By David Sharp
Northeast Missouri was well represented at the May 16-17 Class 1 and 2 MSHSAA Track and Field Championships, held at Dwight T. Reed Stadium on the campus of Lincoln University at Jefferson City. Knox County and Highland athletes claimed a total of ten state medals while Clark County brought home five medals.
Top eight finishers at the state track meet receive medals and earn All-State track status.
Novinger senior Dakota Jacques won a thrilling 100 meter dash final in 11.23 seconds and took the Class 1 boys' long jump gold medal at 21'6". Junior Aric Luman won bronze medals in the 100m dash and the long jump. Luman was also seventh in the triple jump.
Clark County junior Javis Vineyard won the fourth place medal in the Class 2 boys' 100 meter dash in 11.16 seconds. Vineyard was part of the Clark County boys' fourth place 4x200m relay team. Javis Vineyard qualified for state in the 200 meters but was disqualified after the officials ruled a false start in the preliminary round.
Putnam County junior Katie Evans set a Class 2 state record winning the girls' shot put championship at 46' 7 ¼" and earned the Class 2 girls' discus gold medal at 140' 1". Brad Madison won the Class 2 boys' discus gold medal with a 170' 7" toss. Trenton senior Deandre Vandevender struck gold in the Class 2 boys' triple, long and high jump events.
Meadville senior Kaci Sargent won the Class 1 girls 400m dash and triple jump. Sargent was second to Missouri School for the Deaf senior Chetara Watkins in the Class 1 girls' 100 and 200m dash. Watkins dominated the Mokane Sectional sprints.
Saxony Lutheran won the Class 1 boys team championship with 52 points. Novinger was fourth in the state with 34 points. Rock Port won the Class 1 girls' team championship with 58 points. Meadville was second with 52 points. Marion County was 23rd overall in the Class 1 girls point standings.
Knox County tied with Novinger and Bosworth for 29th overall in girls' Class 1 with eight points. Paris and Crocker tied for 32nd overall with seven points.
Trenton won the boys Class 2 team championship with 67 points. Centralia was ninth in Class 2. Palmyra, Westran, and South Harrison tied for 12th overall with 16 points.
Clark County, Lathrop, Louisiana and Marceline tied for 26th overall in the Class 2 boys' standings with ten points.
Hamilton-Penney followed up their Class 3 girls' basketball championship by winning the Class 2 track girls' team title with 77 points. Freshman sensation Lindsay Vollmer won the Class 2 girls' high jump at 5'4". Vollmer set new state records winning the 300 hurdles at 49.08 seconds and the long jump at 18' 7 ¼".
Macon tied for fourth overall in the Class 2 girl's standings with 25 points. Tigerette juniors Cindy and Karen Gravel won the 3200m run silver and bronze medals respectively. Monroe City sophomore Shelby Franklin won the Class 2 girls' pole vault for the second straight season. Franklin is the state record holder with a 12 foot vault established in 2007.
Putnam County was sixth overall in girls' Class 2 with 23 points. Highland was 20th with 14 points and South Shelby placed 30th with nine team points.
Lorelei Schlueter and Alena Koester won three Knox County state medals each. Senior Alena Koester took the sixth place medal in the Class 1 girls' high jump, clearing at 4'10" on her second attempt and was part of the Lady Eagles' 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay teams.
Knox County won a total of ten medals. Lorelei Schlueter won the eighth place medal in the Class 1 girls' 200m dash.
The Lady Eagles had the seventh best overall time in the girls' 4x400m relay but failed to make the finals and were declared ninth overall.
Tessa Ramer and Amanda Woods won two KCHS state medals each in the girls' 4x100 and 4x200m relays. Knox County finished eighth in both sprint relays.
Knox County is coached by Clark County HS graduate John Weaver.
Highland senior Josie McCracken won four state medals in her final high school track meet.
McCracken was seventh in the Class 2 girls'100 meters and fourth in the 200 meter dash finals.
Highland seniors Abby Gaus and Chasity Wardlow along with junior Alexis Clay won fifth place medals in the Class 2 girls' 800m relay and sixth in the 4x100 meter relay.
Clark County junior Javis Vineyard ran a preliminary time of 11.23 seconds in the 100 meter dash and made the finals.
The officials ruled Vineyard false started in the 200 meter dash prelim and disqualified the Indian junior.
The false start ruling contributed to a slow exit from the blocks during the 100m dash finals.
"I got out of the blocks pretty timid because I got DQ'd yesterday," said the Clark County junior sprinter.
"It was a close race with the third place guy (Dominic Thomas of Montgomery County in 11.15). He got me by a whisker. It was a good race," said Vineyard.
Fred Taylor of Maplewood-Richmond Heights won the Class 2 boys 10m dash in 10.81 seconds.
Javis Vineyard won the fourth place medal in 11.16 seconds. "I'm going to work hard this off season and hopefully make it down here again," said the Indian three sport star.
"It was great to make it down here and run with this quality of great athletes."
Clark County qualified for the Class 2 boys' 4x200m relay and pulled out a fourth place overall finish in 1:32.36 seconds.
Matt Morrow, Michael Brennan, Ethan Allen and Javis Vineyard earned all-state status and the fourth place medals.
Clark County was in sixth place when Ethan Allen handed the baton to Javis Vineyard.
"We handed the baton to Javis (Vineyard) and he made up some ground," said Clark County junior Ethan Allen.
"We were in lane two so we had the advantage of seeing everyone in front of us," said Allen.
"When I came out of the blocks it was just a dead even race," said leadoff runner Matt Morrow. "We just kept the stagger until the second runner."
"They started pulling away a little bit," said Morrow. "We know how Clark County is," commented Ethan Allen on the overall excellence of the Clark County program.
"We wanted to keep up the tradition of working hard and giving our best effort."
"Ethan (Allen) had a great handoff," said Javis Vineyard of the 800m relay anchor leg.
"I just left it all on the track. My legs are dead now," said Vineyard. "It was a photo finish at the end. We could have pulled off third."
"Being able to see people in front of us helped us," said Michael Brennan. "It helped us to push ourselves. We are all juniors. We are coming back next year."
Erick Arnold ran his 110m hurdle prelim in 16.72 seconds. Arnold did not make the finals and placed 15th in the state.
The Indian boys' 4x400m relay team of Michael Brennan, Ethan Horton, Ethan Allen and Lynn Williams ran a 3:49.80 second preliminary.
Clark County did not qualify for the 1600m relay finals and placed 14th overall in Class 2.