay with the quartet leaving town Tuesday in preparation for the event.
“We battled through some adversity today. Overall, [winning the 4x400] was a crazy way to end the day. I’m super proud of them, and excited to go into next week. We’ll take it one day at a time, and see where we go,” Cameron coach Slade Kenagy said.
With last Saturday’s sectional featuring some of the most talented athletes in the Kansas City metropolitan, the Lady Dragons’ confidence heading into state received a significant boost after taking the sectional title in the 4x400. Shortly after securing Cameron’s first state qualification in the 800, Bailey returned just a few hours later to anchor the 4x400 en route to the victory. The Lady Dragons finished more than 2 seconds ahead of second-place Maryville.
“I didn’t hear anyone behind me, so I was just like ‘I have to keep [the lead]. I’ve got to do it for the team. Everything just clicked today. Everything worked,” Robinson said.
After coming up short in three different events, including the 4x100, 4x200 and long jump, Jameson hoped for a different outcome as she eased into the starting blocks before the 4x400 – the final event of the day. Cameron fell short by 1.08 seconds from qualifying in the 4x100 for fifth place and 1.15 seconds from qualifying in the 4x200 for sixth place. Jameson finished sixth in the long jump, but she had no intention of missing the podium in the 4x400.
“It definitely got my blood pumping for sure. After (long jump) I just focused on running,” Jameson said.
For McVicker, who served as an alternate at the state meet, she will make her first state appearance as a participant. Hours removed from passing out while competing in the 800, McVicker regrouped and received the baton from Jameson to maintain Cameron’s lead in the second lap of the 4x400.
“It feels really good, especially being with the girls I’m with, and working with the team and coaches. It feels really good. I passed out (in the 800). I just went back into the tent after the race, got some rest, lots of food in me, and I just got rehydrated,” McVicker said.
Robinson, who qualified for state last fall in cross country, is not the only two-sport athlete competing for another title. Brewer, coming off a state championship in wrestling last February in Columbia, will make another run for a state title. Similar to Jameson, Brewer had no intention of leaving Warrensburg empty handed. After handing off the baton to Robinson, Brewer knew she did her part and trusted Robinson to finish the job at hand.
“I wanted it, and made it happen. I don’t like losing. As the coaches say, ‘Bailey never fails.’ She never fails, I had so much faith in her. I knew she would hold it,” Brewer said.
The Lady Dragons get back to work Friday at 4:15 p.m. for 4x400 – the final first day event. Robinson will compete for a state title in the 800 at 2:40 p.m. Saturday and the 4x400 championship will wrap up state at 4:15 p.m.