2023 MTCCCA Girls Track and Field Coaches of the Year

The Missouri Track and Cross Country Coaches Association (MTCCCA) handed out awards at it's annual clinic and awards dinner in Columbia last month. Coach of the Year, Distinguished Coaches, and Hall of Fame honors were bestowed to some of the many outstanding coaches in the Show-Me State.

Coach of the Year awards were handed out for each class and gender in both cross country and track and field. Coach of the Year honors are awarded to the MTCCCA member whose team has the highest finish at state. Here is a look at the five 2023 Girls Track and Field Coaches of the Year.

Colton Byrd, Brunswick -- 2023 MTCCCA Class 1 Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year

The Brunswick ladies didn't score or even have any state qualifiers in 2022. That changed in a big way in 2023 for Colton Byrd and staff. 

At the District 3 meet, Brunswick scored 73 points to place 4th in the 17-team scoring meet. A week later the Wildcats scored 67 and claimed the Sectional 2 title by 1 point over Princeton and Northeast (Cairo) and beat North Shelby, the latter two of which had beaten Brunswick at Districts. 

The Brunswick girls were one of six teams battling for the 3rd and 4th place Class 1 state team trophies. Tarkio/East Atchison ran away with the title with 70 points while defending champion Drexel cruised to 2nd with 60 points. 

Just 11 points separated 3rd through 8th place at state. Byrd, the boys' head basketball coach, saw his ladies score 29 points, 1 behind 5th and 5 back of the 4th and final team trophy. Senior Kendra Zeilstra and freshman Joslynn Brown led the way Zeilstra placed 4th in the 3200 and 1600 meters, to score 10 points.

Brown placed in two events that were held simultaneously. On Day 2 of the meet at 10:00 a.m., she placed 2nd in the triple jump 10.50m/34-5.5) and 4th in the javelin (36.97m/119-3). Those performances came a day after the freshman's 5th place long jump (5.03m/16-6).