Pierce City and Miller athletes earned medals last weekend at the Class 2A state track meet in Jefferson City.
The Pierce City girls 4x200-meter quartet reached the award stand. The team of Rachel Miller, Abby Ashley, Chelsea Levingston and Kaelyn Osborn placed sixth in the finals in 1:49.63.
Nicole Adams, of Miller, and Chelsey Levingston, of Pierce City, placed sixth and eighth in the girls triple jump, and Samantha Hendrickson, of Miller, placed fifth in the shot.
Miller's Taylor Rivera placed third in the girls 3,200-meter run.
No area sprinters survived the Class 2 preliminary rounds. Cody Cox, of Pierce City, ran a fierce 11.56 in his 100-meter heat, and Sarcoxie's Nate Freelend clocked 23.59 in the 200 to end their seasons.
Caleb Hoover, of College Heights, erased a 29-year old record. Hoover bested the 1,600-meter standard of 4:15.41 set by Danny White, of Russellville, back in 1980, with a stellar 4:15.07.
Fred Taylor, of Maplewood, set a state record in the 200-meter dash in the prelims, running 21.87 and then winning the finals on Saturday in 22.10. Taylor also won the 400-meter dash in 49.08 and anchored the winning 4x100 meter relay to lead Maplewood to the boys team title.
Crystal City's remarkable Precious Selmon won the long jump, 100-meter hurdles and the 100-meter dash and set new Class 2 records in both the long jump, 19' 3", and the 100-meter hurdles, 13.9. Amber Thomas, of Stockton, and Molly O'Brien, of Spokane, finished fourth and fifth in that hurdle race.
Four of the top Class 2 milers emerged from southwest Missouri's Class 2 sectional as Hoover's teammate Trenton Morris took third, followed by Marionville's Justin Hansen in fourth and Will Shadwick, of Fair Grove, in sixth.
Hoover returned later in the afternoon to place fourth in the 800-meter dash. The 1,600-800 double has become a nearly impossible challenge due to the limited recovery time available between the two events and also because so many of the 800-meter runners are specialists and have the advantage of fresh legs.
On Saturday, Hoover anchored the College Heights' 4x800 meter relay to a win, holding off defending champion Principia, 8:00.42 to 8:01.84. The Southwest boys were a racetime scratch in that race, and the Pierce City girls were 16th in their 4x800. Hoover finished his state meet experience late Saturday afternoon, running away with the Class 2 boys 3,200 meter run, posting a winning time of 9:29.13.
Senior twins Cindy and Karen Grauel, of Macon, were first and second in the 3,200-meters. Emily Beaver, of College Heights, was fourth. Rivera placed second in the 1,600-meter race behind Principia's Anneke Reed. Emily Beaver, of College Heights, scratched from the 1,600 but was on board for the girls' 800-meter race and placed third. Rivera was a late scratch from the 800.
Besides Selmon's long jump, the field events produced another record. Katie Evans, of Putnam County, uncorked a Class 2 record discus throw, twirling the plate 160'½", the second longest throw in any class in Missouri high school state meet history.
Penney-Hamilton, coached by the legendary Mark Vollmer, won the Class 2 girls team title with 55 points. Principia was second, followed by Crystal City and Macon. Miller led all southwest Missouri schools, placing seventh.
Maplewood scored 85 points and ran away with the boys crown. College Heights led area schools with 41 points, tying Principia for second. Westran took the fourth place trophy with 39.