Over the past week she has dished out enough snow and wintery conditions to keep Spring athletes around the Ozarks inside; causing them to spend time inside watching basketball, rather than honing their track and field skills.
“I’ve been doing this for 50 years and this is the first time I have ever had a team unable to practice outside for more than a week. This is also the first time in my 50 years that I had a meet canceled on account of snow,” said Glendale coach Ron Hamilton.
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CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS
All that changed Thursday though as a half dozen teams converged on JFK Stadium to participate in the All-City Meet hosted by Parkview.
Like most coaches on Thursday, Parkview coach Jay Miller was using the event as a measuring stick for his program.
“We wanted to come out today and see good handoffs and really see where we are at. This is really the kind of meet where we get some times and figure out what we’re doing,” said Miller. “Next week we’ve got the Hillcrest Invitational so today is our chance to set the times that will put us in the right heats and flights for that.”
Parkview seniors A.J. Green and Chris Hargrove gave Miller more than one reason to be happy with the Vikings performance on Thursday.
Both Green and Hargrove, who manned one half of Parkview’s state championship 4x100 relay team, claimed multiple first place finishes for the Vikings.
Hargrove and Green also teamed up to help claim first in the 4x100 (44.19) and 4x200 (1:35.97) relays.
Green, who finished 13th at state in the long jump, also saw Thursday as a springboard to the season.
“I just wanted to see where I am from last year. After not being able to do anything, I wanted to see where I am at and what I need to build on,” said Green.
Despite being the defending state champs, Green feels like he has something to prove this season.
“I still think we are the underdogs. Nobody looks at us like we are the state champs, so we still have to make up ground and prove everybody wrong,” said Green. “It is big time motivation for us. That is what motivated us last year and what is going to motivate us moving forward.”
Coach Miller wants last year to remain in the past.
“We have told them that there shouldn't’t be any pressure. We aren’t going there to defend a title and we aren’t going there as the returning state champions,” said Miller. “This is a fresh new year, our focus is, as it was last year, and to go up there and win a state championship.”
Also having a great day at JFK Stadium was Central’s three sport standout Tavion Neal.
The senior football and basketball letterman nearly jumped out of the sand pit with his 46’2” triple jump, his first competition jump of the season. Neal also finished first in the 110M hurdles with a time of 15.9.
With limited outdoor practice time, Thursday’s event was much like a tune up for the season ahead.
Green used it as an opportunity to see what he needs to improve.
“I need to strength my hip flexors and also work on finishing better in the 100. My form in the long jump also needs some work too,” said Green.
Next week will see many of the area’s girls teams compete in “Girls Night Out” at JFK. The boys will get their chance the following day at the Hillcrest Invitational.
FULL RESULTS FROM THE ALL-CITY MEET