The SBU High School Invitational is always one of the biggest meets of the year, and this year’s edition did not disappoint with great weather. The event consisted of almost 3,000 entries from more than 50 schools over two days.
There were three new state-leading marks and 14 new class-leading marks posted over the two days, according to MoMileSplit’s database.
Here were some of the things that stood out to me over the two days.
Daelen Ackley vs. Tanner Talley
The Class 1-3 1600-Meter run was the race of the meet coming in and it did not disappoint. Daelen Ackley (El Dorado Springs) is a senior signed with Notre Dame. Tanner Talley (New Covenant) is a senior signed with the University of Kansas.
They stepped on the track against each other and proceeded to post the state’s No. 1 and No. 2 times in the 1600 for the season with times of 4:08.56 and 4:11.29.
Ackley went out in 62.236 and followed that up with lap times of 63.357, 62.235 and 60.732 for a 4:08.56. That is the fastest 1600-meter time recorded in Missouri since Webb City’s Ryan Riddle went 4:08.42 at the 2018 Class 4 State Track Meet.
His time on Tuesday currently ranks No. 10 in the nation according to MileSplit.
The Class 3 state meet record and overall state record is Jason Pyrah’s mark at 4:03.54. Ackley has a real shot at getting to that number.
Even more impressive was that Ackley didn’t run that 1600 completely fresh. He ran a 1:57.10 anchor leg on El Dorado Springs’ 3200-meter relay team to take the Bulldogs from sixth to second in the event.
He finished the day in another duel with Talley in the 3200 where he ran 9:21.45 to Talley’s 9:26.08.
Talley’s marks make him the Class 2 leader in both the 1600 and 3200-meter runs in addition to sitting No. 2 in the state in 1600.
Heston Miller = fastest athlete in the state
10.56 fully automatic.
Heston Miller is currently the fastest sprinter in the state and there is zero argument. When he ran 10.92 in the prelims, a drop in the finals was expected, but nobody expected a drop to 10.56.
It is the state’s fastest FAT time in the state since Justin Robinson (Hazelwood West) went 10.32 in 2019.
What made the moment even more special was Miller broke the West Plains school record, which was one time held by his father.
Miller is also a gifted football player and marks like this will get him a lot of notice on the gridiron.
Klarie Brown dominates steeplechase
Kickapoo junior Klarie Brown is one of the area’s best distance runners, and at SBU she stepped out of her normal program to run the 2,000-meter steeplechase.
She dominated the field with a time of 7:43.67, which is also a state-leader for the relatively rare event.
Jentry Acklin & Colsen Conway duel in the hurdles
My favorite thing about this meet pre-COVID was that it was all run in one day. Classes 1-5 competed against each other. It was one of the most fun things to see athletes from schools who normally wouldn’t compete at the same meets go toe-to-toe.
The 2021 and 2022 editions separated the big schools from the small, but I hope that changes back to the old format in the future. The Class 1-3 hurdle events are a big reason why.
Branson, a Class 5 school, competed with the Class 1-3 schools as a non-scoring school on Tuesday. It provided a great storyline in the hurdle events with Liberty’s Jentry Acklin squaring off against Branson’s Colsen Conway for the title of SWMO’s top hurdler.
It was a split decision.
Acklin blazed a 14.34 in the 110-meter hurdles, cutting more than a second from his prelim time, to best Conway’s 14.47. That 14.34 leads Class 3 and is No. 2 in the state according to MileSplit. Conway’s 14.47 is No. 4 in the state.
In the 300-meter hurdles, Conway ran a time of 38.75 to win the event with Acklin dipping below the 40-second mark with a second-place time of 39.98. Conway already had the No. 2 time in the state coming in with Acklin taking the No. 6 spot and Class 3 lead with his 39.98.
McBride leaps to PR
Marshfield’s Peyton McBride moved closer to Joplin’s Donovyn Fowler for the state lead in the triple jump with a personal best leap of 14.51. That mark of 47’07.25 is good for No. 32 in the nation according to MileSplit.
He is the Class 4 leader in the event.
Other Class No. 1 Marks
Hermitage, 3200-Meter Relay – 8:28.65 – Class 1
Gretchen House, Chadwick – 1600-Meter Run – 5:30.23 – Class 1
Lily Hunsucker, Spokane – 1600-Meter Run – 5:26.73 – Class 2
Maggie Czachowski, Spokane – 300-Meter Hurdles – Class 2
Skyline, 3200-Meter Relay – 10:26.30 – Class 2
Reagan Reedy, Rolla – Javelin – 40.59 – Class 4
School records everywhere
The great weather led to school-record setting performances all over the place. There were so many that I am unable to highlight them all, but it was a truly historic two days in Bolivar.