PIERCE CITY -- Hosting the Spring Valley Conference championship on Monday, the Pierce City boys and girls track teams won the meet and are now poised for success in district competition.
For the girls, the repeat crown extends consecutive conference titles dating back to 2002.
The longevity of Pierce City's domination reflects the team's depth of underclassmen. Freshman Krishna Merriman won her first six varsity races in the 400-meter run and has contributed to the team's strength, relays. The 4x400 and 4x200 are her events.
"I ran seventh grade track and didn't like it," said Merriman. "So I didn't go out in eighth grade. Then I tried out for the 4x400 this year."
"It feels good to carry on the tradition of winning conference," Merriman added.
Eagle champions were: Kelsie Baldwin, 100-meter hurdles; Mattie Parrigon, 800-meter run; Sara Stearns, shot put and discus; Brianna Zebert, long jump; Merriman, 400-meter run; 4x100 relay team of Chelsey Levingston, Abbey Levingston, Rachel Miller and Emily Ashley; the 4x200 relay team of Miller, Merriman, Levingston and Emily Ashley; the 4x400 relay team of Emily Ashley, Merriman, Zebert and Parrigon; and the 4x800 relay team of Amanda Zabala, Faith Strong, Annie Kelley and Parrigon.
Second place finishers were: Kelley, 300-meter hurdles; Kaelyn Osborn, 200-meter dash; and Miller, pole vault.
Third place finishers were: Emily Ashley, 100-meter dash; Allison Schup, 300-meter hurdles and pole vault; and Zebert, high jump.
Pierce City boys have an even richer history, nipping at state titles three times in the 1990s. They've won conference five times since 2000. Now it's a back-to-back streak, with strength in the field and on the track.
Conference champions were Robert Baldwin, triple jump; Derek Turner, high jump; the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams of Jordan Saffer, Tony Martin, Cedric O'Hara and Cody Cox; and the 4x400 relay team of Tony Martin, Wayne Joe Sooter, Turner and Baldwin.
Second place finishers were: Cox, 200-meter run; Zach Crouch, discus; Chance Chapman, pole vault; and the 4x800 relay team of Turner, Caleb Adams, Sooter and Baldwin.
Third place finishers were: Chapman, 100-meter hurdles; Cox, 200-meter run; Turner, 1,600-meter run; Martin, 400-meter run; O'Hara, 300-meter hurdles; Sooter, 800-meter run; and Saffer, 200-meter run.
The district championship meet is at Lamar on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.