MSHSAA Class 1 Boys Track and Field: Down to the Wire

For the first time in the MSHSAA State Track and Field Class 1 boys history, there was a tie atop the podium for the state championship. There had only two ties for titles since 1927 and there ended up being two on Saturday - when Charleston and Summit Christian Academy tied for the Class 2 boys title as well.

In Class 1, Hermitage and Hayti each finished with 42 points to share the title. 


This was the first state championship in track and field for Hermitage - winners of the past two cross country state titles.

Hayti won the Class 2A track and field title in 1988 and got back on the podium again.

How they got there was a little different but it all came down to the 4x400-meter race. Each had a team in the event and Hayti held a 36-34 lead in the standings.

Hermitage finished in 3:34.09 - .22 of a second faster than Hayti.

The finish by Justus Yates helped the Hornets move into a tie for first place. DeJuan Chambers, Gabriel Montejo and Justin Horn ran before him for Hermitage.

"It was a crazy, it came down to the wire. We put on a show for everybody here, especially the 4x4 that came down to the final race ... but finishing that after running the two-mile is a killer," said Horn, a State Fair Community College signee. "It is my senior year. I had to leave everything on the track. I couldn't give up. 

Horn was third in the 3,200-meter run. 

Hermitage and Hayti each earned points in seven events.

Hermitage was champion of the 4x800-meter relay with Horn, Bennett Mantooth, Chambers and Yates. 

The Hornets also got points in the 400-, 800-, 1,600-, 3,200-meter runs and 300-meter hurdles.

Hayti's 4x400 relay featured Ricky Bryant, Jeremy Alexander, Keion Hamilton and Quintrel Clay to earn the final six points which was enough to get maintain a tie.

The Indians won the 4x100 and 4x200 relays - accounting for nearly half of the team's 42 points.

The 4x100-meter relay set a new state record with a time of 43.02 - besting the mark of Eskridge of 44.11 from 2001. Jordan Payne Alexander, Clay and Elijah Burnett comprised Hayti's team. 

The same group ran the 4x200 and finished in 1:30.86.