UPDATED: Festival of Miles loaded with national, MO talent,

The 2022 Missouri State Track and Field meets were historic, with many distance race meet records and all-time great individual and group finishes. That has contributed to the amazing field of talent, from Missouri and across the country, at tonight's 2022 Festival of Miles and its high school competition.

This meet not only provides great competition in a fun atmosphere and a chance to run fast. It also is a great show for running and track fans while providing a social time for current and former athletes, coaches, and fans. Lastly, and most importantly, it acts as a fundraising, annually supporting an athlete in need. This year's honoree and donations and proceeds recipient is Emma, a 2-year-old battling leukemia.

Emma is the youngest of three children of Festus High School pole vault coach William Reece and his wife. Coach Reese just capped an excellent year with the Festus Tigers, coaching three vaulters to state, including Ella Shy to a 3rd-place finish in the Class 4, while Reece and the Festus boys earned a podium trip, taking 3rd as a team in Class 4.

Philadelphia area high school senior Gary Martin, Southern Boone County High School junior Connor Burns and El Dorado Springs High senior Daelen Ackley will race in the St. Louis Track Club Men's Mile. Martin, a University of Virginia signee who captured Pennsylvania 800 and 1600-meter titles last week, ran 3:57.98 on May 14 to place him 6th on the U.S. High School mile all-time list. The performance made Martin the 14th American high school to go sub-4 in the mile. Burns and Ackley hope to join that elite club.

The pair had monumental state meets last week in Jefferson City. The duo has battled it out many times all the way to the finish line at state meets in cross country and track the last two years in Class 3. The duo kicked off an eye-popping and mind-blowing 40-minute stretch last Friday that saw three great state 3200-meter race. Burns won the Class 3 3200-meter battle last week, winning in overall state meet record time of 8:48.76, the 13th fastest time for a high schooler in the U.S. this season. Ackley, the Notre Dame signee, impressed, joining the small Sub-9-minute 3200-meter Missouri club with an 8:59.47 clocking. He did it after anchoring the Bulldogs to 4th-place in the 4x800 with a 1:54.55 split.

Interview: SoBoCo Jr-Connor Burns 848 MEET RECORD US#13!