New Franklin’s Phillip Udinyiwe led the Bulldogs with a first place finish in the 400-meter dash in a time of 1:00.20 during the Southern Boone Middle School Relays last Friday in Ashland.
In the final-team standings for the boys, Southern Boone captured first with a total of 170 points. Clark finished second with 78.50 points, followed by New Franklin and Harrisburg tied for third with 70 points, North Callaway fifth with 58 points, Westran sixth with 52.50 points, Hallsville seventh with 26 points and Columbia Independent with 18 points.
New Franklin coach Adam Quest said he knew going in that they probably wouldn’t have the st times or throws in the world with the extreme cold and wet conditions at the Southern Boone Relays.
“However, I knew that we would be able to place well,” Quest said.  “This is one of the larger meets of the year for our middle school team, and the boys especially were able to finish very well as a team.  They finished in a tie for third place with Harrisburg.  With nine schools in attendance, that is definitely one of our stronger team finishes of the season.  I am very excited to see what they can accomplish at our conference meet this week.  Our only first place finish of the evening, Phillip Udinyiwe had a wonderful finish in the 400m with a time of 1:00.2.  
“We competed against Southern Boone at Harrisburg earlier in the week, and Phillip was edged out at the line by one of Southern Boone’s boys.  He was not about to have the same thing happen again, this time getting the best of the Southern Boone runner.  And to have a middle school boy run in the one minute flat range is wonderful.  8th grader Bo Neef brought home three total medals, two of which were individual.  He finished third in both the 100m (13.21) and 200m (26.71), both of which were season bests.  This is Bo’s first year in track, and he is really shaping up to be a wonderful sprinter.  He and fellow 8th grader Caleb Phillips really provide an awesome 1-2 punch.  Seventh grader Bailey Lyons continued his success in the distance events finishing 3rd in the mile with a time of 5:43.36.  Two of our relay teams also finished in third place.  The 4 x 100m team of Neef, Phillips, Kale Harris, and Hunter Rohlfing had a season best time of 54.18 seconds.  Our 4 x 400m combo of Lyons, Phillip and Josh Udinyiwe, and Tyler Hackman also continued their season long success.”
Although the Bulldogs were shutout with no second place finishes, they did have five third-place finishers in the relays. Bo Neef had two of the five by placing third in both the 100 and 200-meter dash in times of 13.21 and 26.71, respectively. Neef also ran a leg on the 4 x 100-meter relay team along with Kale Harris, Caleb Phillips and Hunter Rohling, which finished third in 54.18 seconds.
Bailey Lyons took third in the 1600-meter run in 5:43.36 and also ran a leg on the 4 x 400-meter relay team along with Tyler Hackman, Josh Udinyiwe and Phillip Udinyiwe, which placed third in 4:23.84.
As for the New Franklin girls, Madison Matney was the only place finisher for the Lady Bulldogs with a fifth place finish in the shot put with a toss of 26’-7 1/2” and a sixth place finish in the discus with a throw of 52’-2”.
Southern Boone also won the title for the girls with 129.50 points. Hallsville finished second with 95 points, followed by North Callaway with 88.50 points, Clark with 81.50 points, Westran with 70 points, New Bloomfield with 30.50 points, Columbia Independent with 19, New Franklin eighth with 13 and Harrisburg ninth with 8.
Quest said despite having only been to three track meets ever, Matney has consistently been one of the top finishers.  “She is steadily improving, and should improve her results as well,” Quest said.