Moving to Class 4 this season, the Washington track Blue Jays finished at the top of area teams in the District 5 boys track meet held at Camdenton Saturday.
Washington scored 68 points to place sixth in the team standings.
Willard was the district champion, scoring 114 points. Helias was second at 94 while Rolla (79), Camdenton (76) and Bolivar (75) also finished in front of the Blue Jays.
“The boys had a very strong day with three district champions and qualifying for sectionals in six events,” Washington Head Coach Mike Olszowka said. “We believe that all six events have a very good chance to get through to the state championships.”
Other area schools at the district were St. Clair (seventh at 53 points), Sullivan (10th at 38), Union (11th at 36) and Borgia (12th at 24 points).
“We had a great day at the district meet,” St. Clair Coach Ben Garmer said. “Last year we only qualified for sectionals in one event and this year we qualified in nine events (boys and girls). Our coaching staff did an outstanding job preparing these athletes and our athletes put in a great deal of work this season and I believe we will have a good showing at the sectional meet Saturday.”
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the sectional meet, which will be held Saturday at Eldon High School.
• 100-meter dash — Union’s Deric Purnell won the final race in 10.81. Washington’s Ryan Landers was fifth and just missed advancing.
• 200-meter dash — As he had done in the 100, Purnell came back from placing second in the preliminary heats to win in 22.11. Washington’s Adam Gauzy was second in 22.52 and St. Clair’s Pepper Stark also advanced by taking fourth in 23.18. Sullivan’s Balor Bartolotta ended eighth in the final race.
• 400-meter dash — Gauzy was the winner in 49.61 and was the only area athlete to qualify. Borgia’s Daniel Leopold missed by .02 of a second, ending fifth.
“Adam had a very strong day as well,” Olszowka said. “We are continuing to tweak his race strategy. Things have progressed nicely through the year and we are still expecting him to be able to drop a substantial amount of time and both the 400 and the 200.”
• 800-meter run — St. Clair’s Tyler Stark was the winner in 1:59.65. The Bulldogs also qualified Anthony Giancola at fourth in 2:04.68. Borgia’s Grant Straatmann was sixth.
• 1,600-meter run — Washington’s Clayton Duchatschek won in a time of 4:27.70. Union’s Zach Ellefson was fifth. Washington’s Otto Spaunhorst (seventh) and St. Clair’s Colin Brown (eighth) also scored points.
• 3,200-meter run — Duchatschek doubled up and was the only runner to break the 10-minute mark. He won in 9:51.87.
“Clayton looked great with two district championships,” Olszowka said. “He ran very smart and consistent in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. He picked his spots very intelligently and stuck with a game plan we spent the whole week planning. He’s going to have to have another strong week at sectionals to qualify for Jeff City.”
Borgia’s Aaron Westhoff was second in 10:02.01 and Union’s Jared Mentz took third in 10:01.93. Scoring, but not advancing, were St. Clair’s Cyle Butenhoff (sixth) and Washington’s Noah Little (eighth).
“Our boys had a tough go Saturday,” Borgia Coach Mitch Figas said. “Like last season Aaron Westhoff is our only sectional qualifier. Aaron ran a solid race in the warmer conditions. I was hoping he could finally dip under the 10:00 mark for the 3,200, but he will have the competition to get there next weekend. The other district ran some fast times, but Aaron has know what he would be up against ever since running in the sectional last year. I look for Aaron to run the best race of his high school career on Saturday and come away with a fast time. We will have to wait and see if it is good enough to continue to state.”
• 110-meter high hurdles — Willard’s Tyler Carson won the final in 15.37. Sullivan’s Trevor Key was third in 16.01.
• 300-meter intermediate hurdles — Key was the winner in 40.80 and was the only area qualifier. Washington’s Houston Partridge was sixth.
• 400-meter relay — Willard won in 43.95. Sullivan advanced in 44.60 with Key, Bartolotta, Blaine Blankenship and Ross Farris running. Washington was fifth and Borgia scored for eighth.
• 800-meter relay — Hillcrest won at 1:31.29. Sullivan also qualified at fourth with Key, Bartolotta, Blankenship and Farris toting the baton. Washington ended eighth.
• 1,600-meter relay — Helias ran to victory in 3:29.68 and two area teams also qualified for the sectional. Washington was third in 3:34.78 with Daulton Bender, Gauzy, Duchatschek and Adam Kleekamp running.
“The 1,600 relay ran a very good race,” Olszowka said. “We know we have still got at least one second per kid that we can drop. Clayton got us started very well as the lead off late coming off the 3,200 run. Daulton and Houston did excellent job of closing the final 100 meters of their legs, giving a big qualifying lead to Adam, who closed the door.”
St. Clair’s team of Elijah Algiere, Drake Kelley, Pepper Stark and Tyler Stark was fourth in 3:35.12. Borgia was eighth.
• 3,200-meter relay — Bolivar won in 8:12.96. St. Clair was second in 8:16.26 with Giancola, Butenhoff, Pepper Stark and Tyler Stark running. Union missed at fifth and Borgia was sixth.
• Shot put — Nathan Swadley of Willard threw 53-7.25 to win the district title. No area athletes advanced, but St. Clair’s Marcus Kirk (fifth), Sullivan’s Austin Schaefferkoetter (sixth) and Union’s Eli Schulze (seventh) scored points.
• Discus — Swadley’s throw of 160-8 was good for the title. No area athletes qualified, but Kirk and St. Clair’s Josh Richards scored points for fifth and seventh, respectively.
• High jump — Willard’s Brock Howard cleared 6-1 to win. No area athletes qualified or scored points.
• Long jump — Hillcrest’s Savion Hill was the winner at 22-4. Washington’s Ryan Landers was third at 21-1 to advance.
“He is coming on at the right time,” Olszowka said. “He is coming off a GAC championship performance he had an even better day. He was leading the event going into finals and ended up placing third. He had a very good six jump series. But he had one jump that added four inches to this PR. It’s the time of year where those kind of performances go to the front of the line.”
• Triple jump — Hill went 43-11.5 to win over Sullivan’s Blankenship (43-3.75). No other area athletes scored points.
• Pole vault — Gabriel Kurtz of Camdenton cleared 13-3 to win. Borgia’s Jonathan Braun just missed qualifying, taking fifth. St. Clair’s Brendon Sanders was eighth.
• Javelin — Camdenton’s Kurtz was the winner at 159-5. Kirk qualified for St. Clair, ending third at 151-7. Also scoring was Washington’s Adam Kleekamp (sixth).
Borgia had several other close calls at the district meet.
I thought the rest of the distance group competed well,” Figas said. “Grant Straatmann ran a season best time in the 800 and really ran a great race. Freshmen Drew Snider nearly equaled his best time in the 1,600 and freshman Ben Juengling was able to lower his 3,200 personal best. We ran three sophomores and two freshman at this meet and I was happy with the way they competed. Hopefully we will see big things from this group as they mature.”
Leopold narrowly missed advancing.
“Daniel Leopold had an outstanding day for us,” Figas said. “Based on the way he has been practicing this year and the times heading in to the meet I thought we would give him a shot in the 3,200-meter relay. Most sprinters are reluctant to try moving up, but Daniel approached the race and the training with an open mind. His time was acceptable for a first effort under the conditions and we will let him think about continuing with the 400/800 combo in the future. Coming back from the 800 his feet blistered pretty badly. Daniel put up a valiant effort in the 400. Daniel has two more years with us and should look to qualify not only for sectional, but also to make state.”
Braun completed his Borgia career at the meet.
“Jon Braun almost had a great day in the pole vault,” Figas said. “He has had trouble finding the right vaulting pole all year. It seemed like it would take him a few weeks to master a pole and then after another week he needed to move on to a different pole. He put together some great jumps at the meet, equaling his school record of 12-0. He was just a little inconsistent at the next height and he just missed out on a sectional berth finishing in fifth.”