JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Joplin’s Donovyn Fowler and Webb City’s Grayson Smith captured gold medals in their respective events on Friday at the 2022 MSHSAA Track & Field Championships at Adkins Stadium.
The pair of individual state champions led a strong Joplin area contingent on the first day of the two-day event.
The area produced a number of individual state medalists in three different classes and East Newton’s boys won a title in the 4×800-meter relay.
Below is a look at Friday’s highlights.
CLASS 5 BOYS
A senior at Joplin High School, Fowler won the Class 5 triple jump with a leap of 49-8.25. He recorded the winning jump on his fifth attempt. Fowler’s mark was more than a foot better than the runner-up, as Lee’s Summit’s Joshua Manning jumped 48-5.25.
A future Oklahoma Sooner, Fowler will look to claim gold in the long jump on Saturday. He’s the top seed in the event.
Fowler wasn’t the only Eagle to make the awards podium on Friday.
Joplin’s 4×800-meter relay team of Evan Matlock, Nick Horton, Zaben Barnes and Hobbs Campbell finished fifth in 8:02 to earn medalist honors.
Also, Joplin finished 15th in the prelims of the 4×100 relay and Neosho’s Isaiah Green was ninth in the triple jump (44-0.75).
Joplin’s boys are in third place in the team standings with 14 points.
CLASS 5 GIRLS
Joplin senior Jennalee Dunn earned all-state honors in two events.
Dunn finished fourth in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:59. Dunn also reached the podium by finishing seventh in the 800 with a time of 2:16.
The Joplin girls (Allie Lawrence, Abigayle Lowery, Amaya Montgomery, Brynn Driver) finished 15th in the prelims of the 4×200 and did not advance to the finals. Driver was 16th in the prelims of the 400.
Carthage junior Joey Hettinger tied for 10th in the high jump after clearing 4-11.75.
CLASS 4 BOYS
A junior at Webb City, Smith was the state champion in the pole vault after clearing 15-5.75.
Smith locked up the gold medal when he was the lone competitor to get over the bar at 13-11 on his first attempt. Kearney’s John Timchak cleared 13-11 on his second attempt but went out at 14-1.75.
Smith cleared 15-0 and 15-5.75 on his first attempts. Last year’s runner-up in the event, Smith attempted 16-4.75 but was unable to get over the bar on his three attempts.
The Cardinals had two of the top four finishers in the pole vault, as junior Justin Allen placed fourth (13-5.25).
Webb City’s boys finished sixth in the 4×800 relay to earn a spot on the podium, as Daunte Smiles, Roman Borboa, Mason Hedger and Evan Stevens clocked a time of 8:14.
Also for the Cardinals, Stevens placed seventh in the 3200 in 9:45 and Nate Miller finished 11th in the discus (143-4).
Nevada’s Drew Beachler finished seventh in the triple jump (43-2.5) and teammate James Downing was seventh in the pole vault (12-6).
McDonald County’s Josh Pacheco finished eighth in the triple jump.
Webb City’s boys are tied with Festus for the team lead after Day 1, as both schools have 20 points apiece.
CLASS 4 GIRLS
Webb City’s Riley Hawkins placed fourth in the 1600 with a school record time of 5:15. A senior, Hawkins also finished 12th in the 800 (2:25).
Webb City’s Dawsyn Decker was fourth in the javelin (126-3) and teammate Sami Mancini took seventh in the shot put (36-6.25), giving Webb City’s girls three medalists on the day.
Carl Junction senior Olivia Vediz placed fourth in the long jump with a leap of 17-5.5 to earn all-state honors.
Nevada’s Lillian Hart tied for seventh in the high jump (5-0.25).
Also of note, Carl Junction’s Ally Montez advanced to the finals in both hurdle races, while teammate Sydney Ward moved on to the finals in both the 100 and the 200.
The Bulldogs’ 4×400 relay finished 10th in the prelims and did not advance.
CLASS 3 HIGHLIGHTS
East Newton’s boys claimed gold in the 4×800 relay, as Mason Silva, Chase Sorrell, Kelton Sorrell and Gabe Bergen recorded a time of 8:06. The Patriots also won the event in both ’21 and ’19.
Chase and Kelton Sorrell finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 3200.
Lamar’s Trace Willhite placed fifth in the discus (160-0), with East Newton’s Dominic Shaw seventh in the same event (150-11).
In Class 3 girls highlights, Lamar’s Phajjia Gordon finished fifth in the shot put (38-7.5) and Seneca’s Rylee Darnell finished sixth in the high jump (5-1).