However, that message isn’t limited to the hardwood.
Republic senior Garrett Metscher ‘jumped angry’ in Ozark Wednesday evening, taking first place in the high and long jumps at the COC Large Championships.
“I knew I could get those heights; I just had to attack it,” said Metscher. “It was getting in my head, getting mad and attacking the bar was the main thing. “
Metscher did just that, breaking a personal and tying a meet record with his jump of 6’6” to take top honors in the high jump.
For Metscher, who also placed first in the long jump (21’9.5”) and second in the triple jump (43’10”), Wednesday’s jump will carry momentum into next week’s district meet at Branson.
“I’m happy to be peaking late in the year,” said Metscher. “Usually, I am peaking early and it goes downhill from there. I really just want to make it to state finally.”
Anderson bounces back to win 200
In February, Ozark standout Daniel Anderson signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his track career at Georgetown University, a Division-1 institution in Washington D.C.
Although the uncertainty regarding where he would attend college was over, Anderson’s senior year has been his most trying in a Tiger uniform.
“This year I’ve felt more pressure than I have in any year, but it’s just something that you’ve gotta get past,” said Anderson. “It is just part of it.”
That frustration continued Wednesday when Anderson, a two-time state qualifier in the 400 meter dash, including a runner-up finish in 2011, fell in a tight race to Webb City sophomore Kieante Hardin in a race that was neck and neck from the gun.
“I was trying to get out fast and got off to a quicker start than I typically do in my 200 split, but I didn’t finish,” said Anderson. “That is something I need to work on moving forward.”
Hardin finished in a time of 50.24 ahead of Anderson’s 50.59.
However, the senior would show the resiliency that has come to make him so beloved in the community.
Anderson bounced back in the 200 meter dash, topping Willard’s Z Barr in a great finish that saw Anderson display quite the kick. The Ozark sprinter broke the tape in a time of 23.08, just ahead of Barr’s 23.14.
The points earned helped the Tigers finish fourth, but more importantly it gives Anderson some momentum heading into next week.
“I want my team to place as high as they can, but there is also the personal part of it,” said Anderson. “You want those good times heading into districts and sectionals, and that’s just as important when it comes to the conference meet.”
Williams sweeps hurdles, breaks meet record
Webb City senior Logan Williams has spent most of this season chasing Strafford’s Blake Alexander and Cassville’s Cody Frana for the area’s top hurdle time.
“They are fast,” said Williams with a smile.
However, Williams made sure that future COC foes will be chasing him, breaking the 300M meter hurdle record with a time of 39.77 en route to sweeping the hurdle events Wednesday.
“It’s always nice to win, but breaking a record makes it that much sweet,” said Williams.
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE MEET RESULTS
Although the conference championship is a great accolade, Williams is hoping his season will end with a few more medals.
“Last year I qualified for state, but I was in lane 1 and ran a horrible time,” said Williams. “This year I really want to get that seed up so I can have a better lane assignment and hopefully medal.”
Wuest outlasts Berg
Area fans were also treated to a showdown in the pole vault Wednesday.
Nixa’s Ryan Berg and Branson’s Zach Wuest, who own the top two area performances at 14’6” and 14’ respectively, battled it out for conference honors.
“Ryan and I are always competing have been neck and neck all year,” said Wuest. “We work out at the same gym (Vaulthouse Central), we are about the same size, so it is always fun to compete against him.”
But, Wednesday was Wuest’s day, as the senior topped the last year’s Class 4 runner-up Berg by virtue of tie break.
Despite the windy conditions, both Wuest and Berg both clear 14’, however neither could get over the hump at 14’6”.
Because Wuest had less scratches throughout the day, he was determined the winner.
“It was a little tough today because of how windy it was, but to clear 14’ and have some good shots at 14’6” I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Wuest.
Wednesday’s meet was Wuest’s final tune up heading into district competition next week. He is hoping to make his final run, a memorable one.
“Having the district meet at home will be nice. I’m hoping to clear 15’6”, I’ve been getting 15’3” pretty consistently in practice,” said. Wuest. “Hopefully I can make it to state and set a PR there, we will see.”
Ozark girls, Carthage boys claim team titles
The Ozark girls romped to a team title with 154.5 points well ahead of Republic’s second-place output of 107 points. Nixa was third in the girls competition with 91.5 points.
Carthage bested Nixa 136-123 for the boys team title. Neosho finished in third.