After completing his jumps in the high jump over the weekend at the Class 3 District 4 Track Meet in Mexico, Boonville junior Nathan Jones set his sights on winning the triple jump after leading the field with a leap of 41'-2".
Of course Jones also knew that with the top jump in the prelims, he could also lose very easily in the finals. As it turned out, Jones bettered his previous mark with a leap of 41'-8 1/2" to capture the only first-place finish for the Boonville boys and girls track team.
In the final-team standings for the boys, Kirksville captured first with 102 points. Moberly finished second with 95 points, followed by Warrenton with 70, Mexico with 65, Centralia with 51.50, North Callaway with 45, Boonville seventh with 41, Bowling Green with 39.50, St. Dominic with 37, Hallsville with 33, Christian with 30, Winfield with 29, Marshall with 24, Macon with 14, Wright City with 13, Fulton with 6 and MMA with 6.
As for the final-team standings for the girls, Bowling Green won the district meet with 101 points. Centralia finished second with 88, followed by Mexico with 83.50, Kirksville with 78, Moberly with 65, Marshall with 62, Macon with 52, St. Dominic with 45, Fulton with 28, Warrenton with 28, Hallsville with 24.50, Boonville 12th with 19, North Callaway with 17, Wright City with 6, Christian with 3 and Winfield with 1.
In all, the Boonville boys qualified for Saturday's sectionals at Mexico in four events while the Lady Pirates will send just one athlete in the pole vault.
Boonville boys track coach Steve Smith said the kids really came and competed on Saturday.
"The wind was a real factor for everybody and I thought my kids really focused," Smith said. "Nathan Jones had both of his events going on at the same time and was able to win on his last jump in the finals of the triple jump for a personal best. In the high jump I think he had to rush too much and it cost him at 5-10. Austin Hinkle came in seeded sixth and fifth in the 100 and 200. In the 100 prelims, he slipped coming out of the blocks and really had to battle to make the finals with a time of 11.98 and in the 200 he ran a personal best of 23.62 to make the finals. As for the finals, the 100 was a very close race as Austin was edged out by a kid by one hundredth of a second of a second for fourth place.
"The 4 x 100 team was a real surprise, as they were seeded seventh. Running in lane one I think helped as the field was running ahead of them up until the last exchange and gave them the confidence and focus on their handoffs that was needed. All four boys have been hampered with leg injuries for the past week or two so their performance was very exciting. Junior Rory Concannon I thought came and ran a real gutsy race in the 1600 as he ran with the leaders for the first-three laps. He just didn't quite have enough at the end. Grady Kay finished up his year by placing in the shot and I would expect him to have a really strong senior year in both the shot and discus. Fellow throw Brett Kenney came on strong, also. In his first year Brett threw a personal best in the shot at 37'-1" and discus at 103'-0". Brett finally picked up on the technique and his distances really jumped and he should be a factor in all meets next season. Senior Blake Saling also finished up his track career on Saturday. He set a personal best in the pole vault at 10'-6". Blake also ran on the 4 x 800 team and the open 800. He worked really hard on the pole vault this season and was coming on, he just ran out of time."
Page 2 of 2 - Junior Sarah Ellebracht was the only sectional qualifier for the Boonville girls in the pole vault by placing third with a vault of 8'-6".
As for the Boonville boys, the 4 x 100-meter relay team of Brandon Ford, Austin Hinkle, Jordan Weaver and Kenan Johnson ran a season's best by placing second in a time of 46.57 seconds.
Sophomore Austin Hinkle, meanwhile, finished fourth in both the 100 and 200-meter dash in times of 11.71 and 23.93 seconds, respectively.
With only the top-four finishers in each event moving on to sectionals, the Boonville boys and girls also had several athletes just barely miss out on qualifying.
Nathan Jones also took fifth in the high jump with a leap of 5'-8", as did the girls 4 x 800-meter relay team of Devin Ellebracht, Hannah Spaedy, Kyra Price and Jessica Luscombe in a time of 11:49.6. Boonville girls coach Melissa Baker said the girls 4 x 800 relay team turned in their second best time of the year.
Finishing sixth for Boonville were Chloe Clinton in the 200-meter dash in 28.78 seconds, Devin Ellebracht in the 800-meter run in 2:38.8 and the boys 4 x 800-meter relay team of Rory Concannon, Jason Broyhill, Blake Saling and Brian Hagen in 9:28.30.
Seventh place finishers were Concannon in both the 1600 and 3200 in time of 4:56.10 and 11:06.20, respectively, Grady Kay in the shot put with a toss of 42'-5" and Millie Moyer in the 100-meter hurdles in 17.75 seconds.
Moyer also placed eighth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in a time of 53.08 seconds.
Baker said Sarah Ellebracht worked hard this year in the pole vault and her hard work paid off.
"The other athletes on the team did a great job this year as well," Baker said. "Each of the track athletes improved their times and marks from the beginning of the year. We had some heart breaks at districts, but that is the way track and field sometimes plays out. Addyson Reardon had the second place seed going into districts in the 100 hurdles and fell at the finish line in the prelims. The 4 x 800 team was also beat out by one place, so being that close to moving on and not making the top four is tough to take. I am always said to see the girls track season come to an end, but we have a young group of girls. We do not have any seniors, therefore, I only see us growing and getting stronger."