Hillcrest’s Hill, Rolla’s Colench take steps forward; Willard boys, Camdenton girls win Class 4 District 5 meet

By Josh Hall

CAMDENTON – Savion Hill is always looking for ways to get better.

His interview immediately after Hill helped Hillcrest to a first-place finish in the 4×200-meter relay at the Class 4 District 5 track and field meet on Saturday is evidence of it.

“The thing that slows us down is me,” Hill, the Hornets’ second leg said. “I need to work on my full 200. I get gassed at about 180 (yards).”

Maybe Hill is just humbled after his experience at the state championship meet last year. Happy to be there as a sophomore, yes, but Hill has been anxious to get back after finishing 15th out of 16 competitors in the triple jump last season.

“It was a good experience for me,” said Hill, who was also just one of two sophomores to compete in the Class 4 state triple jump a year ago. “It taught me what not to do and what to do.”


What Hill has been doing this season is winning.

On Saturday, Hill was not only part of a winning relay team, he also took home golds in the long jump (22-04.00) and triple jump (43-11.50).

Ranked as the area’s No. 2 jumper, Hill has already broken the 22-foot barrier in the long jump and the 45-foot mark in the triple jump. He is the only athlete in Southwest Missouri to break such barriers in those events.

“This year, I look forward to being that big guy that can give everyone a scare, I guess,” Hill said.

Rolla junior Courtney Colench might be another jumper athletes around the state take notice of after winning  the high jump Saturday with a leap of 5-foot-5.

Colench was another sophomore state qualifier from last year that learned from her experience, finishing seventh in the high jump with a mark of 5-foot-1. Last year’s winner, former Warrenton senior, Lalita Andrews, won the event with a jump of 5-foot-4.

That’s encouraging for Colench.

“It gives me a lot of confidence,” she said. “I feel like if I set my mind to what I can do, I can do anything.”


The Willard boys and the Camdenton girls were the top team finishers at the event.

The Tigers ran away with the meet with 114 points. Helias was second with 94 and Rolla was third with 79.

Meanwhile, the Lady Lakers won a close race with 106 and ½ points. Helias placed second with 99 and Bolivar was third with 98.

Willard junior Nathan Swadley was the only Tiger to take golds in two events, winning the shot put (53-07.25) and discus (160-08). Willard also got individual first-place finishes from Tyler Carson in the 110-meter hurdles (15.37) and Brock Howard in the high jump (6-foot-1). The Tigers’ 4×100-meter relay team of Elijah Davis, Oakland Hicks, Wayd Davis and Quintin Batson also brought home the gold.

Camdenton junior Grace Wormek was once again victorious in the 100 (12.48) and 200 (25.42) to help lead the Lady Lakers.

Camdenton also received strong performances from Natlaie Basham and Kylie Meier in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. Basham won the 100 hurdles and took second in the 300, while Meier took first in the 300 and second in the 100.

The Lady Lakers also won two relays. Camdenton’s team of Katheryne Blackman, Meier, Basham and Wormack earned a first-place finish in the 4×200, while Clare Holmes, Meier, Basham and Wormack led the way in the 4×400.


Camdenton sophomore Gabriel Kurtz took home gold in the pole vault (13-03.00) and Javelin 159-05. Kurtz was one of few double winners in the Class 4 boys competition.


There were multiple non-area athletes that had strong performances on the day.

Washington junior Mikayla Reed had the most dominating afternoon in Class 4 with wins in the 800 (2:18.85), 1,600 (5:10.34) and 3,200 (11:30.03). Fellow Washington distance runner Clayton Duchatsche helped the boys team with wins in the 1,600 (4:24) and 3,200 (9:51.87).

Union senior Deric Purnell was arguably the fastest Class 4 athlete with wins in the 100 (10.81) and 200 (22.11).


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