Neosho boys win first district title in 44 years

Seeking the program's first district championship in decades, Neosho's boys track and field squad entered the final event on Saturday trailing Nixa by a point. 

But the Wildcats' 4x400 meter relay closed the day with a first-place finish and Neosho edged Nixa by six points for the Class 5 District 6 title. 

"Today we won our first district title in 44 years," Neosho head coach Randy Mustain said. "Super excited for our kids. They've done an amazing job this year. They battled hard today. We faced adversity in a lot of ways but our kids just kept fighting for each other and believing in each other and they were able to pull it out in the end."

Neosho's boys won six events on Saturday and had 11 top-four finishes to qualify for next weekend's sectional meet. 

The 4x4 relay, which won with a time of 3:26.77, featured Izaiah Hill, Isaiah Green, Isaiah Keezer and William Ebbinghaus. The group was in a similar spot at last week's Central Ozark Conference championship, with the Wildcats trailing by a point before pulling out a win. 

"We kind of fed off that talking to them," Mustain said. "Said we've been here before, we know what it takes to be a champion. Our kids came out and battled hard. Really had four great, awesome legs there. Leg three for us was huge. Isaiah Green did a fantastic job and then Isaiah Hill bringing it home, super proud of him. He's a very talented young man and I'm excited for big things out of him in the future to continue."

Neosho's other wins came in the 200, where Tyrese Hill won in 22.46 seconds; in the 400, where Izaiah Hill won in 49.99 seconds; in the triple jump, where Green jumped a distance of 44-11; and in the javelin, where Collyn Kivett posted a distance of 164-01 -- a new school record.

The team's other sectional qualifiers were the third place 4x200 relay, the fourth place 4x100 relay, Jared Siler (4th) in the high jump, Green (3rd) in the long jump, Siler (4th) in the long jump, and Carter Baslee (3rd) in the discus. 

Nixa, which finished second in the team standings, had three winners on Saturday. Gideon Carter was tops in the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.53 seconds, and freshman Jackson Cantwell won both the discus (183-11) and shot put (61-04.75). The Eagles earned eight other sectional qualifications. 

Joplin's day was highlighted by Hobbs Campbell winning the 1600 in 4:18.80 and the 4x100 relay of Quinton Renfro, Tayshaun Palmer, Orion Norris and Davin Thomas winning in 42.95 seconds. Joplin added 10 other sectional qualifiers. 

Kickapoo's winners were Tyler Harris in the 3200 with a time of 9:37.11 and the 4x800 relay of Colby Goddard, Kolin Keltner, Kyle Keltner and Harris, which won in 8:07.77. The Chiefs also had 10 other sectional qualifiers. 

Ozark was led by Mamady Embola's first-place showing in the 110 hurdles (15.20) and the 4x200 relay of Sam Clark, August McComas, Embola and Chase Kirkland winning in 1:30.77. The Tigers had four others finish in the top four to qualify. 

Republic's Zion Allen won both the high jump (6-05.50) and long jump (21-11.50). The Tigers qualified for sectionals four other times on Saturday. 

Branson's Kyshin Isringhausen won the pole vault at 14-09.50. The Pirates placed five others in the top four to qualify. 

Carthage's Miguel Solano won the 800 with a time of 1:58.88. The Tigers had six other top-four finishers.