New Franklin track coach Adam Quest expected the unexpected over the weekend while competing at the Class 1-2 Missouri State Track and Field Championships in Jefferson City.
With a total of nine events competing at the state meet, Quest said his team certainly had a full plate of events. And then on top of that, he said the state meet is extremely unpredictable, and no matter where an athlete is seeded, it is hard to predict where they may finish.
“We came in hoping to come away with a couple of medals, but I could have never imagined that we would come away with four,” Quest said.
While opening up the state track meet in the 4 x 800-meter relay, Quest said this was one of those unpredictable races that leave you scratching your head in the end. Although the Lady Bulldogs entered the race as the No. 6 seed, he said several schools exceeded their seed time by quite a bit, and the New Franklin 4 x 800 team ended up finishing just out of the medals in ninth place in a time of 10:40.09. The good news, however, is that the team of Grace Chambers, Molly Lyons, Abi Schapira and Madi Lyons set a new school record by 10 seconds.
“I know they really wanted to medal, but they certainly don’t have anything to hang their heads about when you can finish the season with a school record,” Quest said.
The next event, the 4 x 100-meter relay, went into Friday’s preliminaries as the No. 1 overall seed and the defending state champions. However, after turning in the third best time in the prelims, the team of Saundra Perkins, Grace Chambers, Jasmyne Boggs and Sara Montgomery finished third in the finals as well in a time of 52.87 seconds.
“Again, being that we had the top seed time coming in, I know the girls were a little disappointed,” Quest said. “However, if you would have told me at the beginning of the season that we would finish third at state, I would have laughed in your face. Losing our strongest member from last year and replacing her with a distance runner, I had a goal of just making it to state. So in the end, even though a second straight championship was within our reach, I am extremely proud of what this relay team has accomplished this season.”
The biggest surprise of the state track meet, according to Quest, came from sophomore Madi Lyons, who took fourth and set a new school record in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:28.8.
Quest said in this case, Lyons was one of those kids who came into state and blew away her seed time.
“Madi was seeded eighth,” Quest said. “I was hopeful that she would medal, but she definitely had the performance of the meet for our team. During the prelims, she completely obliterated her old school record and ended up with the third best time. She certainly found another gear during that race that I didn’t even know she had. I was very excited for her. That record only lasted 24 hours, because she beat it again in the finals, and ended up fourth overall.”
Page 2 of 3 - Junior Sara Montgomery also had a state track meet to remember after placing eighth in both the 200 and 400-meter dash in times of 27.80 seconds and 1:03.55, respectively.
Quest said Montgomery came away from the meet with three medals.
“There aren’t a lot of kids out there who can say that they won even one medal, much less three of them,” Quest said. “I expected her to do well in the 400, but her 200 performance was somewhat unexpected. She came in seeded 11th in the 200, and had an outstanding race in the prelims and set a new school record herself and qualified seventh for the finals. After running three races in about an hour, Sara didn’t have a lot left in the tank for the finals, but she gave everything she had and finished eighth.”
Rounding out the competitors for the girls were Jasmyne Boggs, who finished 11th in the discus with a toss of 90’-8”, and Abi Schapira, who finished 12th in the 3200 in a time of 13:14.95.
Quest said both girls have had outstanding seasons in their respective events, and since both are only juniors, he has high hopes that they will both come back even hungrier next season.
The New Franklin boys track team also had one member return to the state this year. Unfortunately, due to a knee injured suffered during the race, junior Darrell Greenfield didn’t end up finishing in the 3200-meter run.
“Darrell has come a very long way this season, and I am proud of him for making it to state in the first place,” Quest said. “He too will return next season, and I am hoping that he wants a little redemption and can return to the state meet again.”
Quest said looking back on the season as a whole, there are so many good things that happened this year, it is impossible to find out the one “bright spot”.
“We set a total of five school records this year, and came away with four state medals,” Quest said. “We had several athletes who just knocked my socks off all season. I am just so very proud of all our kids. They are all wonderful athletes, but even more importantly, they are all outstanding young adults.”
In the final-team standings for the boys in Class 1, Wellington Napoleon captured first with a total of 48 points while Glasgow finished 22nd with 22 points.
Meanwhile, for the girls in Class 1, Mound City nabbed first with 73 points while New Franklin finished 22nd with 13 points, Glasgow 26th with 10.5 and Bunceton 34th with 5.
In Class 2 for the boys, Lamar won the title with 79 points while Cleveland N.J.R.O.T.C placing a distant second with 40 points.
Page 3 of 3 - In Class 2 for the girls, Lutheran St. Peterson captured first with 64 points while Herculaneum finished second with 47 points.