By David Sharp
Knox County's girls won the 4x200 meter relay at the May 10 Class 1, Sectional 1 track meet at South Callaway.
Kale Watson earned a Sectional championship in the boys' 110m hurdles. A total of nine Knox County and four Brashear athletes qualified for the 2008 MSHSAA Track Championships scheduled for May 16-17 at Jefferson City.
Knox County qualified for state in a total of nine events. Brashear sent four athletes in four different events. Highland and Clark County qualified in four events.
Josie McCracken will represent Highland in four Class 2 state events. Amanda Woods and Tessa Ramer will represent Knox County in four Class 1 events.
Weather problems plagued the second half of the Mokane Sectional. The meet was halted twice due to lightning. The 4x200m relay event along with the Class 1 girls' long jump was held in a driving rainstorm.
Heavy rain in the Fulton area caused grassy surfaces to squish with water when a person walked across the surface. The all weather track was crucial to getting the track meet in.
Official Sectional one results had not been posted as of late Sunday night. Please visit the Internet at www.mo.milesplit.us and click on the home page results tab to view times and distances when available. All three of the remaining Class 1 Sectional results were posted as of this writing. Some information contained in this story is from reporters' notes.
Weather conditions at the end of the Mokane Sectional were ominous enough so that the South Callaway High School campus quickly cleared despite a very large crowd. The Sectional started around 11AM and did not conclude until 9:15PM.
Knox County and Brashear were plagued with fifth place Sectional finishes all day. The top four Sectional finishers in each event moved on to state.
Knox County junior Mitchel Penn was a four event Sectional qualifier. The Eagles finished fifth in the boys' 4x100 and 4x200 relay races at Sectionals. Mitchel Penn placed fifth in the boys' 100m dash.
Mitchel Penn powered down the straightaway to a third place Sectional finish and became the first Knox County High School boys' track and field performer to advance to the state track meet since Garet Nunan medaled at Dwight T. Reed Stadium in 2005.
"I thought there was no way I could get this," said Mitchel Penn. "Our 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams finished fifth and I finished fifth in the open 100. This is the first time I have beaten Aric Luman (Novinger HS) all year. I am pretty excited."
Novinger qualified three athletes to the state track meet. Aric Luman advanced in the boys' 100 and 200 meter races as well as the long and triple jump. Dakota Jacques made the state field in the boys' 100m dash and the long jump. Cory Smith will represent the Wildcats in the boys' discus competition.
"Coach (John Weaver) said I had to run as hard as I could the whole 200 meters and that is what I did," said Mitchel Penn. "The girls are just amazing," said Mitchel Penn of the Lady Eagles. "They will probably be strong nest year too. Our guys should be better too. We will be stronger and faster."
Tessa Ramer, Amanda Woods, Alena Koester and Lorelei Schlueter executed their handoffs better than most Sectional 4x200m relay teams. The Lady Eagles won the Sectional championship in around 1:53 seconds. The same group of girls won Sectional silver medals in the 4x100m relay.
Alena Koester will represent Knox County in the girls' high jump after clearing at 4'8". Koester won the girls Class 1 Sectional high jump silver medal.
Amanda Woods claimed the Class 1 Sectional silver medal in the long jump. Woods leaped 14'2 1/2" through a driving rain. "We have certainly been working hard the whole year," said four event state qualifier Amanda Woods.
"I was really happy for Mitch," said Amanda Woods when asked about Penn making the state 200m dash field. "He got fifth place in three events today. It was good for him. He really needed it. This is a great feeling to get there."
Lorrie Peters, Brady Bugh, Katie Ausmus and Suzanne Howerton placed fourth in the Class 1 girls' 4x800 meter relay advancing to Jefferson City.
Lorelei Schlueter placed fourth in the girls' 100 and 200 meter dash races. Knox County was about to compete in the girls' 4x100 meter relay event when a huge bolt of lightning landed south of the stadium. Athletes were sent to their busses for shelter for just over an hour.
The Lady Eagles claimed 4x100 meter relay silver medals when the meet resumed. Katie Ausmus ran a strong 3200 meters and qualified with a fourth place finish.
Christina Scudder was not allowed to spin in the discus throw because of knee surgery. Scudder figured out how to throw the disc basically on one leg to the tune of a 94'4" Class 1 Sectional silver medal finish for Brashear.
Senior classmate Kale Watson won the boys' 110 meter Sectional hurdles. Scudder and Watson advanced to the Class 1 Track Championships for the fourth straight season.
David Anderson qualified in the boys' 400 meter dash. Justin Hazen powered through rain fall to qualify for state competition in the Class 1 boys' 3200 meter run. Tiger track coach Sara Williams will coach in the Track Championship for the sixth straight season.
"I thought we had a good showing with strong numbers coming down," said Brashear coach Sara Williams. "It's nice to see some seniors get some recognition and go down to the state tournament next weekend."
Coach Williams commented on her state qualifying athletes. "Kale Watson bringing home the first place medal in the 110m hurdles. That is his strong event Christina Scudder coming off that knee injury in basketball and placing second in the discus. David Anderson ran his best time in the 400 meters. He got down to 53.82 seconds after running 55.05 seconds."
"We had a rough time with the weather," said Williams at the close of the meet. "We were looking at the other district, which appeared stronger than ours. I thought we had a good showing."
Clark County had athletes qualify for the Class 2 portion of the Track Championships in five events.
Javis Vineyard qualified in the boys' 100, 200m dash races and the 4x200m relay. Erick Arnold qualified in the boys' 110m hurdles with a fourth place finish.
Matt Morrow, Michael Brennan, Ethan Allen and Vineyard advanced by winning the 4x200m relay for Clark County by a wide margin despite a heavy downpour. Michael Brennan, Ethan Horton, Ethan Allen and Lynn Williams finished fourth in the boys' 4x400m relay.
Highland girls qualified in four events. Josie McCracken was second in the Class 2 girls' 100 meter dash and was third in the 200 meters. Abby Gaus, Chasity Wardlow, Alexis Clay and Josie McCracken won Sectional silver medals in the girls' 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay events.
Among Sectional qualifiers not able to move on to state were Kale Watson, who had problems in the Class 1 high jump and wound up with a sixth place finish. David Anderson leaped 19'10 ½" in the Class 1 boys' long jump and finished fifth overall.
Jacob Owen, Kiley Watson, Justin Hazen and Josiah Belzer placed sixth for Brashear in the Class 1 boys' 4s800m relay. Matt Thomas placed sixth in the boys' 110m hurdles.
Caleb Tasco placed eighth for Highland in the Class 2 boys' 100m dash. Alexis Clay was seventh for the Lady Cougars in the Class 2 girls' 100 meter dash.
The KCHS 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay team of Cody Pegg, Cameron Kirmse, Brady James and Mitchel Pegg were fifth in both events. Kale Watson, Matt Thomas, David Anderson, and Ryan Ferdig were sixth for Brashear in the boys' 4x100 meter relay.
Kirksville District Champion 400 meter dash runner Suzanne Howerton ran a 67 second race but finished fifth at Sectionals. Cody Pegg placed sixth for Knox County with a 55.50 second time in the boys' 400 meter dash.
Tessa Ramer placed seventh for Knox County in the girls' 300m low hurdles. Brady James placed sixth and Kale Watson seventh in the boys' 300m intermediate hurdles.
Suzanne Howerton ran a strong 800 meters for Knox County and placed sixth. Tri-County Conference boys' 800 meter run champion Josiah Belzer placed seventh for Brashear in the Class 1 800 meter event.
Alexis Clay was fifth for Highland in the Class 2 girls' 200m dash. Trae Treasure, Tony Raine, Jacob Owen and David Anderson placed eighth for Brashear in the boys' 4x400 meter relay.