BLUE SPRINGS — Warrensburg junior Gabby Hoke spent most of Friday, April 12, waiting. The Lady Tigers pole vaulter spent nearly five hours trying to stay warm at the Gary Parker Invitational in a sleeping bag nestled among the poles watching the boys event and the other 21 female jumpers.
“We sat around for a long time, so that was hard,” Hoke said. “I was really anxious to get on the runway again and vault again.”
When her time arrived to finally start jumping in her first competition since breaking the school’s pole vaulting record, Hoke put on a clinic. Entering at 10’ — the height she won last year’s event at — the junior breezed through her first three jumps to secure the winning height of 11’6”, one inch off her mark a week prior.
Hoke made three passes at 12’, a mark that would tie her for the best jump of 2019 according to rankings kept by athletic.net, but couldn’t produce back-to-back record breaking meets.
Still, Hoke feels more consistent than in previous seasons.
“This winter I’ve really worked on my run and like ninety-five percent of your vault is your run,” Hoke said. “So I finally have gotten it down where I can hit the marks I need and that is what has really changed. Working on the little things and focusing on those things and not the bar has really helped me.”
Hoke was Warrensburg’s only first place finisher at the meet with 21 schools from the Kansas City and St. Louis area, leading the Lady Tigers to a seventh place finish with 43 team points. The Tigers took 11th with 35.3 points.
Sophomore Libby Brown claimed a pair of third place medals in the 100m hurdles and the 300m hurdles.
Samantha Fatka finished in a six-way tie for ninth in the high jump, clearing 4’11”.
The Lady Tigers 4x800m relay squad of senior April Holland, senior Hannah Schierenbeck, junior Rylie Othic and sophomore Tabby Boldt took sixth in a time of 10:30.00.
Senior Paige VanBlarcum claimed two top five finishes at the meet, taking second in the javelin with a throw of 119’11” and fifth in the shot put with a heave of 37’1”. Brandi VanBlaricum earned a seventh place finish in the javelin, checking in at 109’4”.
Senior Kourtenay Wirthwein produced a fifth place finish in the discus with a throw of 104’7”.
On the boys side, Carter Bell and Colton Palmer each secured a third place finish as the Tigers top finishers.
Bell busted out a personal best 43’10 1/4” in the triple jump and also took eighth in the high jump, clearing 6’1” and ninth in the long jump. Zach Reed finished fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 43’3 1/2”.
Palmer clocked a 4:31.98 1,600m and also took fifth in the 3,200m.
Junior Joseph Stewart finished fourth in the 110m hurdle with a time of 15.20.
Sophomore Cooper Berry notched a fourth place finish in the discus with a throw of 137’5” and eighth in the shot put.