Northeast senior J.T. Richardson established himself as one of the premier all-around athletes in the area over the course of his four years of high school.

For example, he's earned All-County honors in football, basketball, baseball and track — a 1,000-yard rusher in football, a 20-point per game scorer in basketball, a team leader in victories in baseball and a state runner-up in the triple jump his junior year.

Richardson wanted to compete in both track and basketball at the collegiate level but on Friday at Northeast High, he made track official by signing his national letter of intent to compete at Pittsburg State.

"(I feel) great," Richardson said. "This is awesome to get this over with, it's been a long process and I finally decided where I want to go. Hopefully, it's going to be a great fit.

"I had that debate over what sport I wanted to play. I really wanted to go to Pitt State, figured it was the best option to run track there."

No surprise that Richardson signed with the Gorillas, since his mother, Northeast track coach Piper Richardson, competed at the school, as did his aunt, Fort Scott track coach Tracey Bogina, and his cousin Austin Bogina currently participates in cross country and track for the Gorillas.

"I'm kind of following in my mom and my aunt's footsteps," Richardson said. "My cousin's there, so it will be nice to follow in their footsteps. . . . My aunt coaches at Fort Scott, so we see her at a bunch of meets and then her daughter Kaylee (Northeast runner Kaylee Bogina) and I go here. It's kind of fun."

Richardson's signing was part of three on the day at Northeast.

"This is special, a special day," Northeast head football coach Phil Hobbs said. "It's special for our school. A lot of good things have happened at Northeast. A lot of people are obviously taking notice of that. These athletes to go on is truly special and they're paving the way. It's been rare. It's my sixth year here and we haven't had a whole lot of this and we're up to four this year. They're paving the way for our younger athletes and setting examples for our younger athletes."

Later in the day Friday, Richardson competed in the 25th annual Jock's Nitch/PSU Gorilla Relays at Prentice Gudgen Track/Carnie Smith Stadium, an event featuring nearly 1,000 high school track athletes.

"It should be fun," Richardson said. "Going to see what I'll hopefully be doing the next four years. They bring in schools from all over the place. It will be the biggest meet we probably go to, other than the state meet."

In the triple jump, Richardson finished fourth with a mark of 42 feet, 2 inches, earning Northeast five points.

Carthage seniors Kennan Harrison and E.J. Morgan finished 1-2 in the event with marks of 45-5 and 45-4, respectively. Wichita Southeast's Brandon Fields took third with a mark of 44-0.

Other area competitors finished in the top 12: Girard's Trey Eaton in seventh at 41-2, Chanute's Derek Sharp ninth at 40-9 1/2, Southeast's Ryan Rakestraw 10th at 40-9 and Pittsburg's Alex Barnes 12th at 39-5.

In the long jump, Richardson finished seventh at 20-5.

Rakestraw finished one spot ahead, with a mark of 20-6.

Pittsburg's Ethan Paul-Davis came in eighth at 19-10 1/2, Chanute's Ethin VanAnne 10th at 19-10 and Pittsburg's K.J. Shaw 12th at 19-8.

Through 19 events overall, Pittsburg led on the girls side with 82.5 points, with Ozark second with 70, Lincoln Christian third with 67 and Springfield Catholic fourth with 51.

Through 18 events, Pittsburg was sixth on the boys side with 38.6 points, trailing Lee's Summit North with 99, Wichita Southeast with 94, Carthage with 74, Webb City with 55 and Grove with 40.

On the girls side, Pittsburg's Chelsea Baker took second in the high jump at 5-4, Chanute's Madi Rollins third at 5-4 and Southeast's Kayla Jones seventh at 4-10.

Pittsburg's Ashlee Beitzinger earned 1/2 point with an eighth in the pole vault at 7-6.

Baker won the triple jump at 35-8 1/2 and finished fourth in the long jump at 16-0.

Chanute's Sierra Masoner took fifth in the discus at 109-9, Girard's Audrey Bauer sixth at 108-11 and Frontenac's Lauren Hipfl eighth at 105-8.

Chanute's Haley Taylor won the javelin at 137-8, setting a new meet record. Pittsburg's Katie Phalen took second at 122-4, Southeast's Laura Yancey third at 119-7, Frontenac's Allyn Murray fifth at 118-1, Fort Scott's Jillian Lattimer sixth at 112-8 and Bauer seventh at 112-5.

Masoner placed fourth in the shot put at 38-2 1/2.

Pittsburg's Taylor Muff won the 100 hurdles in 15.51 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 47.82.

Baker finished third in the 100 hurdles in 16.87 and Southeast's Ginny Smith took seventh in 17.62.

Pittsburg's Daeshia Turner finished fourth in the 100 in 13.39.

Girard's Cailie Logue won the 1,600 in 5:11.25, Northeast's Kaylee Bogina finished third in 5:23.09, St. Paul's Jenny O'Bryan fourth in 5:23.80, Fort Scott's Katren Rienbolt fifth in 5:26.51 and Parsons' Kaylee Krull eighth in 5:46.40.

Pittsburg won the 4x100 relay in 51.08 — Turner, Sarah Jewett, Jayden Hammond and Muff. Frontenac's Hipfl, Murray, Andi Palumbo and Abby Welcher finished sixth in 53.65.

Hammond took fifth in the 400 in 1:05.22.

Baxter Springs' Riley Abernathy took fourth in the 200 in 28.06.

Jewett finished third in the 800 in 2:27.35.

O'Bryan took second in the 3,200 in 11:25.14, Bogina third in 11:40.23, Rienbolt fourth in 11:44.90, Girard's Christian Provence sixth in 12:12.54, Krull seventh in 12:23.71 and Chanute's Madison Dispensa eighth in 12:27.74.

Back to the boys side.

Girard's Drew Davied won the high jump with a mark of 6-8, taking fewer attempts to reach the mark than Pleasanton's Matt Bauer. Rakestraw took sixth at 5-10, a mark also reached by Northeast's Noah Popejoy, Sharp, Pittsburg's Xavier Jones, Riverton's Ryan Schultz and Eaton.

Fort Scott's Nick Woods finished third in the discus at 142-8 and Pittsburg's Quincy Muathe sixth at 125-8.

Fort Scott's Garin Sinn took third in the javelin at 161-9, Fort Scott's Chris Allen fourth at 158-5, Girard's Zach Franklin fifth at 154-8, Riverton's Logan Edwards sixth at 152-9, Chanute's Caleb Dietsch seventh at 152-6 and Riverton's Jacob Qualls eighth at 152-1.

Sinn took fourth in the shot put at 44-11 and Popejoy fifth at 44-11.

Pittsburg's Garrett Harmon finished third in the 110 hurdles in 16.28.

Paul-Davis took second in the 11.31 and Jones seventh in 11.69.
Girard's Nathan Hughes placed fifth in the 1,600 in 4:53.20.

Pittsburg's 4x100 of Shaw, Paul-Davis, Jessie Thomas and Danilo Pinheiro took third in 44.23. Frontenac's team of Cadin Bolinger, Louis Brunetti, Austin Madl and Austin Seward took fifth in 45.70.

Chanute's Chandler Summers finished sixth in the 400 in 53.66 and Pittsburg's Connar Southard eighth in 55.09.

Rakestraw finished second in the 300 hurdles in 41.95, Eaton fourth in 42.72 and Edwards eighth in 43.54.

Paul-Davis placed third in the 200 in 22.92, Pinheiro fourth in 22.95 and Riverton's Jon Spiva fifth in 23.18.

Girard's Laike Damman placed third in the 800 in 2:03.41.

Girard's Drew Zimmerman finished eighth in the 3,200 in 10:33.59.