On Saturday, Lamar took step two of a three step journey in avenging last year’s runner up finish. The Tigers dominated Class 2 – Sectional 3, scoring 139 points and sending 17 acts to state.
Junior sprinter Cade Payne was among those Tigers with a standout Saturday, qualifying for state in all four events in which he entered.
Payne anchored Lamar’s 4x100 (43.72) and 4x200 (1:32.20) squads which each captured first place.
In total, Payne racked up 38 points, helping his Tigers top runner-up MV-BT/Liberty by 42 points.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be part of such a strong team,” said Payne. “We all compete as a team and not individually which is what sets us apart.”
Individually, Payne took first in the 100M (11.07) dash, topping Pierce City’s Cedric O’Hara who posted the area’s fastest 100M mark (10.72) back in April. Payne was the runner-up in the 200M dash (22.76).
“Cedric and I are always battling each other and I absolutely love it,” said Payne. “We have a good friendship, and I welcome the competition anytime.”
Despite the individual success, Payne has one goal in mind in Jefferson City next weekend.
“We want a team state championship,” said Payne. “We lost by 1 point last year, this year we want to win it.”
O’Hara returns to Jeff City, qualifies in four events
Pierce City’s Cedric O’Hara has posted the area’s top 100M mark (10.72) as well as the top 200M time (22.34).
So, it’ not surprising that the Eagles’ senior qualified for state in all four of his events.
However, it didn’t come completely drama free.
In the 4x200M relay, Pierce City found itself in sixth place, and nearly 40 meters out of fourth place when O’Hara received the baton for his anchor leg.
“When I got that baton in my hand all I was thinking about was going to state,” said O’Hara. “I saw someone up ahead and I wasn’t going to stop until I caught them. I give it all I can, I can rest when I finish.”
O’Hara did just that, chasing down two runners to propel his Eagles into four place, giving him his third of four total state bids on the day with a time of 1:35.09.
Pierce City also finished third in the 4x100M relay (46.21).
After finishing second in the 100M dash, O’Hara bounced back with a 22.46 to take first in the 200M dash.
“Running the 100 and the 200 is a little different,” said O’Hara. “I use different shoes in the 200 than I do in the 100. They are a little heavier and give me a little more stability coming around the curve.”
Stockton 4x800 eyes revenge
Josie Pyle remembers it clearly.
“I was the anchor last year and I was so close to that girl last year,” said Pyle. “I can’t forget how it feels to be that close to someone and lose.”
Pyle came up just four tenths of a second short of catching Gallatin’s Sara Lin, leaving Stockton with second place and a memory they haven’t forgotten.
On Saturday Stockton continued its dominance in the 3200M race, advancing to state with a time of 10:08.30, nearly 30 seconds ahead of runner up El Dorado Springs (10:37.21).
Fellow senior Rachel Wheeler is looking forward to returning to Jeff City.
“Getting back to state has definitely been our goal this year,” said Wheeler. “Our coaches are always telling us that we are good enough to do it again, so that has been the mindset, getting points and trying to win a state championship.”
Junior Alexis Smith, who runs the lead leg for the Lady Tigers, credits her teammates for creating a winning attitude.
“It feels really good to be part of a team that has such high expectations of each other and having that competitive spirit is something that not every team has,” said Smith. “We are really close, so I think it really helps us as a team.”
Stockton won the girls side of the meet with 82 points, outscoring runner-up Pierce City.
Lady Pirate throwers move on to state
Being in the same grade, as well as playing multiple sports together lends itself to juniors Katie Skelton and Halee Cashio spending a lot of time together.
They don’t mind.
“I think we motivate each other to be better when we compete against each other,” said Skelton. “It’s nice to have her there with me.”
On Saturday, together, both Skelton and Cashio qualified for state for the second time in as many years.
Skelton (38’9”) and Cashio (37’1.5”) took the top two spots in the shot put, with Skelton also finishing third in the discus (111’6”), just one spot behind teammate Karina Critten (116’8”).
The duo is hoping the experience gained from last year will lead to a more successful trip this time around.
“I was really nervous last year and I didn’t do so well,” said Cashio. “I think that experience of going will help me out this time around.”
“Last year was intimidating, I’m excited to go back and see how I do this year,” said Skelton.
Strafford freshman state bound
In last week’s district meet Logan Eden was edged out by Mountain Grove junior Shelby Clifton in the 300M hurdles.
With the addition of Emilyn Dearman (Stockton), Kailey Chapman (Spokane), and Kaelyn Sturgell (Lamar), Eden knew she would have to run well to advance.
“I was really nervous coming in because I knew it was going to be a tough race,” said Eden. “Emilyn, Kailey, and Shelby are such good runners. I am so happy to be in the top four.”
With the race coming down to the wire, Eden was able to out lean Clifton (46.84 to 46.92) to move on to the state meet in Jefferson City.
Eden is one of three Strafford hurdlers moving on to the ultimate meet. Senior Blake Alexander (110M and 300M) and junior Jenna Clements (100M) both advanced as well.
“Watching Jenna and Blake makes me better,” said Eden. “They have such great technique so anything I pick up from them is a bonus.
The MSHSAA Class 2 State Championships will be next weekend, May 17-18, at Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City.
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