Seven hundred and thirty-four Days. That's how long it will have been since the end of the 2019 Class 1 State Track & Field Championships after the 2020 season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After all the uncertainty surrounding the season, and all the obstacles athletes, coaches, and parents have had to cover come, we've finally made to the 2021 Missouri Class 1 State Track & Field Championships.
After two rounds of qualifying there are sixteen athletes and relay teams in each event left standing to battle for a spot on or on top of the podium. Below we will do a brief run down of things to watch out for in Saturday's meet.
In the girls distance races a familiar favorite returns. Delaney Straus (Marion County) won state titles in the 800m, 1600m, 3200m, and placed second in the 400m back in 2019. She has qualified in all four events again this year, and has the fastest time this season in both the 800m and 1600m. Nariah Clay (Canton) is her top challenger in those with an 800m time of 2:24, just behind Straus at 2:22. Straus is also third in 3200 with a time of 12:23, behind Grace Bishop (College Heights) at 12:14 and Jaclyn Riedinger (North Andrew) at 12:22. She's also the third fastest runner in the 400m entering the state meet.
On the boys side, Kyle Hagemeyer (Calvary Lutheran) and Tyler Blay (West Nodaway) will be squaring off in both the 1600m and 3200m. Haggemeyer has the best 1600 time coming in with a 4:27, followed by Blay at 4:34. The 3200m finds Blay with the top time a 9:33, and Hagemeyer is second with a 9:52. The 800m looks to be tight race with Tyler Schwebach (Stanberry) at 2:04, Josh Hoog (Valle Catholic) at 2:05, and Grant Going (Calvary Lutheran) also at 2:05.
Addison Lawrence (College Heights) has a shot to win two individual state titles in the sprinting events as she enters the meet with the fastest time in the 100m at 12.44 and the 400m at 58.12. The 200m looks to be hotly contested with Lauren Krohn (Princeton), Kendall Holweg (Delta), and Carissa Martin (DeKalb) all having ran between 26.64 and 26.82 in the last two weeks.
Also with a chance to win multiple individual sprint titles is Landon Poppa (Mound City) he comes into the 100m race with an 11.15 which is the second fastest time overall, but the fastest time from last two weekends of qualifying. He also stands with the fastest 200 time with a 22.34. Christopher Barto (Green City) will square off with Landon Swavey (St. Joseph Christian) for the 400m title, with both having ran 50.7 this season.
In the girls hurdle races the 100m Hurdles is really anyone's game, as there are realistically seven girls with the opportunity to win tomorrow. The 300 Hurdles however looks to be two way race between Brooklyn Miller (St. Joseph Christian) with a 48.46 season best, and Bethany Slovensky (Wellsville-Middletown) at 48.75. Miller also stands as the top javelin thrower, as well as the top high jumper entering the meet with a season best of 1.71m, ahead of Faith Anderson at 1.65m.
Asher Buggs-Tipton (Green City) is the top boy by a considerable margin in both hurdle races and will be the heavy favorite to win both races. He's also the top triple jumper entering the meet, and is third in long jump. His Long jump of 6.49m is just behind Cameron Jones (Pattonsburg) at 6.52m, and Cory Stoll (Valle Catholic) at 6.53m.
Alivia Baucom (Rock Port) will enter trying to win both the Shot Put and Discus, and currently has the top shot mark with a 12.51m. Her discus season best of 40.18m is the second best returning mark behind Kaitlyn Hatfield (Schuyler County) who has thrown 41.15m.
Garrett Strange (Lakeland) enters the meet with a javelin season best of 56.6m, which is currently above the Class 1 State Meet record of 54.07m. He'll definitely have a good shot to break that record this weekend.