Freshman Brooke Stanfield did not taking long to make her mark on the area track and field scene.
And it might not be long until she makes her mark on the Republic High School record book.
Stanfield was one of four local athletes to earn first-place medals Thursday at the Girls Night Out track meet at Parkview’s JFK Stadium.
The early season meet featured 30 teams, including Kansas City-area powerhouses Blue Springs South and Blue Springs.
A brisk evening yielded few sterling times, and Blue Springs won seven events. No team scores were kept at the meet.
In the 400, Stanfield edged another impactful area freshman in Kickapoo’s Allison Bailey, who finished in 1:00.94 and could be on track to run down her school’s 400-meter record soon, as well.
Stanfield said she did not realize the Girls Night Out meet was one of the largest on the early local slate until she arrived.
“I was expecting just a normal meet with all local girls, so I was really nervous when I saw how many teams were here,” Stanfield said. “I’ve been doing the best in the 400 so far, but I actually hate that race. It’s my least favorite, by far.”
The freshman had a busy day, taking third in the 200, fourth in the 100 and fourth in the high jump.
Republic coach Tori Mooneyham said Stanfield, along with talented freshman distance runner Megan Hergesheimer, should make the Tigers a team to watch. The influx of talent came at a good time, too, as Republic moved up to Class 4 this year.
Branson’s Brigette Caruthers has been a force on the local distance scene in her four years.
On Thursday, she won the 3,200-meter race, leading the way throughout and outkicking Corinne Rinne of Blue Springs and Republic’s Hergesheimer down the stretch.
“I was really excited about it, I didn’t expected (to win) at all,” Caruthers said. “I think I’ve had a good start to the season. I’m hoping to drop down (my times) a lot and it should. But it’s a decent start.”
Caruthers will sign with the University of Central Arkansas track and cross country programs — someday.
She has had three scheduled signing ceremonies postponed for weather and other delays, but said she should put pen to paper next week.
“It might actually happen this time,” she joked.
Mountain Grove’s Shelby Clifton, a Class 2 competitor, made her mark against larger schools, winning the 300 hurdles at 48.68 seconds and taking third in the 100 hurdles at 16.94.
Camdenton’s McKenzie Wright won the high jump and triple jump, setting a meet record in the triple jump at 38 feet, 4 inches. She won the high jump by clearing 5 feet, 2 inches.
Local boys will have their chance to compete against some of the state’s best today at the Hillcrest Invitational, traditionally one of the state’s best meets. The 4 p.m. meet is at JFK.