WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City girls soccer saw it’s magical season come to end after falling 6-1 to Union in the Class 3 state quarterfinals on Saturday at Cardinal Stadium.
Union (24-2) scored the game’s first goal in the 15th minute and added a pair of goals late in the first half for a 3-0 lead at the break. Union replicated their first-half performance with three goals in the second half on the way to the win.
“We definitely knew they were going to pressure hard,” Webb City coach Nick Harmon said. “So, we were expecting that and I thought we handled it well in the early stages of the game. As the first half wore on, we gave up some late goals that we would like to have back. Credit to Union, they are a strong side.”
Webb City finishes the season with a 22-4 record, earning a trip to the state quarterfinal round for the first time in program history.
“I think they definitely pushed the program to new heights,” Harmon said. “They set a new precedence and new expectations for the program. They gained a lot of attention and support from the community, and it was deserved. I am very proud of them.”
The Cardinals graduate 10 seniors from the 2020-21 squad—Melia Blair, Mileah Metcalf, Sage Cranford, Velissia Perez, Chloe Johnston, Rylie Huff, Milca Rebolledo, Haven Stanley, Aubrey Hardy and Brianna Batson.
“It is hard to put into words,” Harmon said of his senior class. “This was the first group of players that I took on in my first year. To see them grow and develop over the last four years only to see them leave is bittersweet because I know they will move on to better and brighter things. But, we sure are going to miss them.”
Union got on the scoreboard first in the 15th minute when Mia Smith found room to get a shot off from 30 yards out that found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Webb City had a shot to tie the match in the 22nd minute after Metcalf earned a steal deep in Wildcat territory before drawing a foul that awarded the Cardinals a penalty kick. Blair’s PK sailed over the right side of the crossbar and was no good.
“I think it was a turning point in the game,” Harmon said of the missed opportunity. “Obviously, it’s a situation we’d like to have back, but that’s the way soccer goes. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t roll our way today.”
The Wildcats took control of the game late in the first half after Mya Minor found the back of the net in the 35th minute from 20 yards out to push the lead to 2-0. Union’s Emily Gaebe added a goal from 8 yards out a short time later to push the Wildcats’ lead to 3-0 heading into the half.
Gaebe added her second of the game in the 51st minute after converting from 10 yards out to make the score 4-0. Maliyah Minor added a top-shelf goal in the 67th minute to push the lead to 5-0. Sophie Eagan added a goal for the Wildcats in the 76th minute.
Webb City’s Anea Bemo converted a penalty kick in the 77th minute to get the Cardinals on the board.
Union will take on Fort Zumwalt South in the Class 3 semifinals at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — For the Thomas Jefferson Cavaliers, the first and only setback of the 2021 campaign came in the season’s grand finale.
Priory defeated Thomas Jefferson 5-0 in the championship match of the MSHSAA Class 2 State Tennis Tournament on Saturday at the Cooper Tennis Complex.
“It would be nice to go out on top, but if you’re going to lose, this is where you want to do it,” Cavaliers coach Tom Brumfield said. “There are no losers here today. We wanted to win yesterday pretty bad to get to this spot. We’ve shown improvements since the last time we were here (2019) and we’re in a bigger class on top of that. I can’t complain about today. The kids came out and competed, and that’s all we wanted them to do.
“All we ask for is for them to come out and compete hard,” Brumfield added. “That’s what they did. They competed on every point, they didn’t give in and they made Priory win it.”
For the Cavaliers, there was no shame in losing to a talented squad like the Ravens (12-1), who featured state champions in both singles and doubles from last week’s individual state tourney.
Thomas Jefferson finished the season with a record of 15-1 and as the state runner-up.
“This season has been a great experience,” Thomas Jefferson junior Ian Ding said. “It’s been really fun playing with this group of guys. Even though we didn’t finish exactly how we wanted, it’s still been an extremely enjoyable ride.”
On another chilly day outdoors, St. Louis-based Priory won all three doubles matches to start the dual against the Cavaliers, who were seeking their first state title since 2007.
Preston Achter and Evan Finnie edged Noah Hamlett and Tyler Brouhard 8-6.
Last week’s state doubles champs, Sean Finnie and Christian Djavaherian topped Ding and Hari Nagarajan 8-3.
Last week’s state doubles runner-up, John Newell and Peter Khoukaz defeated Christopher Wheelen and Prithvi Nagarajan 8-1.
The match ended when the Ravens recorded two wins in singles.
Khoukaz beat Wheelen 6-3, 6-1.
Achter, who won the state title in singles, defeated Ding 6-2, 6-1.
Hamlett and Wheelen are Thomas Jefferson’s lone seniors.
“We’re going to miss Noah and Chris,” Brumfield said. “They’ve been with the program for four years.”
The Cavaliers will return plenty of state experience.
Like Ding, Hari Nagarajan is a junior, while Brouhard is a sophomore and Prithvi Nagarajan is just a freshman.
“This experience is going to help us a lot,” Ding said of the state trip. “We’ll be used to playing in this kind of atmosphere.”
Brumfield noted his returning players already have their sights on a return trip to state next spring.
“I’m excited about that,” Brumfield said. “And we have some young kids that look really good. We’ll have Ian back in that top spot, and hopefully some of the other guys will step up.”
Simply put, it was a season to remember for the Cavaliers.
In addition to the runner-up team finish, Ding finished fourth in singles at last week’s individual state tourney, while Hamlett and Brouhard took sixth in the state in doubles.
Brumfield noted Saturday’s loss didn’t dampen the team’s successful season.
“Every group is different,” Brumfield said. “They’re a special group. They have their own distinction. One thing this group has always done is get out and play. They didn’t take a summer off. That work ethic is why they’ve been successful. It’s been a joy to coach these guys. And anytime you get this far, you have to be proud.”
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — There have been 21 state championships spread around five different sports at Webb City.
Boys track and field, up until Friday had never brought home the state’s most coveted team award. That changed thanks to a balanced and deep lineup that accumulated 64 points to win the Class 4 MSHSAA Track and Field Championship at Jefferson City High School.
It has been a long time since the track program has been dominating, you have to go back more than 70 years to see any semblance of team success.
The school’s previous best finish came as a runner-up in 1938 in Class B in a then three-class system.
“It wasn’t much of a track culture when I got here,” said Webb City coach Dustin Miller, who ran at Carthage and then Missouri Southern. “I put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m a competitive guy and I see softball, basketball, boys basketball, girls basketball and of course, football, all have their own state titles. You feel like if you don’t win, you don’t match up. To get this done, I’m proud of our kids. We have been in the shadows of baseball and girls soccer this year and I kept telling them to keep your head down and when you earn your recognition, you will get it.”
The group posed for plenty of photos with the state trophy after winning, beating Kearney by seven points – a usual rival on the gridiron. Fellow Central Ozark Conference school Willard tied for fourth.
The meet was the last for a number of those on the roster for state for both the team and coaching staff. Seniors included Luke Brumit, Caleb Cook, Joseph Dawson, Mekhi Garrard, Pryce Mason, Zetthew Meister, James Morgan, Owen Weller and Samuel Winesburg.
“First time ever winning the state championship and to be able to do it, we do it in football and basketball, first time in track means a lot,” Garrard said.
Miller’s staff will also lose Corey Roy and Josh Baker to different gigs, while Caleb Hoover is headed to medical school.
“It is just surreal,” Miller said. “We knew going into the 800 what would have to happen and Festus didn’t do what they needed to do and we knew Willard was out of points; then Kearney didn’t score. Then it came down to the 200 and by the 4×400, we knew no one would catch us. This is a good-character group of guys that every time I asked them to do something, they did it.”
The Cardinals set school records in the pole vault (Grayson Smith, 14 feet, 10 inches) and discus (Zetthew Meister/165’11).
Garrard, once known for a grand slam he gave up in the Little League World Series, added his name to the history books by winning the long jump with a distance of 23-3 ¼.
He is the school’s second ever to win that event and the first was there as an official at the meet: Alan Spencer who won it in 1968, long before becoming a successful football coach in the area. Garrard added a runner-up finish in the triple jump and was winning before getting knocked to second on the last attempt for Myles Norwood of Trinity Catholic in St. Louis.
In the event that Smith broke the state record, he finished second. Mason was fourth with a jump of 13-8 ¼, giving the Cardinals 13 points in the event.
“It is definitely interesting,” Mason said of dueling with Smith. “As a team, you want him to do his best, but as a competitor, you want to win.”
The team’s 4×400 (Mason, Garrard, Morgan, William Wolfe) had the 16th best time in prelims out of 16 teams and was in the first of two heats. The Cardinals, though, finished third in the meet once all the times for the two races were combined.
Brumit placed third in the high jump and sixth in javelin and Morgan placed in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. Incidentally, the 110 were run going the opposite direction as normal as a strong, consistent breeze would’ve meant running head-on into a gust blowing from the west.
“I did it a few times,” said Morgan of running the opposite direction. “In Missouri we are used to all the wind. It wasn’t too different. I was happy I was closer to the turf than the concrete, though. I was ranked seventh, so I thought if I got through, I will place and it will be fine.”
He was third in the 110 and eighth in the 300.
Webb City’s Weller, Dawson, Winesburg and junior Roman Borboa took fourth in the 4×800 and Borboa added points in the 1,600-meter run.
The Webb City girls got three medals from seniors Emily Beres and Haidyn Berry.
Beres became the sixth female to win a state title and the first to do it in the shot put, where she won with a putt of 39-11 ¼.
Her best was her final one, but she took the lead on her third attempt. However, the day ended on a bad note as she suffered an ankle injury on her way to get her first-place medal and had to be taken to a Jefferson City hospital to check for a possible fracture.
Beres added a sixth in the discus earlier in the day, the same place Berry took in the javelin.
Jewell wins state title
The last time there was a state track meet in 2019, Carl Junction’s Brendan Jewell secured a tie for fourth place. Flash forward to this year only two of those eight medalists that spring were still in school. Jewell and Savannah’s Ben Schneider, who placed one spot ahead of him.
Jewell entered this competition seeded second, trailing St. Charles West’s Braden Goellman and just ahead of Schneider. As the field narrowed itself down from 16, it eventually got down to only two: Goellman and Jewell.
Jewell cleared 6-7 ½ in his second attempt and Goellman missed all three to give the Bulldog senior the title.
That accounted for all 10 points scored by Carl Junction, which placed 23rd in the standings.
The victory makes Jewell the second in school history in the high jump, joining Paul Shouse, who won the event in 1984. Overall, Jewell is the seventh individual Bulldog to take first place in an event since Grant Dennis won the 1,600-meter run in 1996.
The girls team didn’t have a state title but had a handful of all-state showings to take 14th place overall with 21 points. The last time at the state meet in 2019, the Bulldogs scored only five points and were part of a seven-way tied for 37th place.
Junior Ally Montez had a part in both of them, first by running the second leg of the 4×100-meter relay with Olivia Vediz, Salma Lewis and Shiloh Sluder.
In a close finish, St. Teresa’s Academy’s Leah North held off Sluder down the straightaway to win the dash in 49.68. Carl Junction’s time was 49.80.
The Bulldogs were favored to win the race based on seed times and the No. 4-lane assignment.
“It was really frustrating … it sucks we didn’t get first and we wanted to get first,” said Sluder, who took 16th place in the 200-meter dash later in the day. “I’m proud of everyone. We were hoping to break the school record again today, but with this weather it’s hard. I’m proud of how we did all year but we really just wanted the first place finish.”
Montez was the runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles (45.46), while taking fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (14.87). She missed a medal in the 100 as a freshman in 2019 by one spot and by four spots in the 300.
Winnetonka’s Amyah Davis won both of the hurdle races this year. This marked only the second time this year that Montez lost – the other foe to beat her was Brianna Utecht of Marshfield, who was the runner-up in the 100.
“It was a pretty good day doing my races,” Montez said. “I was really wanting to win first, because why not, a state championship is a pretty big deal. I know Amyah, we run against each other in the summer and we always see each other and she is such a good person too.”
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A true grand finale awaits for the Thomas Jefferson Cavaliers.
Thomas Jefferson advanced to the championship match of the MSHSAA Class 2 State Tennis Tournament by earning a 5-2 win over Branson in the semifinals on Friday at the Cooper Tennis Complex.
“This feels great,” Thomas Jefferson senior Noah Hamlett said. “We were fourth a couple of years ago in Class 1, and it’s definitely even sweeter that we’re playing for the championship in Class 2 this year. It just feels great. This season has been really fun. It’s been the most fun I’ve had on any team of any season the past few years. This has been the most memorable season. Everybody’s having a great time.”
Thomas Jefferson kept its record unblemished with the win over the Pirates, improving to 15-0. Of course, the Cavaliers accomplished much more than that with Friday’s historic win.
The Cavaliers will meet Priory (11-1) at noon on Saturday in the state title match, where they’ll conclude the 2021 spring season with the ultimate prize up for grabs.
“This is a great feeling,” Thomas Jefferson coach Tom Brumfield said. “This is a big step for us getting to the championship. These were tough conditions out here today. There were some wild points because of the wind. Our kids just did a great job. And Branson did a great job of keeping balls in play. It was tough. They made us earn it.”
The first team to five wins advanced on a chilly and breezy afternoon, and the Cavaliers won all three doubles matches to start the dual on a positive note. And all three doubles matches were extremely close.
Thomas Jefferson’s Hamlett and Tyler Brouhard edged Branson’s Gavin Brown-Nathan Bartram 8-6. The match could have gone either way, but the Cavaliers got it done.
“It was just concentration,” Hamlett said. “I think we were a little unfocused at the start of that match. But at the end, we were able to hunker down, make the shots we needed to make and pull through.”
In two other back and forth clashes, TJ’s Ian Ding and Hari Nagarajan defeated William Stark-Caleb Buxton 8-6, while Christopher Wheelen-Prithvi Nagarajan edged Garrett Beckham-Jacob Decker 9-7.
With the doubles wins, the Cavaliers needed just two wins in singles to secure the dual victory.
“Doubles always sets the tone,” Brumfield said. “We always say it. You’ve gotta win those doubles matches if you want a chance at the end. That’s what did it for us today.”
A junior who placed fourth in singles at last week’s individual state tourney, Ding defeated Brown 6-0, 6-3 to get the Cavs win No. 4 of the day.
Branson’s Beckham defeated Wheelen 7-5, 6-3 and Buxton earned a 6-5, 6-2 win over Hari Nagarajan to give the Pirates a pair of wins.
But Hamlett beat Bartram 6-3, 7-6 (3) to clinch the dual victory for the Cavaliers.
The other two singles matches weren’t completed.
Now, the Cavaliers will look to secure their first team championship since 2007.
Priory defeated Ladue 5-4 in the other semifinal and the Ravens from St. Louis had the state champs in both singles and doubles at last week’s individual state tourney.
“We’ve just got to come out and play tomorrow,” Brumfield said. “We know what we’re facing…they’re good. But first or second…there’s no loser tomorrow. We’ll play our best and we’ll see what happens.”
Hamlett echoed those same sentiments.
“We just have to have a positive mindset tomorrow,” Hamlett said. “We have to concentrate and have a fun time because it’s our last match.”
For Hamlett, one final match remains in not only his season, but also his prep career.
“I’m pretty tired right now, but I’ll go home, recuperate tonight and I’ll definitely be ready for tomorrow,” he said.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Donovyn Fowler was close to making history for Joplin; teammate Camryn Ledford did.
The two were Joplin’s highest placing athletes at the MSHSAA Class 5 Track and Field Championships on Thursday at Adkins Stadium. The Eagles had 12 all-state finishes.
Ledford won the para discus, 200, 400- and 800-meter runs to bring home four gold medals.
Fowler nearly joined as a champion but a future Division I athlete relegated Fowler to second place in the triple jump
Fowler had jumped 47-feet, 7 ¼ on his final attempt. Then, he left to get ready to run the 200-meter dash.
Lee’s Summit West’s Johnny Brackins still had a jump left and his final one gave him the championship.
“It was a good battle,” Fowler said. “When I left I was winning and he beat me. I wish I could’ve seen it but I congratulated him. I really respect him and I have looked up to him since I was a freshman. I thought there was no way I could compete with him and today I was able to compete with him. It was a dream come true.”
Fowler finished fourth in the long jump. He and teammate Trayshawn Thomas (seventh place) were walking to the medal stand tent when a 2-plus hour rain shower started. The junior got his medal later in the afternoon, as did Thomas, a senior.
Had he won the triple jump he would’ve been the 11th overall champ in JHS history.
Micah Bruggeman and Hobbs Campbell each had individual medals for the Eagles, while the two were on the 4×800 with Evan Matlock and Ashton Ventura.
“I’m extremely proud of my team getting this far and this is my first team medal in the 4×800,” Bruggeman said. “I’ve had individual medals but not as a team, but that is something I realized in cross (country) and today. I’m sure it will get emotional later. It just started to hit me. Joplin is in very good hands. I love Joplin and I know it is in good hands and those guys will take the reins.”
Campbell took sixth in the 1,600-meter, while Bruggeman was seventh in the 800.
Campbell ran the last leg of the 4×800, which reset the school record in the process with a time of 7:55.66 to take fourth place.
“I knew we were racing for the school record and trying to be top three up there,” Campbell said. “I finished harder than I have in my life.”
Donovahn Watkins also placed fourth for Joplin, throwing 53-3 ¾ in the shot put, which came on his first putt. After that he scratched before landing two more heaves.
Joplin’s boys finished ninth in the team standings with 30 points. Rock Bridge (52), Francis Howell (49.5) and Lee’s Summit (49) were the top three teams.
On the girls side, Joplin’s Jennalee Dunn added an all-state showing in the 1,600-meter run (5:08.81) – adding an all-state medal to go with one she earned in cross country in the fall.
Carthage had a pair of medalists in the final meet for track and field coach Andy Youngworth, who is taking a job at McAuley Catholic next year.
Caleb Calvin was third in the javelin (175-1), while Miguel Solano was sixth in the 800-meter run in his state debut.
Calvin wasn’t near his usual marks but said he was battling a side injury, which held him back a bit.
“It was a little overwhelming with so many people, but I think it was a good experience,” said Calvin, a Pitt State signee.
The only medalist for Neosho was junior Tristen Linders, who took seventh in the discus with a toss of 153-3.
WILLARD, Mo. — For the first time in program history, Webb City’s girls soccer team is in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament.
Webb City overcame an early deficit by scoring four unanswered goals and the visiting Cardinals secured a 4-2 win over Willard on Tuesday night in a sectional contest of the Class 3 state tournament at Willard High School.
Webb City (22-3) hosts Union (23-2) on Saturday in the state quarterfinals. Game time is to be determined.
An early goal from Jada Holloman gave Willard a 1-0 lead.
Webb City recorded an equalizer when Anea Bemo scored with under 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Cardinals went up 2-1 on a header by Velissia Perez following a corner kick in the 28th minute.
Webb City’s Melia Blair scored a pair of second-half goals to give the Cardinals a three-goal advantage.
Willard’s Charlae Cowan scored the game’s final goal in the 76th minute.
After capturing a sectional championship and qualifying a large group to state, the Webb City boys track squad has its goals set extremely high for the MSHSAA Class 4 Track and Field Championships.
When the one-day state meet arrives on Friday at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City, Webb City will have nine different athletes competing in the individual events to go along with three relays. With that, the Cardinals have lofty goals.
“We got everything through sectionals that we needed to and our dream of being state champions is still alive,” Webb City coach Dustin Miller told SoMo Sports on Tuesday. “I know the guys are really excited. We feel we’re within striking distance of winning a state championship. I feel very good about our opportunity to bring home a trophy. I think there are six teams that have a really good shot to get on the podium. We’ve only been beat once this year and we’re going to go after it. We just need to perform well, stay loose and have fun. I like where we’re sitting in a lot of places. We know it’s going to take a special effort to win a state title.”
After winning conference and district titles in back-to-back weeks, the Cardinals won the Class 4 Sectional 3 meet in Camdenton this past Saturday by compiling 120 points.
Webb City had a top-four finish in 14 events and advanced 17 total entries.
“It was hands down the best sectional meet we’ve had,” Miller said. “To get 17 of 19 entries to the state meet is rare. I feel bad for the two opportunities that didn’t make it, but I think we’re probably competing in the most events at state out of all the boys teams. It’s pretty impressive. I’m just really proud of this group of guys.”
Senior Mekhi Garrard advanced to state in four events, the long jump, triple jump, 200-meter dash and with the 4×200 relay.
Garrard was the sectional champ in the long jump and took second in the triple jump. He has the top long jump mark in Class 4 at 23-8.75. Miller noted Garrard will likely join the 4×400 relay for the state meet in place of the 200.
Junior Roman Borboa will compete in three events, the 800, 1600 and the 4×800 relay. Senior Pryce Mason and sophomore Grayson Smith both advanced in the pole vault. Mason will also compete in two of the relays.
Miller noted Smith had to overcome some adversity at the sectional, as he snapped his pole on his first attempt, suffering a bruised and swollen hand.
“It was truly a heroic effort out of the sophomore,” Miller said.
Senior Luke Brumit will compete in the high jump and javelin at state, while senior Asa Morgan advanced in both hurdle races. Fellow senior Caleb Cook qualified in the 300 hurdles.
Senior Zetthew Meister advanced in the discus, while junior Robert Hollis will compete in the javelin alongside Brumit.
The Cardinals qualified three of four relays, the 4×200, 4×400 and 4×800. The 4×200 finished second at the sectional, while the 4×800 was third and the 4×400 was fourth.
Friday’s Class 4 meet begins at 10 a.m.
Miller is confident his Cardinals will perform well.
“This is a group of kids that love track and field,” Miller said. “We have high-character guys and they love to compete. I think a lot of good things can happen for us this weekend. I think we’re primed and ready. These guys are focused, so we’ll see what we can accomplish.”
In more ways than one, the 2020-21 school year was unlike any other for College Heights Christian School.
And it’s one that won’t soon be forgotten.
In the final sporting event of a school year impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, College Heights Christian’s girls track and field squad captured the team title at the MSHSAA Class 1 Track and Field Championships in Jefferson City.
The state title capped an extraordinary year for College Heights athletics.
It was a school year that featured a girls cross country state championship, a district title in volleyball, stellar basketball seasons and concluded with historic success in softball and track.
There were non-athletic achievements as well.
“Even with the whole COVID thing, this has been a great year for College Heights,” said Daniel Lewis, CHC’s principal and head track coach. “We had school almost as normal, especially in the second semester. We didn’t have a single kid in the second semester get COVID. We had class in person every single day and I think that played a factor in athletics. COVID made it a weird year. But in my opinion, around here it was the closest to a normal year of any school in this area.”
In a day to remember, and in a memorable way to conclude the school year, College Heights’ girls captured the Class 1 team championship this past Saturday by compiling 62 points. It’s the first team title for the girls program.
“Our girls performed extremely well,” Lewis said. “Every single one of the kids PR’d over the weekend and we broke four school records. It was great to see. We knew they were capable. They really stepped up. We had a good week of practice. They worked well together and they did all the right things and they were focused. We have a lot of younger girls, and for them to stay focused was very important.”
College Heights captured gold in four events, including a pair of relays.
The 4×100-meter relay team of Jayli Johnson, Allie Fiscus, Lauren Ukena and Addie Lawrence crossed the line first with a time of 51.23 seconds. Fiscus is a senior, while Johnson, Ukena and Lawrence are sophomores.
The Cougars also won the 4×200 relay, with Johnson, Fiscus, Ukena and Lawrence finishing in 1:47.44. The Class 1 record time is 1:47.07.
Both the 4×100 and 4×200 set school records with their respective times.
Johnson, sophomore Katie Moss, Ukena and senior Grace Bishop placed third in the 4×400 relay.
In addition to anchoring the winning relays, Lawrence also won two individual events.
Lawrence took first in the 100-meter dash in 12.5 seconds. She crossed the line first in the 400 with a time of 57.5, over two seconds faster than the runner-up. Both times are school records.
“It was the first time we’ve ever won a sprint relay and it’s the first time we’ve won an open sprint in our school’s history,” Lewis said of his team’s historic day. “It’s quite an achievement.”
After missing out on a track season as a freshman, it’s safe to say Lawrence had a breakout season in 2021.
“I coached the sophomores in middle school, they broke all the relay records, so we knew they had the talent,” Lewis said. “After a year off, Addie came back and it was like ‘wow’ all of a sudden. She broke the school record in the 400 by two seconds, so that was amazing. She did great…and she played softball. We’re looking forward to her future.”
In the final outing of what’s been a standout four-year prep career, Bishop reached the podium in two individual events, as she was the runner-up in the 3200 and took fourth in the 1600. Johnson also finished sixth in the 200.
What makes the girls track team’s accomplishment even more significant is the fact that team members participated in multiple sports this spring.
Lawrence, Johnson and Ukena were among the track athletes who also played spring softball.
The College Heights (with McAuley) softball team won a conference championship, captured the program’s first district title, set a school record for wins (18) and advanced to the state quarterfinals.
Bishop split her time between track and soccer.
A standout forward who will play collegiately at John Brown, Bishop played a key role as the McAuley (with CHC) soccer team went 14-3 and advanced to a district title game.
“I think that’s one of the great things about small schools,” Lewis said. “They’re able to compete in multiple sports and we encourage that. We like the kids to be involved in as many things as possible. At times, it was difficult trying to get all the practices in and sharing athletes. But those girls were willing to sacrifice to do both. Sometimes they’d practice and then go to a softball game. Or they’d go to a softball game and then come to track practice. That kind of dedication and just trying to give it their best for the Lord really paid off.”
Also of note, the CHC boys finished second in the 4×800 relay at state to cap their season in fine fashion.
The school year as a whole was a successful one for College Heights athletics.
The CHC girls won the Class 1 cross country championship back in November. It was the girls cross country program’s first state title.
CHC’s volleyball team and girls and boys basketball teams also had stellar seasons. The volleyball squad went 24-4 and advanced to the state quarterfinals. The CHC girls basketball team went 22-3 and advanced to a district title game, while the boys hoops squad won 17 games, captured a district crown and played in the sectional round for the first time in program history.
Lewis noted the school’s scholar bowl team won a state title, even after being bumped up to Class 4 due to the ‘championship factor.’
Both track teams won conference titles, and after the softball team’s memorable postseason run ended, the school’s girls track and field championship put a final exclamation point on a memorable school year for College Heights.
“We’ve had a great year,” Lewis said, summing it up. “I think the kids stayed on track, they stayed focused and that’s what it takes.”
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Joplin schools brought home a pair of medals from the boys Class 1 MSHSAA Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
College Heights Christian had the best finish, coming in the 4×800-meter relay — taking second in 8:34.
It was the first trip back to the podium in the two-mile race since the Cougars won back-to-back Class 2 titles in 2016 and 2017.
College Heights started with sophomore Derrick McMillan and had them in second place. By the time freshman Rolen Sanderson finished his two laps, he passed the baton to sophomore Corban Thomas with the Cougars in first place.
Thomas maintained the lead for College Heights before freshman Caleb Quade ran the final two laps but was passed by Calvary Lutheran’s Grant Going, who took his team to the top of the podium with a nearly nine-second margin.
The Cougars missed a chance at a second medal when the 4×400-meter relay team finished ninth, one spot out of an all-state medal in the final race of the day.
Quade and Sanderson were on that team as well, while freshmen Colsen Dickens and Ethan Ukena made up the other two runners.
The team finished in 3:38.90, just a smidge behind Mound City’s 3:38.61 that took the final spot. The time was a season best for College Heights, dropping two seconds.
“It was so competitive,” Quade said. “Every race we’d been to, there had been like two teams better than us. This race, there were seven in our heat (better).”
Wellington-Napoleon jumped from the first heat – generally slower times – into the top eight and finished sixth. That bumped the Cougars, who were the second heat, out of the all-state realm.
Dickens and Ukena were on the 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams that were 11th and 14th, respectively. That team also featured Dominic Gingerich and Matt Williams, both freshmen.
Thomas Jefferson Independent sophomore Kip Atteberry took fourth place in his debut at state. He finished the 1,600-meter race in 4:48.56, resetting his mark as the school record holder he broke earlier this year.
This was the third time he broke the record and used the motivation from a heat sheet to improve his seed spot of fifth place.
“I knew I wanted to come out and go higher,” he said. “And there is this overwhelming feeling coming into state and you feel it in your chest. I got nervous as I got to the line. I wasn’t feeling good, but I wanted to run the race I was supposed to.”
He gradually moved from eighth to sixth over the first two laps and settled into fourth over the final two. His 1:09.23 split on the final 400 was second behind his opening split of 1:08.64.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Joplin was on front-page headlines in newspapers in mid-Missouri — and across the state — on Saturday.
May 22 marked the 10-year anniversary of the tornado that shook the town and made memories, good and bad, for people for a lifetime.
On a day where many shined the light on good things that have happened since then, it was perhaps fitting that a Joplin team came out on top at the MSHSAA Class 1 Track and Field Championships at Jefferson City High School.
For the group of seven College Heights Christian girls track and field athletes at state, many were in a range from toddlers to second-graders when the tornado happened.
“It was very traumatic for our community,” College Heights Christian senior Allie Fiscus said. “We had friends impacted and it really brought us together and I think our team resembles that togetherness. It feels pretty good (to win), I feel we are only known for the tornado. It is good to put a new face on the town and let people know we have grown and we’ve been able to come together and show what the best of us can do.”
The team title for College Heights is the first in program history and only the second trophy total under the guidance of coach Daniel Lewis.
College Heights finished with 62 points, a 19-point cushion over Princeton. The Cougars took first in four of their eight races, winning the 100 and 400 dashes and the 400 and 800 relays.
All four of those broke school records while claiming state titles.
This team title is the second this school year for the school after winning the Class 1 cross country title in November – also the first in program history.
Grace Bishop and Jayli Johnson were on both the cross country and track and field teams.
“It is a crazy feeling coming from cross country to this and both times I didn’t think it was possible,” said Bishop, who was a runner-up in the 3,200-meter run in the first race of the day-long competition at Adkins Stadium. “The hard work really paid off and we have been really blessed. It’s a really great way to go out as a senior.”
Some newcomers to the team helped College Heights reach the podium for the first time since a fourth-place finish in 2004.
Sophomore Addie Lawrence won two individual titles and ran the anchor leg on the two relay championships. She won the 100 in 12.50 seconds and later in the day added first in the 400, posting a sub-1-minute time in 57.50.
The 100 dash was her first chance to run at state after COVID-19 wiped out her freshman season.
“I was really nervous being my first meet but I had fun talking to the girls (in the 100) and then getting out there and competing with them,” Lawrence said. “It was a good race and I’m really proud of everyone that did it.”
She was part of a 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams that had the same lineup: Johnson, a sophomore, started before handing off to Fiscus and then to sophomore Lauren Ukena before closing with Lawrence.
The 4×200 race ended with the Cougars winning in 1:47.44, almost four seconds ahead of Cass-Midway.
The tricky part of the relay titles came in the 4×100, where the team members realized the exchange zone diamonds at the Licklider Track were in different spots than they were used to in Southwest Missouri.
“It was pretty tough and a little frustrating,” Johnson said, who took sixth place in the 200-meter dash. “We were getting flustered. We practice handoffs so much and we had to come out and said ‘we gotta figure this out.’”
The team did, running 51.23, a few strides ahead of Albany, which finished in 51.70.
The Cougars ran 4:22.14 in the 4×400 to finish third, and the group running was Johnson, Ukena, Bishop and sophomore Katie Moss.
Bishop was fourth in the 1,600-meter run but was as high as second in the race. In the 3,200-meter that she took second, she led for five of the eight laps before Marion County’s Delaney Straus surged ahead to win a second straight two-mile title.
Bishop, Johnson and Lawrence are also two-sport spring athletes for College Heights — which meant long days that included practice before school or track practice after a soccer practice.
“We are not even at track (practice) every day but we went to double practices almost every day and that is a testament to our hard work,” Bishop said.
Lewis, the architect of four cross country and one track and field title for the boys, knew this group would be special.
He thought last year could’ve turned into something big but the season never got off the ground. Lewis has long held the belief this was a special group.
“We knew it was coming,” he said. “In middle school they were breaking all of our records and I was coaching them then and I knew we would be here.”
The group set four school records and also secured the school’s first-ever championships in sprints and sprint relays.
MSHSAA CLASS 1 STATE TRACK MEET Top 10 girls teams: College Heights Christian 62, Princeton 42, Tarkio 33, Rock Port 32, St. Joseph Christian 30, Midway 28, Marion County 28, Delta 26, Drexel 25, Valle Catholic 24.
CARTHAGE, Mo. — Each and every member of the Joplin High School track and field team that competed at Saturday’s Class 5 Sectional 3 meet at Carthage High School’s David Haffner Stadium will also be traveling to Thursday’s state track meet in Jefferson City.
For the Eagles, it was a day to remember.
“Everybody that came to the meet will be going to state,” Joplin coach Brandon Taute said. “We had 14 entries on the boys side and 11 of those entries moved on. We feel really good about that. We had a lot of personal bests across the board. I’m really happy with how the boys competed. What we’ve seen all year is what we saw again today. The guys that have carried us all year did it again today.
“All three of our entries on the girls side moved on and broke school records,” Taute added. “That’s pretty awesome for them. We’re just excited for all of them.”
Joplin’s boys finished as the sectional runner-up. The Eagles compiled 90 points, second only to Waynesville’s 97.5.
The Joplin girls had three sectional entries, and all three advanced to state. All three JHS girls broke school records along the way.
At the sectional, the top four in each event advanced to state.
The usual suspects led the way for the Joplin boys.
Donovyn Fowler was the sectional champion in two individual events and he also qualified in a third event.
A junior, Fowler won the long jump with a leap of 23-9. He also won the triple jump, breaking his own school record with a distance of 49-11.5.
Fowler moved on in the 200-meter dash by finishing third with a time of 22.82 seconds.
Trayshawn Thomas moved on in two individual events. A senior, Thomas finished second in the triple jump (44-11.75) and was third in the long jump (22-1.5).
Hobbs Campbell and Micah Bruggeman finished second and third, respectively, in the 1600. Campbell recorded a time of 4:20, while Bruggeman had a time of 4:22.
Bruggeman, a Mizzou recruit, also advanced in the 800 by finishing third in 1:57.
Campbell just missed qualifying in the 3200, as he finished fifth.
As far as the throws, junior Donovahn Watkins captured gold in the shot put with a toss of 53-6.25.
Joplin’s boys had two relays qualify for state.
The Eagles took third in the 4×800 relay, with Bruggeman, Evan Matlock, Ashton Ventura and Campbell finishing in 8:11.
Joplin’s 4×100 relay team of Dominick Simmons, Thomas, Luke Vieselmeyer and Fowler finished fourth in 43.93.
For the Joplin girls, Jennalee Dunn advanced to state in two events.
A junior, Dunn crossed the line first in the 1600 with a time of 5:14, breaking her own school record.
Dunn also advanced in the 800, as she finished second in a school record time of 2:22.
Also for the JHS girls, Alayna Merriman placed third in the javelin with a school record toss of 113-11.
In a change this year, state track meets will be one-day affairs.
“It’s the same for everybody,” Taute said. “I loved the two-day meet. But everybody is dealing with the same conditions. It’s like anything…whoever responds to those conditions the best is going to win. The last time these kids were there it was a one-day meet too. It’s nothing new to them and I expect them to respond really well.”
Class 5 Sectional 3
Boys team standings: Waynesville 97.5, Joplin 90, Nixa 83, Kickapoo 57, Ozark 53.5, Capital City 53, Jefferson City 47, Raymore-Peculiar 44, Carthage 39.5, Branson 39, Lebanon 28.5, Parkview 24, Republic 18, Neosho 18, Springfield Central 17.5, Smith-Cotton 10.5, Glendale 8, Belton 4.
Girls team standings: Jefferson City 101, Nixa 94, Ozark 80.5, Capital City 75, Kickapoo 70, Republic 66, Branson 49, Raymore-Peculiar 46, Lebanon 39, Parkview 35, Joplin 24, Neosho 21, Glendale 15.5, Waynesville 13, Belton 5, Carthage 4.
CARTHAGE, Mo. — Athletes from Carthage and Neosho punched their tickets to the state track meet with their respective performances on Saturday at the Class 5 Sectional 3 meet at David Haffner Stadium.
The top four in each event advanced to compete at Thursday’s Class 5 state track meet in Jefferson City.
Carthage had three entries advance on the boys’ side.
“Our goal is always to get half of our athletes from sectionals to state,” Carthage coach Andy Youngworth said. “We got three out of nine… I was hoping to get a couple more out. We’d like to have more, but I’m really glad we got the 4×800 out to go along with the 800 and javelin.”
Carthage’s Caleb Calvin won the javelin with a heave of 175 feet even.
A senior who has signed with Pittsburg State, Calvin has won his signature event at every meet this season.
“He’s a good athlete and a good kid,” Youngworth said of Calvin. “He’s had a little bit of a side muscle issue and I don’t think he threw as well as he would have liked to today. He moved here in September and he’s been a great addition to our team. There are a couple of really good throwers he’ll go up against at state, so I’m excited to see how he does.”
Sophomore Miguel Solano finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.
Carthage’s 4×800 relay team of Malcolm Robertson, Solano, Ty Lewis and Richard Contreras finished fourth in 8:13.
The Tigers just missed qualifying in the 4×100, finishing fifth. Carthage was sixth in the 4×400 and seventh in the 4×200.
Youngworth noted both the 4×100 and 4×400 relays recorded personal-best times.
For the Carthage girls, Joey Hettinger just missed qualifying in the high jump after finishing fifth. She cleared 5-1.
Neosho had three athletes advance in four events.
Neosho junior Kaden Cole was fourth in the boys 1600 in 4:22, while classmate Tristen Linders placed third in the discus with a toss of 140-5.
The Neosho boys finished fifth in the 4×400 relay, less than a second behind fourth place Kickapoo.
For the Neosho girls, Jayden Browning qualified in two events, as she finished fourth in the triple jump (36-0) and was also fourth in the long jump (17-4.25), tying the school record.
A senior, Browning was the lone NHS girl to advance.
Riley Kemna finished fifth in the 3200, while the NHS girls were sixth in the 4×400 and Bailey Miller was sixth in the pole vault.
It was Youngworth’s final home meet as the man in charge of the Carthage track and field program.
The veteran coach, who will lead McAuley Catholic’s program in the future, noted he was pleased to host a sectional event in Carthage again this year.
“We hosted sectionals in 2018, districts in 2019, we would have hosted sectionals last year and we hosted again this year,” he said. “We have a great facility here. I’m really happy that we were able to host it here. We’ve got great workers and we’ve got a great group of people that volunteer. I really appreciate all of their support. And this is my last one here. It’s kind of bittersweet.”
WEBB CITY, Mo. — Second-ranked Webb City saw its impressive season come to an end on Saturday after the top-seeded Cardinals fell 2-0 to third-seeded Glendale in the Class 5 District 6 championship game at Chuck Barnes Field.
Neither the Falcons (20-11) nor Cardinals were able to cash in on their limited scoring opportunities through the first four scoreless innings. Glendale took the advantage in the pitcher’s duel after scoring a two-out run in the top of the fifth. After holding Webb City at bay in the last of the sixth, the Falcons added another single tally in the seventh with two outs on the way to the win.
“They had a couple of timely hits when they had guys in scoring position,” Webb City coach Flave Darnell said. “We often talk about how pitching and defense wins in the playoffs. (Glendale) played really good defense and pitched it really well. (Isaac Wells) is a heck of a pitcher. … They have been playing really well. We have been playing really well. They just had a couple more timely hits than we did tonight.”
Webb City finishes the season with a 26-6 record. The Cardinals’ loss also snapped a 12-game win streak that dated back to an 11-5 victory over Carl Junction on April 27.
“It’s unfortunate that only one team wins at the end,” Darnell said of the season from his Cardinals. “I think we finished 26-6 and all of those six losses were really close. That’s just kind of the way it goes with baseball sometimes. It just doesn’t go your way.”
The Cardinals graduate seven seniors from this year’s squad—Matt Woodmansee, Shane Noel, Cole Gayman, Treghan Parker, Devrin Weathers, Eli Goddard and Noah Mitchell.
“It’s an awesome class,” Darnell said. “They are awesome kids and awesome players. They were a joy to coach and are going to do great things at the next level.”
ON THE MOUND
Isaac Wells earned the win for Glendale, pitching a complete-game shutout. He scattered three hits, walked two and struck out six in seven innings.
Making the final start of his prep career, Gayman — a Missouri Southern commit — was saddled with the complete-game loss after allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
“Cole is a competitor,” Darnell said. “He kept getting better as the year went on. He did a really good job tonight. If you said he was only going to give up two runs entering that game, you would have taken that.”
Glendale had runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, but Gayman didn’t waver. He induced a fly out followed by a swinging strikeout to strand runners at first and second in the first inning. After Glendale’s DJ Cofield doubled to lead off the second inning, Gayman forced a fly out and back to back strikeouts to end the threat.
Webb City drew a pair of hit-by-pitches in the second inning and had a leadoff double in the third by Eric Fitch, but none of the runners ever touched third base.
The Falcons broke through in the fifth inning after Zach Beatty drew a two-out walk before coming around to score on an RBI double to left by Brooks Kettering to make the score 1-0.
Fitch singled through the left side to lead off the last of the sixth for the Cardinals before moving to second on a one-out walk from Parker. The threat ended there after Webb City bounced into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
Carter Lewis reached on an error to kick off Glendale’s half of the seventh inning. Lewis came around to score with two outs in the inning on a single to left from Beatty to push the lead to 2-0.
Woodmansee singled on the infield up the middle for Webb City in the bottom of the seventh, but a fly out, lineout and strikeout ended the game.
IN THE BOX
Beatty and Cofield, who doubled, each had two hits to lead Glendale. Beatty scored once and drove in a run. Kettering doubled and finished with one RBI.
Fitch had two hits, including a double, to lead the Cardinals at the plate. Woodmansee went 1-for-3 at the plate.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Thomas Jefferson Cavaliers had medalists in both singles and doubles at the MSHSAA Class 2 state boys tennis tournament on Friday at the Cooper Tennis Complex.
Thomas Jefferson’s Ian Ding finished fourth in the singles bracket.
“It feels good and I’m proud of what I did,” Ding said. “I was one match away from finishing in the top eight my freshman year, so I was just glad I was able to make it to the second day this year. I think I played pretty well overall, and there are still a few things I can clean up before next week.”
A junior, Ding went 2-0 on Thursday to advance to the bracket’s semifinals.
On Friday morning, and with a spot in the state championship match on the line, Ladue’s Max Chen defeated Ding 6-1, 6-2. Chen went on to win the state title.
In the third-place match, Ladue’s Amit Kadan topped Ding 6-4, 0-6, 10-3.
“Fourth place is great,” Thomas Jefferson coach Tom Brumfield said. “If you told me before the tournament that he’d have a chance to be fourth, I’d be excited for that. I’d take that any time.”
In the first round on Thursday, Ding defeated Parkway Central’s Ayush Negi 6-1, 6-1.
In the quarterfinals, Ding beat Branson’s Gavin Brown 6-2, 6-0.
Brumfield noted Ding has put together a stellar season.
“Ian was here two years ago and then we didn’t get to play last year,” Brumfield said. “Ian has taken a big step forward. His maturity and level of play has really increased. He did a great job. He’s really improved on everything. He’s worked hard on all parts of his game. Hopefully this year is a stepping stone for him.”
Of course, Ding still has another year of high school tennis ahead.
“This experience will really help me next year,” Ding noted. “Hopefully next year I’ll be able to do better than fourth place.”
Thomas Jefferson’s duo of Noah Hamlett and Tyler Brouhard finished sixth in the doubles bracket.
After going 2-1 on Thursday, Hamlett and Brouhard defeated Grain Valley’s Carter Compton-Kade Compton 6-2, 6-1 on Friday morning in the consolation semifinals.
In the fifth-place match, Ladue’s Mason Chyu-Weston Williams edged the Cavaliers 7-5, 6-7 (6), 10-6 in a back and forth contest.
“I thought those guys did great,” Brumfield said. “I’m proud of them. That’s a great finish. They had a chance to win their last match. It was a tough match. But after they lost their first match on Thursday, I thought they rebounded well.”
In the first round, the Cavaliers suffered a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Priory’s Sean Finnie and Christian Djavaherian, a duo that went on to win the state championship.
Hamlett and Brouhard bounced back by beating St. Pius X’s Paul Borrego and Blake Dobey 6-1, 6-2.
In the consolation quarterfinals, in a win or go home situation, Hamlett-Brouhard beat Helias Catholic’s Justin Francka and Andrew Dowden 6-3, 6-2.
Of course, the Cavaliers previously competed in Class 1, but TJ was bumped up to Class 2 this season due to MSHSAA’s non-public school “championship factor” based on a program’s past success.
It’s safe to say the Cavaliers showed they can compete in Class 2, as they had medalists in both brackets.
The season isn’t over for the Cavaliers.
Thomas Jefferson’s full squad will return to Cooper Tennis Complex next Friday for the state team tournament. The Cavaliers face Branson at noon in the Class 2 semifinals. The other semifinal features Ladue vs. Priory.
“We’re excited for next week,” Ding said. “We’re excited to prove that we belong here, especially in Class 2.”
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Trenton Hayes and Cale Stephens capped their prep tennis careers with a memorable win.
And as a result, they took home some hardware.
A senior tandem from Webb City, Hayes and Stephens won the seventh-place match of the Class 2 doubles bracket on Friday at the MSHSAA state tennis tournament at Cooper Tennis Complex.
“For these two kids, a football player and a basketball player who don’t play tennis year-round, to come home with medals is a pretty significant accomplishment,” Webb City coach Stephany Kelley said. “They’ve worked really hard and they’re a fantastic team. They’re coachable. And top of that, they’re just great human beings. So that makes it extra satisfying that they’re state medalists.”
After going 2-1 on Thursday to secure a spot in the Friday’s medal round, Hayes and Stephens were guaranteed two matches on the final day of the 2021 campaign.
Hayes-Stephens suffered a 6-0, 6-1 setback to Ladue’s Mason Chyu-Weston Williams in Friday’s consolation semifinals.
But in the seventh-place match, the Cardinals defeated Grain Valley’s Carter and Kade Compton 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in a hard-fought clash.
With that, Hayes and Stephens went out with a win.
“It’s a fabulous way to end their careers,” Kelley said. “They earned their way here, they showed they belonged here and we’re just stoked to have them going home with medals around their necks.”
The Cardinals’ duo stayed alive in the bracket by earning a 6-0, 6-0 win over Farmington’s Colton Woody and Maddox Waller-Brenneke in consolation action.
In the do or die consolation quarterfinals, Hayes-Stephens edged Smith-Cotton’s Andrew Matz-Michael Cho 6-4, 7-5.
And on Friday, they earned a come-from-behind win to end their prep careers on a positive note.
Kelley noted Hayes and Stephens improved steadily throughout the spring season, peaking at state.
“They had never played doubles together before this year,” Kelley said. “They clicked on the court. Their chemistry has been fantastic. They communicate well. Their skills complement each other. They were just a fantastic team.”
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