Spokane, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- Spokane made a clean sweep of the SWCL Track and Field Meet Wednesday evening, as the Owls claimed both the boys and girls team conference titles for the fifth straight season.
“Luckily this is our fifth year hosting the SWCL Track Meet, and we have won it every year, so it’s become quite the expectation for us to come out on top,” said Spokane head coach Becky Mitchem.
For 35 years, Becky has coached Spokane alongside her husband, Jeff Mitchem, and he believes the program’s success can be attributed the relationship he has with his wife.
“My wife knows so many things about track and we like to bounce ideas back and forth with one another to try and do what’s best for the kids,” said Jeff Mitchem. “We try to set up the program where the kids will be successful and they’re doing their best at the end of the season. Becky and I love and enjoy what we do, and it’s great that our kids are seeing the success they deserve.”
Spokane was led behind the senior leadership of returning state champ Kailey Chapman, who finished first in the 100M hurdles (15:31), 300M hurdles (45:78), 100M dash (12:60), and 200M dash (26:97).
After a ninth place showing at state last year in the long jump, Spokane’s Rebecca Sledge came out with gold on her mind, as the senior collected first in the long jump (17’6). Sledge would claim second place in the 100M dash, 200M dash, and the triple jump.
The senior-freshman Spokane duo of Corey Ferretti and Mason Weter paved the way for the boys, as Ferretti pulled a double first in the 100M dash (10:97) and 200M dash (23:06). Weter came in second in the 200M dash to Ferretti before taking home first in the 400M run (53:84).
Spokane’s 4 x 800M and 4 x 200M relays would also take first, along with Howerton in the 300M hurdles (45:62) and Hosier’s 800M run (2:08.75).
The Lady Owls concluded the night with a team total of 162 points, and the boys squad racked up 154 points, as the SWCL champs rolled Sparta who finished runner-up in both team categories.
“We have a core group of seniors that are really good and lead the team each meet,” said Becky Mitchem. “Every meet we participate in gives confidence heading down the schedule. For the most part, everyone does a great job of staying focused on their events. Our biggest thing is to make sure our athletes are gradually peaking at the end of the season.”
With districts this Saturday, both Becky and Jeff say the conference wins provide momentum heading into the weekend.
“This is one of our biggest meets and we always want to do well in since districts are on Saturday,” said Becky Mitchem. “It’s always nice to have a lot of victories here to make everyone feel confident."
"From our very best kids to our least athletic kids, we just love seeing everyone improve their times and distances,” said Jeff Mitchem.
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