Jefferson City – Powerhouse Rock Bridge sprinters Chris Giles and Casey Hood led the Bruins track and field team to another state title Saturday. Combined, the duo contributed 56 points for the team’s 97 total.
The Rockbridge Boys had more points than the second and third place groups combined. All points came from current events.
In the 100-meter dash, Giles and Hood went 1-2, respectively. Giles finished first in a time of 10.46 seconds in the event, a meet-record and launched a first-place sweep campaign in all four of his events on day two of the MSHSAA Class 5 Championships at Jefferson City High School – 100, 4×100, 400 and 4×400.
“I am happy,” Giles said after installing the 4×400. “I want to go home.”
Giles’ fixing time in the 4×400 was faster than his finish in the 400. He finished first in both. In the 400 open, Giles ran 47.95, and in his 4×400 anchor leg he closed with 46.82.
As he approached the final bend in the last 200 of his anchor leg, Giles went from fifth to first in a matter of seconds.
Giles, a senior, has only run the race track for only two years. He would go on to compete for Indian Hills Community College in Iowa.
Hood also had a great day in Saturday’s finals. He finished second in both the 100 and 200 and played a key role in both the 4×100 and 4×400 titles.
Another noteworthy achievement on the Rock Bridge sprinter’s side was junior Cooper Allen’s fifth in the 400 with a time of 49.49. Allen also ran in round one of the 4×100 and 4×400 winning teams.
Sprinter Zachia Porter claimed state honors this weekend. She placed 6th in both the 100 and 200. Porter also contributed 3rd and 4th places in 4×100 and 4×200, respectively, with the Rock Bridge Girls finishing 5th as a team.
The Rock Bridge distance team contributed key points with superb finishes for all situations.
Three guys placed within 3,200 points in Friday’s final. Andrew Hauser was third at 9:05.11, Ian Kimi was fifth while Weston Jokerst finished sixth.
The trio competed again on Saturday in the 1600. Hauser fought neck and neck with Joplin’s Hobbs Campbell in the last 100 rounds, and Hauser won, finishing first with a time of 4:11.72. In the same event, Kemey ranked fifth in honors statewide.
Jokerst, a senior, turned around and finished fourth in the 800 at 1:56.72. It was his first year in a row in the Open event.
“I had to give everything I had for the last 100,” he said.
The three-distance sprinters in the Bruins put the team first on day one with 18 points and added another 19 points on day two.
On the girls’ side, the outstanding Carolyn Ford placed fifth in the 800 and 1600 races as well as all-state finishes in 4×800 and 4×400 SUVs.
“We are very happy,” Brock Walker said after helping the team finish fifth in the 4×800 race.
As the boys’ team graduates from the 4×400 Giles, three runners will return next season to defend the title.
“Coming into this 4×400, knowing we were doing it for each other, and doing it to win another title for ourselves, it just felt so good,” Allen said. “I felt more confident and felt so happy to be there.”
Other all-state finishes for Bruins included Simon Driven (boys 4×100, 4×400), Sunday Crane (girls 4×100, 4×200, 4×400), Addyelin Gerrish (girls 4×100, 4×200), Aneisha Nunnelly (girls 4×100, 4×200, 4×400), Grace Parsons ( Girls 4×800, 4×400) and Massey Stopper (4×800 Girls).
Tolton’s 4 x 800m girls’ relay team reaps gold
Tolton track and field sprinter Jillian Andrews finished her class in sixth, and teammates Olivia Andrews and Madison Taylor battle it out for third. Anchor Elyse Wilmes – who won the 3800 class on Friday in 2:14.48 – chased down Ste. Abigail Moore of Genevieve, only strode past the finish line, won the 3 4x800m class relay with a time of 9:43.88.
Willems said she didn’t feel good on the first lap but asked herself to squeeze it in on the second when she heard her mom and coaches cheer for her.
“I saw 100 take off – put your head down and do it for your teammates,” said Wilms.
Willems competed in the $1,600 race on Friday, but fell off the track on the last lap because she clipped her foot painfully on the metal crossbar lining the inner lane. She said she’s had foot pain for the past few weeks and doesn’t want to hurt herself.
She was supposed to join her teammates Gillian Andrews, Madison Taylor and Eli Reynolds in the Class 3 4×400, but decided to sit down to let her footing. Olivia Andrews joined the team that clocked a time of 4:18.89 and finished eighth.
Elise Wilmes’ brother Garrett, a senior who will run in Kansas next year, ran 1:56.39 in the 800 and finished second.
Garrett Wilmes stayed behind first place finisher Dylan Ackley of Eldorado Springs for most of the race. When they started the last stretch, Ackley noticed Wilmes trying to pass and made a move to block him. Wilms leaned forward, lost his balance and fell – and soon he got to his feet and finished, but Ackley had already crossed the line.
“I think I was about to run 1:53,” Wilmes said. “That’s really good, but I mean, I fell. It’s kind of hard to fathom. I’m a little disappointed because I worked so hard to win.”
Willems and his Trail Blazers teammates John Glodd, Quentin Hermann and Owen Hartline finished eighth in the 4×800 race Friday with a time of 8:27.51.
Senior Eli Reynolds, part of the 4×400-meter team, also finished fourth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 47.49. Reynolds, who will be running for Columbia College next year, said she was satisfied with her race but had mixed feelings about moving forward.
“I can continue on the right track, but it’s kind of bitter,” Reynolds said. “I won’t be with my coach anymore and my teammates, but it’s a good achievement.”
The girls finished in the top ten as a team and finished ninth.
Hickman Peterson jumps to three statewide honors
Athena Peterson took second place in the Triple Jump category 5 with a jump of 38-3½.
“I’m very happy with myself,” Peterson said. “I didn’t think I would do this well, and I’m excited for the next few years because I’m just a freshman.”
Peterson finished sixth in the 5300 hurdles class, finishing in 45.31 — nearly a full second faster than the 46.44 finish that qualified her to the final. She also made the all-state long jump on Friday, jumping 18-5¾ and finishing fifth.
In the high jump, senior Owen McNally tied Peyton Legon of Ozark for eighth, both out 6-2¾.
Senior Charlie Garino got 15-1 to finish second in the pole vault on Friday. Superstar Emma Kingsley vaulted 10-0 to tie for 10th in the girls’ 5 pole vault class on Saturday, narrowly losing the podium.
Battles Horn, Reichert, Ferguson are all countries
Junior Keelan Horn came out strong on his first attempt in the Category 5 long jump, making 23-6¾. Although he did no better than his first jump in his next four attempts, he came out third.
“It was amazing,” Horn said. “I’ve been working all season, and it finally came.”
The other three Spartans who went to the state all competed in the pole vault.
Also in the pole vault, senior Keyleigh Reichert reached 11-2½ to finish fifth and freshman Anna Ferguson seventh (10-6). For boys, Junior Myron Love ranked 12th, (12-5½).