Austin Hindman was the name on everyone's lips during the 2017 track and field season, and rightfully so. The young man from Wildwood ended his high school career with state records in the 3200 Relay (Class 5/Overall State Meet and All-Time), 1600 (Class 5 State Meet), 3200 (Class 5/Overall State Meet and All-Time), and 1 Mile (All-Time) to go along with his World Championship in the Junior Triathlon. In his fourth race of the weekend at the Class 5 State Track and Field Meet, Hindman put on a show under the lights at Jefferson City High School, running the state meet record 8:54.92 to win by 26 seconds. But lost in the anticipation of Hindman's record breaking race was the record breaking race in its own right that took place just moments earlier. We're talking about the Class 4 Boys 3200 which saw the fastest top 8 in the boys 3200 in the history of the state meet. (The 2 mile run became the 3200m run in 1980.)
After a Class 3 race dominated by Stephen Kielhofner, the Class 4 boys lined up at dusk in perfect conditions. For most of them, it was their 3rd or 4th race, but that did not stop them from putting on a show for the crowd that had remained after the lengthy rain delay plus the numerous races that had had to be run before them. Ryan Riddle of Webb City would take the bell lap and hold off one of the best kickers in the state in the last lap.
He came across in 9:06.07 with only one lap (6) over 1:10 (1:10.8). Just behind him was Kearney state champion and Southern Utah (eventually) commit Clayton Adams in 9:07.12. Glendale's Luke Miller flew into 3rd in the final lap (9:10.47), passing West Plains 800 champ Ben Stasney (9:10.89) and Ste. Genevieve standout and defending champ Ben Naeger (9:12.66) en route to his big PR. Festus super-soph Max McDaniel used his wheels to hold on to 6th in 9:15.52 and Charlie McIntyre of Parkway Central and Clayton Duchatschek of Washington both came across in 7th and 8th in 9:19.15 and 9:19.49 respectively.
The top 8 had pulled away from the field going into the 7th lap and secured their medals at that point, but all that was left was the decision on the order. You can find the breakdown of the Top 20 average times in state history below for Classes 3-5 and, as you can see, this year's Class 4 boys race is the fastest of all-time, just ahead of the Class 4 race from 1983.