KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Kansas City Kansas Community College’s young track team got introduced to big-time track in a big way in the highly competitive Air Force Collegiate Open held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs Feb. 15.
In addition to athletes from the Air Force Academy, the field included Colorado State, Northern Colorado, Wyoming, Oral Roberts and McMurry State from the ranks of four-year colleges and universities; Jayhawk powers Barton County and Dodge City; and numerous unattached athletes including former KCKCC star and Olympian Mark Jelks who won the 60-meter dash.
“It was a great learning experience,” said veteran KCKCC Coach Al Hobson. “Some of the kids had never seen mountains let alone compete in a big meet. With so many freshmen, I thought we were able to compete.” Only three sophomores were on the squad of 13 that made the trip.
The Blue Devils best showing came in the mile relay where the team of Larry Smith, Bob Miller, Daren Mitchell and Marcus Greer finished fifth in the time of 3:26.23.
The Blue Devils will be right back in action Friday and Saturday when they compete in the Region VI indoor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Blue Devil individual performances at the Air Force Collegiate
- Marcus Greer – An East St. Louis freshman, Greer was second in his heat in the 60 hurdles and finished seventh (8.40) and was 24th in the 400 in 51.16.
- Bob Miller – A freshman from Las Vegas, Miller finished second in both preliminary heats, placing 24th overall in the 200 meters (22.95) and 28th in the 400 (51.54).
- Robert Miller – Bob Miller’s twin brother, Robert won his 400 meter heat and finished 30th overall in 51.74 and was 35th in 200 in 51.74.
- Daren Mitchell – A freshman from Lithonia, Ga., Mitchell won his 400 meter heat and finished 26th in 51.27 and was 19th in the 60 hurdles I 8.73.
- Nichols Neussen – A Sumner Academy freshman, Neussen was 38th in the 60 (7.64) and 45th in the 200 (24.28).
- Frank Jackson – A freshman from F.L. Schlagle, Jackson was 44th in the 60 (7.84) and 46th in the 200 (24.58).
- Darren Willis – Sophomore from Sumner Academy, Willis was 31st in the shot put with a distance of 10.5 meters.
- Freshmen Larry Smith of Grandview and Sha’quil Reeves of Bishop Hogan both scratched in the preliminaries, smith in the 200 and Reeves in the 60.
- Friday Landford – A freshman from J.C. Harmon, Landford was 20th in the 60 meters (8.22) and 29th in the 200 (27.72).
- Joi Townsend – St. Louis freshman who finished 21st in 60 (8.22) and 28th in 200 (.27.63).
- Marrissa Henry – Sophomore from Washington, Henry was 25th in the 200 (27.26).