With a proud smile on her face, MC Landolt took her place on the awards podium and had yet another state medal placed around her neck.
It was her final act as a Washington High School athlete.
Landolt ended her prep career in impressive fashion by securing two state medals on Saturday at the 2014 MSHSAA Class 4 Track and Field Championships at Dwight T. Reed Stadium on the campus of Lincoln University.
A senior, Landolt crossed the line third in the 100-meter dash and later finished sixth in the 200.
She had her best showing in the 100, earning the bronze with her time of 12.27.
“I’m really happy,” Landolt said after the 100. “Last year I got sixth, and this is my senior year and I really wanted a top three finish. I’m excited and I’ll take it.”
Washington Coach Mike Olszowka said he was pleased to see Landolt finish her career on the podium.
“MC finished her high school career the way every high school athlete hopes to, on the podium,” Olszowka said. “We knew with her entry time she was in a position to be successful, but there’s a reason they line them up and shoot the gun. You’re always nervous going into a meet. Most times the coaches are as nervous as the athletes. I don’t think that’s ever the case for MC. I’m not sure she gets nervous at all.”
Ashley Henderson of Hazelwood Central crossed the line first at 11.86 to repeat as state champ, while Lydia Harold of McCluer was the runner-up in 11.98. Landolt took third, while Jazmine Thompson of Staley, Jaslyn Williams of Springfield Central, Syanne Johnston of Fort Zumwalt East, Imani Hutchinson of Raytown South, and Genel Rollins of IWA finished fourth through eighth in the event.
Landolt set a new school record with her time of 12.20 in the preliminary round of the 100 on Friday to advance to the finals. And on Saturday, Landolt charged out of the blocks and stayed near the front from start to finish in her signature event.
“I’ve been working hard on my starts this year,” Landolt said. “That’s been a focal point of my training. I wanted to get a strong start. And from what I could see, I was even with the field early, so it was a good start. And I always come on strong near the finish. I relied on a kick at the end to pass a few girls.”
Moving up on the podium from sixth last year to third this year felt great, Landolt admitted. She attributed her improvement this year to being stronger and a year older.
“I’m a little faster and a little stronger this year,” she said. “And now I’m one of the older girls. A lot of the girls who beat me last year were seniors, so I guess it was my turn this year.”
Olszowka said Landolt put in the time and effort to improve. The results were evident on Saturday.
“MC bought in to our training regimen,” Olszowka said. “And combining it with her strong work ethic she took herself from being a good sprinter to an extraordinary sprinter. MC followed the workouts, she came in for extra work on the weekends and many days she was the last one to leave the track. And the fastest two times of her career were at this year’s state championships.”
In a fitting end to her prep career, Landolt reached the podium for a second time on Saturday.
After taking third in the 100, Landolt finished sixth in the 200-meter dash later in the day, putting the finishing touches on a stellar career at WHS. She crossed the line at 25.39.
Henderson won the 200 in 24.12, with Harold second, Kelsey Lewis of Lee’s Summit North third, and Johnston fourth. Williams was fifth, with Landolt sixth, followed by Rollins and Gabby Hall of Blue Springs.
Olszowka said another key to success for Landolt has been Sprints Coach Tim Rinne.
“Coach Rinne has been with MC for four years, and now she is one of the top eight sprinters in the entire state of Missouri,” Olszowka said. “Most of this has to do with MC’s talent and dedication, but a lot of the credit also goes to her coach. He stays late with her, guides her through workouts, recognizes and points out a weak spot and focuses on and continues to develop her strengths.”
Landolt had a stellar career at WHS. She qualified for state in five different events over the last two seasons. She won a sectional title in the 100 in back-to-back seasons. And now, she has three state medals. She won’t be participating in track and field in college, however, as she’ll be focusing on school at the University of Kansas. Olszowka noted that Landolt definitely left her mark on the program. He said he’ll always remember her competitive spirit.
“Her entire life has revolved around competition — competition on the field, competition in the gym, competition in DECA, competition in practices, competition in the classroom and competition on the track,” Olszowka said. “The state championships are special, but to great kids and great athletes, it’s just another venue to step up and compete. To kids like MC, there’s no difference between sports or school. They’re all tasks that she made a commitment to. And great kids give 100 percent of themselves in everything they choose to do, because everything they choose to do is important to them.”