Heading to Camdenton Saturday, area girls track programs took the first step toward the MSHSAA State Meet in Jefferson City May 26-27.
In the Class 3 District 5 girls meet, host Camdenton won the event title at 106.5 points. Helias was second at 99 points while Bolivar ended third at 98 points.
Union was the top area team, ending fourth at 83.5 points. Washington tied Rolla for fifth at 73.
“The girls had four individual district champions,” Washington Head Coach Mike Olszowka said. “Mikayla Reed had a good running the two-mile. She was in control of every race and looked relaxed and smooth. Colleen Kuchem looked awesome in winning the 400. She is getting very strong and is peaking at the right time to make a run to qualify for the state championships.”
Other area teams were Sullivan (seventh at 50), St. Clair (10th at 30.5) and Borgia (11th at 30 points).
“We go in to every meet with positive expectations and we ended up with 18 season or personal best performances,” Borgia Coach Mitch Figas said about the full program. “We just need to find a way to make those performances competitive with the other schools in our district.”
Below are event winners and area sectional qualifiers. The top four finishers in each event qualified for this Saturday’s sectional meet in Eldon.
• 100-meter dash — Camdenton’s Grace Wormek won at 12.48. Sullivan’s Leighann Allen was third.
• 200-meter dash — Wormek won at 25.42. Allen advanced by finishing third.
• 400-meter dash — Kuchem won in 1:01.48. Shea Wells of Union also advanced, taking third in 1:02.38.
• 800-meter run — Reed was the winner, finishing in 2:18.85. She was the only area runner to advance.
• 1,600-meter run — Reed ran a time of 5:10.34 to win the event. She was the lone area qualifier.
• 3,200-meter run — Reed, last year’s Class 5 runner-up and Class 4 cross country state champion, was the district champion in 11:30.03. Washington’s Anna Sullentrup was fifth and just missed advancing.
• 100-meter high hurdles — Camdenton’s Natalie Basham won in 14.9. Union’s Mikayla Espowe advanced by finishing fourth. Union’s Deseray Washington, Washington’s Kuchem and Borgia’s Alexis Oetterer were next, but didn’t qualify for the sectional.
• 300-meter low hurdles — Kylie Meier of Camdenton won in 46.24. Espowe was third in 47.21 and Washington also qualified at 48.70. Oetterer just missed, finishing fifth.
• 400-meter relay — Bolivar ran to victory in 50.92. Union’s team of Hailey Cloud, Kyleah Stahlman, Kaylee Bunch and Wells qualified third at 51.52 and St. Clair was fourth at 51.60. Running were Madison Plaggenburg, Meredith Howard, Hannah Machelett and Alyssa Stahlman. Borgia was fifth.
• 800-meter relay — Camdenton won at 1:44.91. Union took second in 1:47.48 with Wells, Cloud, Washington and Espowe running. St. Clair and Borgia placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
• 1,600-meter relay — Camdenton won in a time of 4:11.21. Washington was the area’s lone sectional qualifier, ending third in 4:13.85. Kuchem, Olivia Robinson, Anna Schneider and Morgan Holdmeyer ran for the Lady Jays.
“The team stayed consistent,” Olszowka said. “Colleen got us out to a great start and Olivia held the position. Anna Schneider ran a great leg and they set up Morgan up to close the deal.”
• 3,200-meter relay — Bolivar took the top spot at 9:53.13. Washington ended third to advance. Holdmeyer, Reed, Robinson and Sullentrup ran for the Lady Jays.
“The team got out and got our day started on the right foot,” Olszowka said. “We felt confident they would qualify. Anna ran her best split of year and Olivia and Morgan ran strong legs so that Mikayla did not have to give it 100 percent for the team to qualify.”
Union was fifth and St. Clair took sixth.
• Shot put — Union’s Tonya Vondera won at 38-1. Sullivan’s Kristin Lucas was third at 34-4 and St. Clair’s Megan Hinson also advanced at 34-1.75. Other area athletes in the finals were Sullivan’s Addison Purvis (fifth), Washington’s Emma Boehmer (seventh) and Union’s Victoria Holland (eighth).
• Discus — Kaitlyn Burson of Willard won with a toss of 114-10. Borgia’s Lynnae Grus took third at 100-3 and Sullivan’s Purvis was fourth at 98-9. Sullivan’s Lucas (sixth) and St. Clair’s Erin York (eighth) also scored points.
“Lynnae Grus bested the 100-foot mark in the discus for the first time and earned a sectional spot for her efforts,” Figas said. “It was a year of breaking barriers for Lynnae and the experience this weekend will help her in the future. Now that she has the 30-foot and 100-foot barriers passed in the shot and the discus I can envision her leaving those marks far behind and improving quickly next season.”
• High jump — Rolla’s Courtney Colench won by clearing 5-5. Borgia’s Madelyn Bogler was second at 4-11, taking the spot on misses. Washington’s Josie Kleinheider ended fourth, clearing 4-10. She took the spot on misses. Washington was fifth for Union.
“A highlight for the girls was Madelyn Bogler setting a huge personal best in the high jump in qualifying for the sectional,” Figas said. “Madelyn has been practicing great all season. Going in to this meet her steps and technique had really been spot on in practice. She was a little nervous when she found out the starting height was her PR at the time 4-6, but she jumped great all day and had some really good attempts at 5-0. All four sectional qualifiers from the other district were credited with 5-0 so it should be a very close battle for the four state spots this weekend.”
Olszowka was pleased with Kleinheider advancing.
“We got a surprise in the high jump with Josie qualifying,” Olszowka said. “She had a big PR and then some great jumps at 5-0. If she can keep this next week and maybe get that 5-0 jump she has a strong chance to qualify for the state meet.”
• Long jump — Anna Vollet of Helias won at 18-4.5. Machelett took second for St. Clair at 17-0 while Cloud was third at 16-6.75. Machelett broke a school record.
• Triple jump — Espowe was the winner at 36-0.5 and was the only area athlete to qualify for the sectional.
• Pole vault — Chole Ramsey of Helias cleared 11-0 to win. No area athletes qualified.
• Javelin — Nicole Rezabek of Camdenton won at 117-11. Sullivan’s Lucas was second at 109-6 while Sullivan’s Emily Hernandez took fourth at 107-11. Washington’s Sophia Olszowka was sixth.
“We were very pleased with the results of our days,” Olszowka said. “The girls got everything through that we were expecting to get through. We were hoping for a couple more that didn’t make it but we also picked up a couple that we were not expecting. It is a very long day, and it was probably our hottest day of the year. We got on the bus at 5:45 a.m. and we didn’t get home until 10 p.m. Nearly five hours on a bus really takes it’s toll on the kids.”
Olszowka said it takes extra dedication at this time of the year.
“It is a very difficult time of the year,” he said. “Kids are being pulled in every direction with the end of school, summer plans are being solidified, and seniors are getting ready for graduation. It’s always exciting to have kids qualify to get to the next meet, but it also is sad knowing that some kids no matter how hard they worked didn’t qualify. This is also the stage where you lose seniors that have contributed so much to the program over their careers.”
Borgia set a number of personal bests, but fell short of qualifying.
“Our hurdlers and sprint relays were our strengths Saturday,” Figas said. “Alexis Oetterer closed out her career by breaking her own school records in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. It would have been nice to see that rewarded with a sectional berth, but just wasn’t meant to be. Alexis has been a strength on our team since her freshman year and her versatility will be missed. Along with the hurdles she played an important role in all three sprint relays through out her career.”
Figas said two freshmen had best times in hurdles races.
“Freshman hurdlers Nikole Kleekamp and Sophia Chisamore ran personal best times in their races and have bright futures ahead of them,” Figas said. “Working with Alexis this year has shown them how a champion trains and prepares and hopefully they take those lessons to heart.”