New Franklin junior Tyler Perkins had the perfect strategy going into the state track meet Friday in the 800 meter run at Jefferson City High School.
New Franklin coach Adam Quest said about three quarters of the way, Perkins was in ninth place but turned it on for the last 200 meters and passed several competitors to finish in fifth place. But that’s not all. While finishing fifth in a time of 2:04.4, Perkins also set a school record as a member of the New Franklin track team.
“It took them a while to post the results, so we didn’t know whether he had set the record, but once they were posted, everyone was very excited for him,” Quest said. “Tyler really ended up exceeding everyone’s expectations. He worked very hard for this all season, and I am very proud to see him find so much success at the state meet. Tyler knows exactly how to run his race, and had a perfect strategy coming in. Heading into the state meet, it is always really hard to know how someone might perform. The various sectionals happen all over the state, and weather conditions can vary greatly at the different meet, leading to vastly different performances. Heading in, Tyler was ranked 10th in the 800, but I had a feeling that he would perform much better than that.”
Of course Perkins wasn’t the only competitor for New Franklin at state. The Lady Bulldogs track team also advanced in two events, with Davi Smith placing 11th in the long jump with a leap of 15’-2 1/4” and the 4 x 100 meter relay team of Abby Maupin, Mallori Burnett, Davi Smith and Shelby Breshears finishing 11th overall in a time of 53.70 seconds.
Quest said the 4 x 100 meter relay team set a new season best. “I was hoping that they might be able to sneak through into the finals, but they all seemed pleased that they were able to set a new season record,” Quest said. “It was a nice way for the seniors to finish their career. Individually, Davi Smith also competed in the long jump, The middle of the pack was all very close, and she came within an inch and a half of making finals and getting three more jumps, but in the end, she also finished in 11th place.”
In the final team standings, New Franklin boys finished 44th out of 58 schools with 4 points. Rich Hill boys captured the Class 1 title with 47 points while Pattonsburg and Mound City tied for second with 33 points and Green City fourth with 32 points.
For the Class 1 girls, Blue Eye captured the title with 68 points while Worth County finished a close second with 67, St. Joseph Christian third with 45 and Marion County fourth with 38.
Prairie Home junior Clayton Pethan finished 14th in the triple jump with a leap of 37’-10 1/2” Friday at the state track meet in Jefferson City.
Prairie Home coach Marie Pope said Pethan had three solid jumps at the biggest meet of his career. “This was Clayton’s first state appearance, and slightly unexpected as he only learned the triple jump going into our conference meet this season,” Pope said. “He has such a natural talent for it and we’re all incredibly proud and looking forward to his senior season.”