Posted: Saturday, 18 May 2013 6:49PM

Chapman, Clifton win state titles



Jefferson City, Mo. (Ozarks Sports Zone)  -- Video Platform Video Management Video Solutions Video Player

After placing in the top five in both the 100M hurdles and 300M hurdles in last year’s Class 2 state meet, Spokane junior Kailey Chapman wanted to leave Jefferson City with a state championship in 2013.

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Chapman did just that, upsetting defending state champion Emilyn Dearman of Stockton to take first in 300M hurdles.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Chapman. “I can’t even put it into words. I worked so hard for this, I’m so pumped, it still hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Chapman trailed for nearly the entire race, but caught Dearman after clearing the final hurdle with less than 20 meters left in the race.

“In practice I’ve been working on my kick coming down the stretch,” said Chapman. “I knew I could catch her. In my mind I just kept thinking about being a state champion and it motivated me. She has a great start, but I have a stronger kick and had a little better endurance today at the end.”

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In total, Chapman would finish with four medals. She finished third in 100M hurdles (15.65), seventh in the 100M dash (12.62) and eighth in 200M dash (26.90). Her 44.62 in the 300M hurdles is new personal record.

“I was debating on if I wanted to do all four events because I wanted to win. I was afraid I would be fatigued, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I guess I’m amazing,” said the always lighthearted Chapman.

As a team Spokane finished with 19 points to finish tied for 13th. All of those points were scored by Chapman.

Clifton pulls off upset

In last year’s 100M hurdles final, no senior finished in the top five.

So, with the top five times in the state all returning to Jeff City, including defending state champion Elsie Greenwood and runner-up Dearman, it was safe to say the odds were against first time state qualifier Shelby Clifton.

Somebody forgot to tell her that.

The Mountain Grove junior ran the race of her life, breaking her own school record (15.19) to win the 100M hurdles, and giving the Panthers just their second state champion in school history.

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“I was a little shocked; I didn’t know how to react,” said Clifton. “But as soon as I saw my family and my coach, it kicked in and I just got really excited.”

Clifton, who finished just fourth in her sectional, credits hard work for her success.

“During the offseason and throughout practice I’ve worked really hard and that work has paid off,” said Clifton.

Clifton hopes that her win can be a springboard for Mountain Grove Track moving forward. The Panthers had no other girls qualify for state other than Clifton, who also finished fourth in the triple jump.

“We have a lot of support back home and I’ve received a lot of texts and calls from people congratulating me, so hopefully the incoming freshmen will be really excited about running next year too,” said Clifton.

Ash Grove duo places in top three

In last year’s state meet Halee Cashio didn’t quite have the showing she had hoped for.

The then sophomore failed to qualify for the finals in the shot put.

“It was really disappointing,” said Cashio. “I didn’t want that feeling again.

On Saturday, Cashio along with teammate Katie Skelton, who finished eight at last year’s meet, exercised those demons finishing second (Skelton) and third (Cashio) in Class 2 shot put.

“It is really exciting,” said Skelton. “We worked really hard this year, so to reach our goal of finishing in the top three feels great.”

Skelton, who also finished tenth in discus, and Cashio were also teammates on the Lady Pirates Basketball team which saw their season end in the quarterfinals of the Class 3 state tournament.

Being so close to a state championship will add fuel to their summer workouts.

“We were really upset when we lost in basketball and I think the feeling is kind of the same here,” said Skelton. “We really want to compete for that top spot.”

Dearman takes home four medals

Emilyn Dearman’s final campaign at Stockton got off to a peculiar start.

“This year was a little odd with all the rain and snow,” said Dearman. “I’m not really used to having meets cancelled because of snow.”

However, just like years passed, Dearman ended her season on the podium in Jefferson City, taking home four medals and leading the Lady Tigers to a third place finish in Class 2.

Dearman, who came in as the top seed in both the 100M and 300M hurdles, was upset by the aforementioned Clifton and Chapman, in Saturday’s finals. Dearman also finished second in the high jump and 4x400M relay, giving her three runner-up finishes on the day, to go along with a fourth place finish.

It is the second year in a row in which Dearman, who was the defending 300M hurdle champion, has taken home four medals.

“Looking back in my high school career I can say I gave it everything I had,” said Dearman. “It was great being a state champion last year. This year I came up a little short, but I am looking forward to competing in college next year.”

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