It's been seven hundred and thirty-three days since the athletes and teams of Class 2 last competed at the State Championships. All the waiting, all the uncertainty, all of the obstacles that have stood in everyone's way since the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 season are now behind us. We have arrived at the 2021 Missouri Class 2 State Track & Field Championships.
After two round of qualifying sixteen athletes and relay teams in each event are left standing to battle for a spot on or atop the podium. Below we will do a brief run down of things to keep an eye on in Friday's meet.
Leah Thames (STEAM Academy) comes into the weekend with the fastest seed time in the 100m with a 12.27, and will be looking to help the Bulldogs to a state title. She's also ranked second in the 200m with a 25.60 just behind Madison O'Neill (North Platte) at 25.60. O'Neill finds herself ranked second in the 400m with a 55.26, behind another Bulldog, Cheyenne Melvin (STEAM Academy) who has the fastest time in Missouri this year with a 44.26.
Melvin also owns the fastest 800m time with a 2:16, ahead of Alex Sharp (Brookfield) at 2:22. Sharp has the top time in the 1600m with a 5:21, ahead of Alexis Workman (Summit Prep) at 5:23, and XC State Champ Riley Arnold (Blue Eye) at 5:25. Riley Bryan (Smithton) has the fastest 3200m with an 11:34, just ahead of Sharp at 11:46 and Arnold at 11:49.
Issam Asinga (Principia) holds the fastest time by a comfortable margin in all three sprinting events, and also is the fastest in Missouri overall in all three and will be a heavy favorite to sweep this weekend.
Tanner Talley (New Covenant) owns the fastest time in both the 1600m and 800m with times of 4:24.23 and 1:57.85 respectively. His closest challenger in those events are Caleb Distler (New Bloomfield) at 4:29.88 and Garrett Wilmes (Father Tolton) at 1:58.55. The 3200m looks to be a race between Sam Shuman (Spokane) at 9:34 and Travis Sickles (Southwest - Washburn) just behind him at 9:36.
Another STEAM Academy Bulldog, Chelby Melvin, holds the top times in both hurdles events by a large margin at both 14.37 and 43.80 respectively. She'll be a huge piece as the Bulldogs look to earn the team title.
In the boys 110H Christopher Miller (Ash Grove) has the fastest time coming in with a 16.16, but he is close followed by Gabrial Little (Russellville) and Robert Goehl (Highland) who have ran 16.21 and 16.31 respectively. Brandon Fonda has the fastest time in the 300H by a wide margin with a time of 39.81 and is the only hurdler under 41 seconds. In addition he's also the top long jumper with a jump of 6.74m.
Emma Klein (East Buchanan) is the favorite to win the triple jump as she has the top mark entering the weekend at 11.08m. She's also second in long jump at 5.22m, behind Britney Jordan (Caruthersville) at 5.34m. Ramzee Bruner (Marceline) is the top high jumper with a season best of 1.63m, just ahead of Josie Wright (Lathrop) at 1.6m.
Girls Pole Vault looks to be a dead heat with Arissa Jackson (Lathrop), Abbey Redd (Palmyra), Carly Youngblood (Monroe City), Marissa Cooper (St. Vincent) and Heidi Hartwig (Duchesne) all between 3.1m and 3.3m.
Boys High Jump is super close with Evan Gosnell (Lexington), Blaine Perkins (Putnam County), and Aric Spyres (Crane) between 1.98m and 2.01m. Jeremy Bennett (Milan) has the best triple jump by a considerable margin with a mark of 13.91m, while Nate Richer (Gainesville) also is well ahead of the field in Pole vault at 4.27m.
All the girls throws have one athlete who stands above the rest. Cadence Pauley (Milan) is the top shot putter at 37.72m, Alexx Roofener (Sherwood) is the top discus thrower at 39.88m, and Susan Moman the top Javelin thrower at 39.14m.
The Boys shot is super close with Brayton Stephenson (Harrisburg) just over Hayden Elifrits (South Holt) 16.44m to 16.36m. In discus Colder Evans (Putnam County) has the farthest throw this season at 51.86m. Luke Nichols (Charleston) is the top Javelin thrower at 57.86m