2024 Missouri Track and Field Preview: Class 3 Girls

With the outdoor track and field season finally upon us, let's take a look at the top athletes from each of our five classes!

Leading up to our first competitions on March 15th, MileSplit will be unrolling previews for Class 1-5 Boys and Girls. We will introduce and discuss five of the top athletes in each of the sprints (100, 200, 400, 100/110 Hurdles, and 300 Hurdles), distance (800, 1600, 3200), jumps (long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault), and throws (discus, shot put, javelin) events. We will also introduce 3-4 of the top freshmen to watch, plus 3-4 teams to watch and a dark horse team on which to keep an eye. The biggest change in 2024: with Class 3 moving to the first week of Missouri State Championships, all the other athletes and teams listed here will have one fewer week to improve their marks heading into the state series. 

With 19 days from the start of the season to the first competition day, we will be try to space out the drops to make sure each classification gets plenty of attention. Check back throughout the week to see who gets added next!

More Content to Explore: Meet Calendar | Virtual Meets | Rankings | 2023 Photos | Class of 2024 College Commitments

Recent Drops: 2024 Class and District Predictions | 2024 MSHSAA Track and Field Season is Here! | Class 5 Boys Preview | Class 5 Girls Preview | Class 4 Boys Preview | Class 4 Girls Preview | Class 3 Boys Preview


Leah Macon-Ford - Metro

Metro's Leah Macon-Ford had a major breakthrough in 2023 and now enters this spring season as the top Class 3 returner in the 100-meter dash by quite a large margin. 

With her 12.16 (+1.6) mark from last year's state prelims, Macon-Ford was able to cruise into finals where she finished 3rd, sandwiched between two seniors ahead and one right behind. With the next closest returner at 12.40, Macon-Ford has a major advantage in the 100 heading into 2024. As for the 200 meter dash, her personal best of 25.74 (+0.9) also came in state prelims and preceded a 7th place finish in finals. She is the third fastest returner there. 

Metro has some strong individuals in the sprint and distance event groups, with Leah Macon-Ford leading the way with the potential for 20 points in the two most popular events.


Jozey Sharp-MacPherson - Mountain Grove

Mountain Grove's Jozey Sharp-MacPherson heads into the 2024 season as a potential game changer in the team score race as a short sprint specialist. With top 2 marks in both the 100 and 200 meter dash among returners, Sharp-MacPherson pushes Mountain Grove to the top of the team rankings heading into the spring.

Those two marks considered in our returning rankings are based on her 2023 performances, but her actual personal bests come from her sophomore season in 2022. The 12.40 she ran for the District 6 victory is slightly slower than her 12.36 best from the 2022 SBU Classic. Her 25.72 season best is off the 24.58 mark which earned her 7th place at the Class 3 State Championships in 2022. While she sits 1/100th of a second behind Owensville's Emma Daniels in the 200 based on 2023 marks, she should be considered the top returner in the event based on lifetime marks. 

Sharp-MacPherson was a key anchor leg on the 3rd place 4x200 relay and 6th place 4x100 relay in 2023. She should lead a solid sprint crew into the 2024 season as she seeks out her first career individual state gold. 


Jersy Nelke - Winfield

It was a rather busy winter for Winfield senior Jersy Nelke, coming off her first cross country season since 2019 and a junior campaign in which she picked up the Class 3 state championship in the 100 meter hurdles. Her 14.69 (+1.9) is nearly a full second ahead of the next closest returner and should make her the heavy favorite for the repeat effort in 2024. Her 300 meter hurdles best of 45.69 preceded a 3rd place effort at state and has her sitting 3rd among returners. 

This winter, Nelke took advantage of the myriad Principia (IL) hosted meets, posting several marks across the 60 meter hurdles, 60 meter dash, 200, 400, long jump, and triple jump. She could be a factor in the horizontal jumps during the regular season, but until she eclipses 5 meters in the long jump and 10.5 meters in the triple jump, she will have a ways to go in the horizontal jumps at the state level.

Nevertheless, expect Nelke to be among the best hurdlers in the entire state and compete for gold in both the 100 and 300 meter events this May.


Kale Clements - Ste. Genevieve

Kale Clements headed into the 2023 season as one of the favorites to take home the state title in the 400 meter dash and 800 meter run. While she ended up falling just short in the 400, she still picked up a personal best that puts her among the top 3 returners heading into 2024. 

Clements finished as the runner-up in the quarter-mile to fellow sophomore Lutheran's Elle North, who moves up to Class 4 this spring. She sits behind Zoe Martonfi (profiled in the distance section) and Centralia's Shelby Lewis currently with her 58.44 personal best, but is the top returner among 2023 state finishers. Her 800 meter season best of 2:23.09 is 5th among 2024 returners and helped her earn 7th at state, but a 2:21.90 from the 2022 state meet pushes her ever so closer to the top returner in the state in the event. 

A 400/800 specialist through and through, Clements should once again be considered a favorite to bring in the 400 meter dash individual title this season.


Madison Boyd - Vashon

Vashon's Madison Boyd hits our list with the top returning mark among Class 3 300 hurdlers not named Zoe Martonfi (once again, profiled below). Boyd was the runner-up to Martonfi last year with her 45.66 personal best. It was a major breakthrough for the junior after she entered the season with a 52.73 personal best and debuted in 2023 with a 51.45.  Boyd also checks in with a 26.80 personal best in the 200 meter dash that lands her among the top 15 returners in that event, too. 



Zoe Martonfi - Eldon

Hard to say in which section Eldon's Zoe Martonfi should land in our preview. Yes, she won last year's Class 3 State Championship in both the 800 and 1600, but she also won the 300 meter hurdles and finished third in the triple jump. All with a massive smile on her face and the patented double french braids in her hair.

Martonfi is the top returner in Class 3 in the 400, 800, 1600, and 300 meter hurdles with personal bests of 58.04, 2:16.02, 5:04.59, and 44.54* (from 2021 - her 2023 season best of 44.61 is also MO No. 1 in Class 3 among returners). She went undefeated in those 4 events, earning 25 victories in total in just those events. Beyond those, she also boasts personal bests of 11.1m (36-5) in the triple jump, 1.65m (5-5) in the high jump, and 15.79 in the 100m hurdles. Back to the distance events, she has also posted an 11:45.29 in the 3200 and ran 18:49.50 for 5th at this fall's Class 3 State Cross Country Championships, though she has run 18:41.24 before. 

A true Swiss army knife if we have ever seen one, watch for Martonfi to carry Eldon all the way up the team ranks once again this season after scoring 36 of the 37 points the Class 3 runner-up Mustangs earned last spring. 


Alexandra Volkart - Southern Boone County

Southern Boone County's Alexandra Volkart was notably absent for much of the 2023 track and field season after winning an individual championship in cross country in the fall of 2022. She posted only two 3200 marks and one 1600 mark, but bounced back this past fall to defend her Class 3 cross country title in 18:27.00, about 43 seconds off her lifetime best of 17:43.80. Nevertheless, the USMA commit appears to have shaken whatever kept her out of the 2023 track and field season and should be ready to contend for more state gold this spring. She returns with lifetime bests of 2:24.03 in the 800, 5:14.03 in the full mile, and 11:15.23 in the 3200, the latter mark coming in a gold medal effort at the Class 3 State Championships in 2022. With defending champions returning in all three distance events, Volkart will be looking to shake up the current balance of power on the oval this May.


Elsa Henry - St. Michael the Archangel

The other returning champion in the distance events is St. Michael the Archangel senior Elsa Henry, who returns to defend her Class 3 3200 title in 2024. 

Henry went 6-for-7 in the 3200 in 2023, with her only loss of the season coming at the prestigious Kansas Relays. She would bounce back with a win at the Al Davis/Mike Lillis Invitational in her personal best of 11:04.63. Her 11:09.84 mark at the Class 3 state meet was good enough for her first career state victory. 

The top returner in the 3200, Henry sits a comfortable 20 seconds ahead of Volkart heading into the 2024 season and should challenge the 11:00 barrier right away after improving to 18:42.70 this fall. She also has the second fastest 1600 among returners with a 5:10.13 personal best and will be looking to improve upon her fourth place state finish this time around.


Lauren Eftink - Notre Dame Cape Girardeau

After experiencing a great deal of success in Class 4 over the last three years, Notre Dame Cape Girardeau senior Lauren Eftink should make a massive difference in the Class 3 distance scene this spring. 

Eftink is a four-time state qualifier on the track so far, with three individual all-state medals to her name. She earned 8th in the 2022 Class 4 1600 and 6th in 2023. She was 9th in the 2022 Class 4 3200 and 6th in 2023 with her personal best time of 11:20.65. Her 1600 best sits at 5:09.11 heading into this campaign. 

After finishing out the fall as the Class 3 runner-up to Southern Boone's Volkart in a personal best time of 18:29.70, Eftink appears ready to take another step forward and could be competitive for hardware in all three distance events this May.


Bailey Robinson - Cameron

The only other girl in Class 3 under 2:20 for 800 meters heading into the 2024 season is Cameron senior Bailey Robinson. Robinson took a huge step forward in May of 2023 and appears ready to turn some heads this spring after a successful 2023 cross country season. 

Robinson headed into her junior season with a personal best 800 mark of 2:28.90. Respectable, but nothing compared to the mark with which she finished the 2023 season - a 2:19.84 mark which was only her fourth mark under 2:30 on the season and ended up being good enough for a silver medal in the event. Now, after dropping her 5k personal best to 20:17.50, Robinson appears in good shape to continue the time drop and could very well improve upon her 5:39.35 1600 mark from her freshman season in 2021.



Kylee Richey - Versailles

There is no bigger triple threat in the jumps events heading into the 2024 season than Versailles junior Kylee Richey. Richey heads into this spring with the second best high jump mark, third best triple jump mark, and best all-conditions long jump mark among Class 3 returners. 

Though she finished the dreaded 9th in the high jump last May, she still cleared 1.65m (5-5) and sits just 2 millimeters behind top returner Kia Harmon (profiled below). Her long jump mark of 5.51m (18-1, +2.3w) earned her 3rd place in 2023 and has her as the top returner based on distance and state finish. She was the only non-senior in the top 6. Her triple jump mark is third among Class 3 returners at 11.44m (37-6.5). Even still, she was the Class 3 runner-up last spring. 

Richey factors into the team title race all by herself and should be a major piece to Versailles's puzzle this spring.


Kia Harmon - Holden

Holden's Kia Harmon is also a star in three jumps events and should be on everyone's radar heading into her junior campaign. 

The high jump is her strongest event, it seems, as she heads into the 2024 season as the top ranked athlete in Class 3 with a 1.67m (5-5.75) best. She was 5th at last year's state meet after finishing well off that mark. Her long jump personal best of 5.4m (17-8.5) earned her a 7th place medal at last year's state meet and has her ranked 3rd among Class 3 returners. As for the triple jump, she has some ground to make up as the 11th best returner in Class 3, but a 10.49m (34-5) personal best is nothing to sneeze at for a rising junior. 

Harmon has the potential to pull in big points for her Eagles squad this spring and could even sneak into the 100 meter dash conversation as she enters with a fastest time of 13.00. 


El Reagan - Montgomery County

Montgomery County's El Reagan heads into the 2024 season as the top returner in Class 3 in the pole vault based both on personal best and state finish. 

Reagan was third on jumps at the Class 3 State Championships in 2023, finishing out the season with a 3.27m (10-8.75). The 2022 State Champion, Reagan couldn't repeat in 2023, but heads into the 2024 season looking to return to the top and earn her fourth all-state medal in four tries. 


Maliya Clark - Clever

Versailles's Richey and Holden's Harmon both boast strong marks in three jumps, but Clever's Maliya Clark can say she is ranked among the top 5 in all 4 jumps events.

In the triple jump, Clark is tops among Class 3 returners with an 11.7m (38-4.75) best in the triple jump, ranks 3rd among high jumpers with 1.62m (5-3.75) best, is 4th among long jumpers at 5.39m (17-8.25), and even posted the 5th best pole vault mark among returners with a 3.05m (10-0) mark. She qualified for state in three of those four jumps, as well as the 100m hurdles, earning medals in the triple jump and 100m hurdles. She could seriously carry the Clever Blue Jays this spring as one of the top all-around athletes to watch in Class 3 this spring.


Marissa Austene - Hallsville

Hallsville's Marissa Austene is another one who is strong across the two short sprint events and the two horizontal jumps. 

Her 5.43m (17-9.75) best in the long jump is ranked 2nd among Class 3 returners, though she didn't get a chance to compete at last year's state meet in the event with a 5th place finish at her sectional meet. She brought home a 4th place medal at state in the triple jump last season, but didn't improve upon an 11.16m (36-7.5) mark from her sophomore year summer. She also boasts highly ranked personal bests in the 100 and 200 of 12.67 and 26.05, respectively, with the latter earning her 5th at last year's state meet. There is absolutely a world in which four state medals are hanging around Austene's neck and her team enters the running for a state trophy. 



Candra King - Palmyra

This spring, Class 3 will have its reigning champion in both the shot put and discus return to retain her crown. That is, most likely, Palmyra senior Candra King's goal. 

King, a 5-time all-state honoree in the throws events, should be considered the heavy favorite to pick up double golds once again in 2024. She heads into the season with personal bests of 13.62m (44-8.25) in the shot put, which capped off a season in which she won 17 of the 18 shot put competitions she contested. In the discus, she was unable to improve upon her sophomore year mark of 40.77m (133-9), but she did still pick up Class 3 gold in the event and finish out the season with a 39.95m season best. 

 Watch for Candra King to continue her dominant streak of success in 2024. 


Ava Dumke - Maryville

The 2023 season was a breakout campaign for now-senior Ava Dumke of Maryville. The Spoofhound recorded four marks in the javelin as a sophomore in 2022 before calling her season quits in late April. But, in 2023, she broke out in a big way.

Dumke is one of only three returners in Class 3 with a personal best mark over 40 meters as her 41.41m (135-10.25) personal best from last year's Winnetonka Invitational has her a half-meter behind the top returner. She is, though, the top returner based on state place after finishing 3rd last spring behind two seniors. Watch for SEMO commit to challenge for the state title in the javelin this spring.


Delaney McGhay - Eldon

A major key to Eldon's team title hopes this spring will be junior Delaney McGhay in the discus. McGhay comes in third ranked in Class 3 behind Candra King and Chillicothe's Sadie Midgyett and third among returning state placers, even after finishing 9th last May. Her 33.84m (111-0.25) personal best has her tops among rising juniors and should put her in the conversation for a high podium finish this spring.


Briley Wishard - Clinton

The top returner in Class 3 in the javelin, based on personal best, is Clinton's Bailey Wishard with a 41.96m (137-8) heave to her name. Wishard won 10 of her 11 javelin competitions in 2023 before finishing a surprising 9th at the state meet. This year, we expect her to be near the top of, if not atop, the podium. Not to be outdone, her shot put personal best of 12.61m (41-4.5) is third among returners and came just before a third place finish at the Class 3 state meet. Wishard has certainly earned her place among the five best throwers to watch in 2024.


Isabella Renfro - Seneca

Seneca's Isabella Renfro enters the season as the second best returning state placer in the shot put after finishing as the 2023 runner-up in the event. Her 12.18m (39-11.5) mark came at just the right time as it pushed her all the way to 2nd at state. She is fourth among returners based on personal bests, behind Wishard, King, and Incarnate Word's Kamari Brown, the only other 13m+ thrower besides King heading into the season.


Incoming Freshmen To Watch

Brianna Krueger - St. Charles West

The rich got richer this fall as St. Charles West, coming off a Class 3 State championship in cross country in 2022, added freshman phenom Brianna Krueger and repeated with relative ease in 2023.

They already had returned 6 of the 7 members of the team that won in 2022 before adding Krueger's 18:35.50 5K to the mix. Her club/middle school resume spelled out the breakthrough we saw as she entered this past fall with personal bests in the 800 of 2:29.62 and 1500 of 5:02.20, equivalent to a 5:24.47 1600. Krueger will surely be a difference maker at the state level in the distance events this spring after finishing 3rd at the Class 3 State Cross Country Championships in her first high school season.


Sage Crowley - Fair Grove

With her brother Canyon Crowley previewed in the boys article, Fair Grove's Sage Crowley lands among the freshmen to watch heading into the 2024 season in the girls article.

Crowley is sure to be a difference maker for the Eagles this spring as she heads into the season with personal best marks of 12.45 in the 100 and 26.10 in the 200. In fact, she ran 12.93 or better in all six attempts last spring, going six-for-six in victories. Her slowest 200 of her 8th grade year was a measly 27.07. With personal bests under 13 and 27 as a 7th grader, as well, we could be on the verge of the breakthrough of one of the state's best freshman sprinters regardless of class in Sage Crowley.


Allie Hustedde - Bowling Green

Crowley's sprint credentials are impressive and should put her among the top freshman sprinters, but close behind her on that list will be Bowling Green's Allie Hustedde. 

Last spring, Hustedde ran personal bests of 12.98 in the 100 and 26.72 in the 200, not too far off what it took to make finals in either event at the Class 3 State Championships last May. She also ran 1:03.08 in the 400 meter dash as a 7th grader and has posted a respectable 4.54m (14-10.75) long jump mark. The 400 mark has already gone down this winter as she ran 1:02.51 on the short track in mid-February.

Hustedde should certainly be a major piece to the puzzle for Bowling Green's girls team in her first high school season.


Top Teams


Much like last year, Eldon heads into the season as a favorite not just for state hardware, but for a team title by virtue of the fact that Zoe Martonfi is back for her senior year. Profiled above, Martonfi has the potential to pull in gold medals in four different events - it just depends on which four she chooses. Last year, she single-handedly scored 36 of the team's 37 points and helped them to a runner-up finish.

This year, with Lutheran St. Charles moving up to Class 4, the team race seems to be a close one. Every one of Martonfi's points will matter, but the points that Delaney McGhay can pick up in the discus will be very important, as well. Hannah Beanland comes into the season ranked 9th among returners in the javelin and could hopefully add a point or two to their total there.

It is rare to see something like this in Class 3, where one athlete could single-handedly win the state meet for their team, but Eldon has the potential to pull it off this year. 



Palmyra scored all 35 of their team points in the field events last May and ended up with a fourth place trophy as a result. This year, it appears they could be poised to do more of the same, and potentially even win.

Candra King, profiled above, and pole vaulter Alaina Loman are the two big returners for the Panthers. King is the reigning state champion in both the shot put and discus and Loman is the second best returner in the state in the pole vault. Chloe Hicks heads into the 2024 season with a 1.6m (5-3) personal best in the high jump, tied for fifth among returners in Class 3. Finally, Hailey Kroeger rounds out those among the top 8 in their respective event with a 36.73m (120-6) best in the javelin. 

Last spring, they ran 1:48.64 in the 4x200 meter relay with Loman and fellow 2024 seniors Bella McBride and Taytum White, and Laurin Sheputis will be looking to regain the 2:26.95 she ran in the 800 in 2022. It's a strong team that should put up at least the 30 points needed to enter the team trophy conversation, though they will surely push closer to 40 when it is all said and done.



Clever heads into the 2024 season with a smattering of potential point scorers and the potential to take the state by storm and climb all the way to the top after finishing 16th in 2023. 

Maliya Clark leads the way as the top returner in the state in the triple jump, third best returner in the high jump, fourth best returner in the long jump, and fifth best in the pole vault. Jayleign Flood is the team's sprint leader with personal bests of 12.51 in the 100, 26.15 in the 200, and 59.64 in the 400. She has been a state qualifier in all three events in each of her first three seasons and has earned five medals all totaled. Riley Britton and Chloe Smith provide some potential for points in the 800 and 3200. With some help in the throws and maybe a relay on the podium, Clever could certainly find themselves in a team podium position this spring.


Mountain Grove

Mountain Grove checks in as one of our four teams to watch this spring by virtue of significant points from one athlete in particular - Jozey Sharp-MacPherson - and a nice cache of supplemental points from some important role players. 

Raylee Stenzel is the 6th ranked returner in the 300 meter hurdles with a 46.79 personal best. She was also a member of the all-state 4x200 and 4x100 relays and boasts 200 and 400 personal bests from 2022 of 27.73 and 1:01.13. Kailyn Wake is a jumps specialist with a personal best in the high jump of 1.61m (5-3.5), 4th among returners, after missing out on the state meet last spring. Her 5.32m (17-5.5) long jump mark is 5th among returners. 

The Panthers return Kylie Roth and Savannah Hellebusch, both important parts of their all-state relays, and lose only Reagan Hoerning to graduation. They should be able to reel in more relay points this spring, with potentially 16 from Sharp-MacPherson alone, and a solid chunk from the jumps and hurdles. It's a solid team who could land in the top 4 for the first time in their school's history.


Dark Horse Team To Watch


Moberly experienced an enrollment drop this year that pushes them under 500 and most likely into Class 3 as a result. This is a major development for a team that is returning several strong athletes in the sprints and field events. 

Bryleigh Knox leads the way as a sprints/horizontal jumps specialist. Last spring, she finished 4th in the Class 4 triple jump and boasts an 11.36m (37-3.25) personal best. Her long jump best of 5.29m (17-4.25) ranks her among the top 6 heading into the season. She has sprint marks of 13.20 in the 100, 26.96 in the 200, and 1:02.55 in the 400, though she was primarily used on the 4x400 relay as Moberly headed into the state series. All three of her teammates on the 4x400 relay that ran 4:08.58 and earned all-state honors are back, as well as the members of 51.99 4x100 relay and 1:46.45 4x200 relay. Zoey Hannam, Asa Fanning, Olivia Dunwoody, Ariyonna Gross, and Chloe Ross make up a deep sprint squad that should compete in all three relays for state hardware. 

Hannam is a 300 meter hurdles star with a 47.43 personal best, Taylor Martin will be among the top returners in the discus with her 39.5m (129-7) personal best, as well as the javelin, and they may get some help in the distance events from incoming freshman Kirsten Defreitas. It's a strong team that should move right in and compete for state hardware in Class 3.