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.