By Pat Dailey (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
POINT LOOKOUT — Aric Spyres often sees many of the same competitors in the long jump and triple jump, but usually meets newcomers in the high jump.
The Crane senior is unique not only by competing in all three jumps, but shining in all three events.
“I’m the only one I’ve seen in my entire high school career who has been successful at all three,” Spyres said.
Spyres, the defending Class 2 state champion in the high jump, swept the high jump (6-2 3/4), long jump (20-10 3/4) and triple jump (41-1) at the Class 2 Sectional 3 Meet on Saturday.
“They are such different jumps,” Spyres said. “The high jump is vertical and in the triple and long jump you have to go horizontal. It’s hard to get that energy going up in the high jump for a lot of people.”
Spyres will go on to take part in all three events at Central Missouri State.
“I’m ready for college because they’re going to let me do all three jumps there, too,” he said. “I think I’m going to excel because I don’t really lift weights now. I’m doing all this with my form. I’m excited to start a real weightlifting program.”
Spyres won a gold medal at State last year by clearing 6-4 in the high jump. He doesn’t think that will win it this year.
“I think I’m going to have to get 6-6, at least,” Spyres said.
Richer tops elite list of pole vaulters
The Class 2 boys pole vault field included three of the top five pole vaulters statewide this season, including defending state champion Nate Richer, of Gainesville.
Richer cleared 13-11 1/4 to finish first, while Osceola’s Uriah Williamson was second with a 13-5 1/4 and Sarcoxie’s Jaren Malotte was third with a 12-5 1/2.
“I was looking forward to this day for a while,” Richer said. “These guys are good. It’s been an honor to vault with them.”
The trio talked to each other often in between vaults.
“We try to give each other uplifting messages and coach each other when we can,” Richer said.
Richer’s PR is 14-6. He’s looking to beat that and peak at State.
“Last year, I had speed as opposed to technique. This year, I’ve built a lot more technique than speed. I’ve cleaned it up,” Richer said. “It’s been a pretty successful year. I’ve been placing well at every meet. Next week, I’m hoping to go somewhere close to 15-0.”
Cardinals capture sprints
The Miller duo of Brenden Thom and Beau Hall allowed the Cardinals to sweep the sprints. Thom won both the 200 (23.08) and 400 (51.04), while Hall won the 100 (11.3) and was second in the 200 (23.42).
Thom has proven to be quite a find for Miller. This is the senior’s first season of track.
“I like it when people hear it’s my first year doing track,” Thom said, referring to the many surprised reactions he’s encountered, considering his success. “I wasn’t going to do track. But I got talked into it by my friends. I decided I would come out and run and see what I’ve got. I never thought I would really win anything.”
Thom had competed in football, basketball and baseball in high school.
“It’s been pretty fun, especially when you win,” he said of track. “I wish I would have done it longer. There’s a regret.”
Naturally, Thom and Hall bring out the best in each other.
“We get to push each other each day in practice,” Hall said. “We try to push each other the best we can. We would like to have more sprinters, but we’re happy with the sprinters we have.”
Blue Eye’s Warren getting healthy, winning
Blue Eye’s Kyla Warren welcomed the 90-degree heat the past week, as the warmer weather helped loosen the muscles in her legs. She’s been hindered by tightness in her legs most of the spring.
Warren won the 100 (12.53) and was second in the 200 (26.69). Also she ran on the Lady Bulldogs’ winning 4 x 100 relay (52.09).
“I have had three knots in my left quad and developed another knot in my right leg,” Warren said. “I had a knot and it spread into three knots when we tried rubbing it out. After every race, it would be sore and hurt real bad. It’s like my muscles were hard as a rock. You’ve got to rub it out and that’s painful.
“Since the warm weather has been coming, I’ve been running pretty good and there doesn’t seem to be any knots anymore,” she added. “This is the right time to be feeling great.”
Warren’s 12.53 was just shy of her personal record of 12.4. Her nerves before the race told her she was going to run well.
“I was kind of shaking in the set position,” she said. “Before every race, even if I feel I’m going to win it, I’m still super nervous because anything can happen. I felt pretty fast. My toes were burning the whole time.”
New Covenant’s Talley three-time winner
New Covenant senior Tanner Talley showed his versatility and endurance while winning the 800 ( 1:58), 1,600 (4:33) and 3,200 (10:20).
Plato’s Kevan Monds won the 110 hurdles (15.95) and 300 hurdles (42.24).
Spokane’s Lily Hunsucker was first in both the 800 (2:29) and 1,600 (5:37). The Lady Owls’ Madison King won the 3,200 (12:58) and Maggie Czachowski won the 300 hurdles (48.79) and the Owls’ Gabriel Duarte won the discus with a 134-3.
College Heights’ girls finished first in the 4 x 200 relay (1:48) and 4 x 400 relay (4:10). The Lady Cougars’ Addison Lawrence won the 400 (:58.16) by more than three seconds and also won the 200 (26.3).
Blue Eye’s boys won the 4 x 400 relay (3:37) and 4 x 800 relay (8:31).
Ash Grove’s Julianna Torbett was an overwhelming winner in the long jump with a 17-21/4. She beat the field by nearly two feet.
Ash Grove’s Jamalynn Atkinson also won big, taking the discus with a 105-04 that was more than six feet better than the rest of the field.
Skyline’s Kadence Wallace won the high jump with a 4-9. She was seeded fourth.
Cabool’s Elaina Swiksloski was first in the shot put with a 32-61/4. She upset Sparta’s Penelope Hansen, who had a 34-5 at District.
Sparta’s Megan Brown won the javelin with a 98-11.
Cabool’s Edward Swisloski was first in the shot put with a 48-51/2.
Osceola’s William Snider won the javelin with a 150-8.