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story.lead_photo.caption Dijonay Dawson of Jefferson City rounds the first turn during the 400-meter dash Thursday in the Class 5 state track and field championships at Adkins Stadium. Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.

Dijonay Dawson lived up to being the MVP for the Jefferson City Lady Jays track and field team.

Dawson wrapped up her high school career Thursday by winning three Class 5 state medals, two in individual races and one in a relay.

"That's what she was voted for and that's who she is," Jefferson City track and field coach Melvin Myers said at the Class 5 state track and field championships at Adkins Stadium. "She's an excellent young lady. I look for her doing big things later on when she leaves from here."

The Lady Jays were hopeful to pile up points in the 11 events they competed in. Dawson had a hand in nine of the 11 points the team scored as they finished in a tie for 25th in the team standings.

"We didn't put up the points that we wanted to, but we competed hard," Myers said.

Dawson turned in the team's best performance of the meet in the 400, running the race in 58.86 seconds for a fourth-place finish.

That time was about two seconds faster than what she ran last week in the Sectional 3 meet at Carthage and three seconds better than her time three weeks ago in the final regular-season meet at Adkins Stadium.

"Kind of got smoked and that bothered her and she was wanting to get better," Myers said of Dawson's runner-up finish in the 400 to close out the regular season. "That's the first time I've really seen her run it like that this year. It was good."

The rest of the Lady Jays' points came from a trio of seventh-place finishes.

The 4x200-meter relay team of Riley Schonhardt, Bryla Taplin, Rhakala Blackmon and Dawson clocked in at 1:46.00. Elicia Theroff, Emmarie Graham, Bryla Taplin and Ezinne Opara finished seventh in the 4x100-meter relay in 50.42 seconds. In the 200, Dawson placed seventh in 25.62 seconds.

Other finishers for the Lady Jays include:

Blackmon 11th in the 100-meter hurdles (15.84 seconds) and 12th in the 300 hurdles (48.00 seconds)

Anna York 10th in the discus (116 feet, 6 inches)

4x400 relay team of Blackmon, Dawson, Theroff and Seleena Morris (10th, 4:05.86)

Ezinne Opara 12th in the 100 (12.90 seconds) and 14th in the triple jump (34-11.75)

Elicia Theroff 14th in the high jump (4-11)

"Some things didn't go like we wanted it to, but we had some kids still PR," Myers said.

Cardinal Ritter won the girls team title with 64 points, beating out Lee's Summit West by six points. Blue Springs was third at 43.5 points and Rock Bridge scored 37 points to edge Park Hill by a point for a team trophy.

David Bethune and Parker Gourley competed for the Jays.

Bethune finished 15th in the 200 (22.83 seconds) and 16th in the 100 (11.38) in the first state appearance for the junior.

"I think next year you'll see some big things out of him," Myers said. "He's a hard-working young man."

Gourley cleared 12-7.25 to take 12th in the pole vault in the junior's first state meet.

"We knew this was gonna be a little challenge for him because there were a lot of big jumpers from the other sectionals," Myers said. "I don't think it's a disappointment for what he did. He still competed."

Rock Bridge claimed the state championship with 52 points, just 2.5 points ahead of Francis Howell. Lee's Summit finished third with 49 points and Hickman scored 48 points to take fourth ahead of Liberty North by a point.

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