The 91st version of the Aldo Sebben Relays at Missouri State was marred by cold, windy and rainy conditions on Tuesday.
“It is pretty miserable,” Catholic’s Evan Craig said. “You go in to this meet knowing you aren’t going to run your best. You don’t have a chance to run your best time. You have to just have to warm up for a good hour or hour-and-a-half. It is so easy to pull a muscle and your season is over.”
Lamar senior thrower Austin Boice echoed the sentiment.
“There is no traction on the (throwing) ring,” Boice said. “The rubber they put on the field is all in the (shot put) ring. It is wet. There is standing water in both the shot and discus ring.”
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Both athletes still came out and competed despite the poor conditions.
Craig ran a tactically sound race in the 1600 as he trailed Republic’s Ryan Way for the first 1550 meters before turning it on down the homestretch.
“I am a soccer player and so that helps out that I usually have a little more finishing speed than some of those guys,” Craig said. “I just tried to stay in contact with the lead guys and pass them the last 50 meters. Luckily it came together for me.”
Craig broke the tape in a time of 4:32.66. Way finished second at 4:34.07. Crane’s Thomas Chabrecek rounded out the medalists in a time of 4:35.76.
The Catholic standout came back to win the 800 later in a time of 2:04.62.
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Boice took home the shot put title just one day after setting the Lamar school record with a throw of 53-feet-six-inches. His throw of 46’09.25 was good enough to win by two-and-a-half feet on Tuesday.
Spokane’s Chapman cleans up
Spokane junior Kailey Chapman went in to the Aldo Sebben Relays seeing it as an opportunity to measure herself against the best the Ozarks has to offer.
“I was really excited to race the competition,” Chapman said. “It is good to race against the bigger schools and see how you stand with them.”
Her first final was the 100-meter hurdles in the less than ideal conditions.
“As soon as I got in the blocks the wind started blowing towards me,” Chapman said. “You deal with what you have. You just have to make the best out of it.”
From the gun the weather ceased to matter for Chapman.
“From the start I had a quick, explosive start so I could feel myself getting ahead from the beginning,” Chapman said.
Chapman cruised to a victory in a time of 16.01 ahead of second-place finisher Ariel Okorie’s 16.28 showing.
The Spokane standout then had to run the 100-meter dash final less than 10 minutes later.
“My body wasn’t fully recovered but I like doing the hurdles then the 100 because my legs are warm from the hurdles,” Chapman said. “The hurdles are my event and I focus more the hurdles. The 100 is speed and to build up for the hurdles.”
Chapman finished fourth in the dash behind College Prep’s Helima Jackson, Hollister’s Hannah Smith and Central (Kansas)’s Ashley Mason.
Her day was far from over as she won the 300 hurdles in a blistering time of 47.52, which was almost a full two seconds better than the second-place finisher. She also took home second in the 200 to Republic’s Brook Stanfield in a time of 28.14 to Stanfield’s winning time of 28.02.
Aren Martin runs wild
The Lebanon standout has one goal in mind as the Yellow Jackets enter the stretch run of their season.
“I really want to put myself in position to get in lane 4 for sectionals,” said Martin. “I knew at a meet like this, with competition like this I would be pushed, and I just kept telling myself ‘gotta get lane 4’.”
In the 400 Martin made a strong case for deserving that lane.
The senior sprinter ran an impressive 49.82, just one tenth of a second off of his season-high. Finishing second to Martin for the second time this year was Bolivar’s Haryl Starkey with a time of 50.71.
Ozark’s Daniel Anderson rounded out the top three with a 51.08.
Martin also took first in the 200 with a time of 23.03, edging Ozark Conference rival Chris Hargrove of Parkview.
Lebanon was also able to dish out some payback in the 4x200; posting a 1:31.61 to top Neosho (1:34.04) and Parkview (1:34.32). Parkview topped the Yellow Jackets in an early season 4x200 showdown.
“They (Parkview) beat us the first time, and we really wanted to get back at them,” said Martin. “We are extremely happy that we were able to pull it out.”
Moving forward Martin would like to continue to shave time off his 400 time.
“I want a 46,” said Martin. “I’m not really where I want to be yet, and I’m hoping with a day of good weather I can get it done.”
Stanfield wins 200, 400
It may have been Brooke Stanfield’s first appearance in the Aldo Sebben Relays, but it was certainly a day to remember for the Republic freshman.
Stanfield started the day with a fifth place finish in the 100M dash. However, she was just getting warmed up.
In the 400M dash Stanfield out kicked Missouri State-bound Erin Roebuck of Catholic down the stretch to take gold with a time of 1:00.92.
“It was great to win,” said Stanfield. “Erin is great; I knew I’d have to run my best to beat her. I was a little disappointed that some of the other girls didn’t run because I knew they would bring out the best in me.”
And in her final event of the day Stanfield held off Spokane junior Kailey Chapman in the 200M dash, winning with a time of 28.02.
Despite such a solid day, Stanfield knows there is always room for improvement.
“I want to increase my mental toughness that is mostly what the 400 is all about,” said Stanfield. “My times still aren’t where I want them to be. I would like to break a school record.”
Hargrove spurns cold, wins 100
Chris Hargrove had one goal in addition to winning on Tuesday.
“When it is that cold out you have to stay lose and stay warm,” said Hargrove. “I didn’t want to get stiff, so going before the race I just kept moving around.”
That movement paid off.
Hargrove ran an 11.43 in the 100M dash, topping Pierce City’s Cedric O’Hara for the title of “fastest man in the Ozarks”.
Later in the afternoon, Hargrove would team up with classmate A.J. Green as well as juniors Brandon Huddleston and Maurice Downey to take the 4x100M relay with a time of 44.9.
Heading into next week’s Ozark Conference Championships, Hargrove’s goal is to break the 11 second barrier.
“Last year I was great out of the blocks, but not a good finisher. This year it is the exact opposite and I’ve been slow out of the blocks, but a great finisher,” said Hargrove. “If I can get my blocks to where my finish is, I’m knocking on the door of the tens.”