2024 Missouri Track and Field Preview: Class 1 Boys

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!

Competitions have begun, but that doesn't mean we will stop unrolling previews for the Class 1 and 2 boys and girls. We are introducing and discussing 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 are also introducing 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. 



Darius Asher Buggs-Tipton - Green City

2024 is the swan song season for one of the state's all-time greats - Darius Asher Buggs-Tipton of Green City. 

An eight-time state champion heading into his junior campaign, Buggs-Tipton was only able to add one gold medal to his collection in 2023, but picked up his 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th all-state medals overall. Now a senior, he still heads into the 2024 season with a realistic shot at re-ascending to that dominant stage as he is still among the top athletes in the entire state regardless of classification. He is top returner in the entire state in the 110m hurdles (13.87, +7.2w) and the best in Class 1 in the 300m hurdles if you just look at last year's 38.61 season best. Yes, the 110s time is heavily wind-aided, but his next 10 marks recorded last season are still all better than the next best returner...and he broke 14 seconds 2 other times. His lifetime best of 38.33 in the 300 meter hurdles makes him the top returner in the entire state regardless of class, as well.

In the past, Buggs-Tipton has picked up gold medals in both the long jump and triple jump, though last season he opted for the 100 meter dash instead of the triple jump. His 13.72m (45-0.25) personal best would be 2 feet ahead of the next closest returner in the triple and his 6.96m (22-10) long jump best is also tops among Class 1 returners. It will be interesting to see how this Missouri legend will close out his illustrious career this spring before he moves on to Wichita State University.


Cash Anderson - Ballard

The lone non-senior in the 200m finals was freshman Cash Anderson, in his school's first year with a track and field team. Now a sophomore, Cash is the top returner in Class 1 in both the 100 and 200.  

With personal bests of 11.13 and 22.68, Anderson appears to be on a trajectory toward starting his own illustrious run through Class 1 in the sprint events. Though he was 10th in the 100 last spring, he was 4th in that senior-packed 200 final and even picked up a 3rd place medal in the 400, as well. His 50.36 personal best is 3rd among Class 1 returners and was 5th among freshman regardless of class in 2023. Add in a long jump mark of 5.93m (19-5.5) and you see that there is a potentially 4 event all-stater at Ballard High School in 2024. 


Namarius Warren - Scott County Central

Scott County Central's Namarius Warren is sure to make some noise in the three primary sprint events this spring as he heads into the 2024 season with top 8 marks in the 100, 200, and 400 meter dashes. 

Warren was a state qualifier in all three events, coming home with medals in the 100 and 400 meter dashes. His personal bests of 11.22, 23.27, and 52.74 line up nicely against the rest of the state's best sprinters. He is also a state qualifier in the 110 meter hurdles from the 2022 season and holds a personal best there of 17.56. Warren will surely be a contender for three medals again in 2024, but could challenge for a state championship in any of the three, as well.


Zackary Cross - Newtown-Harris

Zackary Cross of Newtown-Harris appears to be the top hurdler not named Buggs-Tipton heading into the 2024 season. Cross boasts personal bests of 15.74 in the 110m hurdles and 39.91 in the 300m hurdles. He also holds the rare distinction of being one of the few guys to beat Darius Asher Buggs-Tipton at the state meet when he ran 39.96 and earned the Class 1 gold medal in the 300m hurdles last May. Cross ran cross country this fall and could be in even better shape for those 300m hurdles heading into this season. We are awaiting his 2024 season debut up to this point, but it will surely be a loud one when it happens. 


Trotter Hughes - Wellington-Napoleon

The state runner-up in the 400 returns for the 2024 season, along with the champion and bronze medalist, but Wellington-Napoleon's Trotter Hughes should be up to the test this year. 

Hughes has been through an impressive career up to this point. He was the state runner-up in the 800 and ran a personal best 2:02.25, but has seemingly abandoned the event after a 15th place finish at the state meet in 2022. The quarter-mile has been his main area of focus over the last two years, as he picked up a gold medal in the event in 2022 and silver in 2023. His 49.77 personal best is less than a quarter second behind the leader heading into this season. 



Riley Blay - West Nodaway

Next to Buggs-Tipton, West Nodaway's Riley Blay has been one of the most dominant athletes in the Class of 2024 in their respective event group. This spring, Blay will be looking to put an exclamation mark on an already incredible cross country and track career. 

Blay has earned 8 state medals in his first 3 seasons, 5 of them being golds. He was a 3-time champion in 2022 where he pulled off an impressive distance treble. In 2023, he earned golds in the 1600 and 3200, but fell just short to one of the state's best 800 meter runners to be profiled later. It does not appear that the Northwest Missouri product and Northwest Missouri State commit wants to lose again this May as he has already posted marks indoor and outdoor of 2:00.87 (800), 4:24.32 (Mile), 8:37.42 (3K), and 9:21.40 (3200). He headed into this season with personal bests of 2:00.03, 4:25.06, and 9:21.90 in the 800, 1600, and 3200. 

After winning his third straight state title in cross country this fall, watch for Blay to set the track ablaze this spring en route to another run at a Class 1 distance treble.


Cade Nold - Dora

The only person to beat Riley Blay at a MSHSAA State Championship since the 2021 outdoor season is Dora's Cade Nold. The sophomore capped off a stellar second season with a decisive victory in the 800 meter run last spring, running 1:57.73 to win by just under 3 seconds. 

Nold is not only Class 1's top returner in the half mile by a wide margin, he is also the top returner in the 400 meter dash with a personal best of 49.63. His 400/800 double last spring turned many heads and, after finishing 3rd at the cross country state meet this fall, Nold has put himself among Class 1's best overall athletes to watch heading into the 2024 season.


Justus Yates - Hermitage

Hermitage senior Justus Yates comes into his final track and field season looking to lead his Hornets team to yet another state trophy in 2024. He is the second ranked returner in the 1600 with a 4:32.19 personal best which helped him earn 3rd at last year's state meet. He is 6th in the 800 with a 2:03.63 personal best. Yates is no stranger to the limelight as he has been a part of one state trophy track and field team (last year's co-champions) and the back-to-back-to-back state champions in cross country. He wasn't able to improve upon his 16:26.77 5k best this fall, but did still finish 11th at the Class 1 state meet this fall. 


Michael Parrigon - McAuley Catholic

There is a massive glob of guys who will surely make an impact this spring in the distance events, guys like Shaun Luecke, Bennett Mantooth, Keaton Zembles, and Caleb Phillips, among others. Michael Parrigon appears to be one to watch this spring to have a significant breakout and challenge the top of the returner rankings in 2024. 

Parrigon clipped off a 16:20.36 personal best 5k at this fall's Missouri Southern Stampede, 3rd among Class 1 cross country athletes and 2nd among guys who are still in Class 1 for this track season. He finished 4th at the state meet and should head into the spring ready to improve upon his 2:04.37 and 4:43.18 personal bests. He has already improved to 10:45.97 in the 3200 and is 0.18 seconds off the 800 mark. Watch for Parrigon to make a big leap forward this season.



Talan Holt - Princeton and Zane Becker - Rich Hill

Princeton's Talan Holt is among the top high jumpers in the entire state, regardless of class, with a mark that currently dominates the returner rankings. 

Holt capped off a 2023 season in which he lost only once in 11 tries with a 1.98m (6-6) leap for his second straight state gold. This tied his personal best from earlier in the season and was his fifth mark over 1.9 meters on the season. He cleared 1.95m (6-4.75) this winter, showing that he is in strong form already heading into the season as he seeks out a three-peat in the high jump.

Rich Hill's Zane Becker will be looking to thwart that three-peat effort this spring as he heads into the season with a 1.98m (6-6) personal best of his own. He was the runner-up to Holt in 2023 after clearing 1.96m at the state meet, but heads into the season in a tie based on best marks. But even if he can't clear Holt in the high jump, Becker still has strong marks in the long jump and triple jump and has all-state medals to his name in both. He is the second best long jumper in Class 1 heading into the season with a 6.57m (21-6.75) personal best and tied for 6th among triple jumpers with a 12.7m (41-8) mark.


Kade Wright - St. Elizabeth

Class 1's top pole vaulter is St. Elizabeth's Kade Wright and, aside from Rich Hill's Daylan Black, it is not particularly close. 

Wright would compete in all classes for state hardware, but is considered the heavy favorite to pull in a second straight gold in Class 1 in 2024. Last season, he cleared 4 meters 5 times, going undefeated in 10 tries en route to a Class 1 state gold. In fact, Wright has not lost since 2021, even though he was notably absent from the state series in 2022. His personal best of 4.34m (14-2.75) is already in danger after he cleared 4.27m (14-0.25) earlier this season. Not to be outdone, he is also 7th ranked among discus returners with a 40.2m (131-10.75) best there.


Colby Jenkins - Brunswick

Brunswick's Colby Jenkins lands a spot on our list as the only Class 1 athlete ranked among the top 4 returners in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump. He heads into the season with personal best marks of 1.9m (6-2.75) in the high jump, 6.23m (20-5.25) in the long jump, and 13.13m (43-1) in the triple jump. He was all-state in only the triple jump last season, but should be considered a contender in all three in his junior campaign. Jenkins has already improved is long jump mark to 6.37m (20-10.75) in the early goings this year.



Tucker Singer - Tina-Avalon

Tina-Avalon's Tucker Singer comes into the 2024 season as not only Class 1's top shot putter, but one of the top shot putters in the entire country. 

His 18.29m (60-0.25) personal best is MO No. 2 among 2024 returners and US No. 28. He was undefeated in the event last season except for a loss to Schuyler County phenom Hayden Dixon at the Bill Summa Invite and has only lost twice in 22 tries in the last 2 years. The two-time state champion is the heavy favorite for the win once again in 2024 as he is 10 feet clear of his brother, the second-ranked returner, and has already matched the mark which earned him last year's gold with a 17.91m (58-9) at the Carrollton Early Bird. 

Tucker was also 8th in the javelin last year and is ranked 4th in the discus. Another big season for the senior could help his team climb all the way up to a podium finish in 2024.


Maverick Gentry - Polo

The 2024 season is young and the reigning state champion in the discus has already improved upon his massive gap between himself and the next best returner. His 2023 personal best was a 47.24m (155-0) that came at the state meet and earned him his tenth win in eleven tries. Gentry has already heaved the disc 48.36m (158-10) and appears comfortable already.

The javelin mark he has posted was not as good as last year's 50.11m (164-5), but the season is still young. The 50.11m mark is the only one over 50 meters in all of Class 1 and should put him in a good position to contend for the win in 2024 after finishing 5th in 2023. 


Tanner Singer - Tina-Avalon

The second of the strong Singer trio, Tanner heads into the season ranked 2nd among shot put returners with the only other mark over 50 feet besides his brother's. His 15.32m (50-3.25) is two and a half feet clear of the next closest returner and has him in the driver's seat to pick up a silver medal in the event this year after finishing 4th last year. The shot put specialist will be looking to make the kind of jump his older brother did a year prior and become similarly nationally ranked heading into his own senior campaign in 2025.


Virgil McGinnis - Humansville

Humansville's Virgil McGinnis is the second best returner in the javelin and third best among shot putters. He owns personal bests of 49.83m (163-5.75) in the javelin and 14.59m (47-10.5) in the shot put. He is the best shot putter in the state not named Singer and finished 8th in Class 1 last May. The junior was also 3rd in the javelin and now has medals in both events in back-to-back years. He will be looking to make it six medals this spring and should challenge for the win in javelin, if not both.


Nate Triplett - Brashear

The third-ranked returner in Class 1 in the discus is Brashear's Nate Triplett. With a lifetime best heave of 41.46m (136-0.25), Triplett will challenge for state gold in the event, even after finishing 14th in 2023. His shot put best may be even better as it sits fourth among returners at 14.25m (46-9). That personal best came at both the Sectional and State meets and is over a full meter his next closest throw in the event. He peaked at the right time last year in the shot put and should be in the mix of contenders this spring.

Incoming Freshmen to Watch

Hunter Lowrey - Princeton and Bo Collins - Worth County

Two throwers appear ready to make a name for themselves in 2024 after success as middle schoolers. 

Princeton's Hunter Lowrey can have a significant impact on the team rankings should he be able to sneak on to the podium in either shot put and/or discus. With the lighter implements, Lowrey threw 15.03m (49-3.75) and 46.62m (151-5.75) in the shot put and discus, respectively. If the shot put mark would hold up, he would be 3rd among returners there. In the discus, He would be 2nd, one of only two guys who have cleared 140 or 150 feet in the last 12 months. 

Worth County's Bo Collins also got it done with the smaller and lighter implement, throwing a respectable 13.8m (45-3.25) and 51.96m (170-5.75) in the discus. He will absolutely be a game changer for his squad as he continues to progress in his high school career.


Justin Weathers - Hermitage

Hermitage may have landed the piece that helps them win the Class 1 team race outright in 2024, and it is freshman Justin Weathers. 

Weathers heads into his first high school season with impressive marks in the high jump, in particular. In the high jump, his 1.83m (6-0.25) personal best already puts him among the top returners heading into the season. In the triple jump, he has cleared 11.43m (37-5.5) and, while it won't clear any school or national records on its own, it should be a great building block. If Weathers can be a point-scoring addition for Hermitage, they will count the score this spring.


Top Teams


Hermitage has enjoyed an impressive run in both cross county and track and field the last three years as they have earned 4 state championships in that time span - 3 in cross country and a share of the win in track and field last spring. The Hornets look strong once again in 2024 and should be considered a massive contender for another team title.

Their distance squad is strong, as usual, coming off another dominant cross country season. Justus Yates, Bennett Mantooth, and DeJuan Chambers lead the way, though the latter two are also successful jumpers and hurdlers. Mantooth is ranked 3rd in the 3200 meter run, but also 8th in the 110m hurdles, 3rd in the 300m hurdles, and 6th in the high jump. Chambers was 12th at the Class 1 State Cross Country meet this fall, but heads into the 2024 track and field season with the 5th ranked 400 meter dash in Class 1. 

With the addition of freshman Justin Weathers, Coach Sabala's squad appears ready to win it all outright in 2024. 


Green City

Green City hits our team preview by virtue of Darius Asher Buggs-Tipton. He has won 4 events at state in the past and helped his team pick up a state title in 2021 and 3rd place finish in 2022. It seems 2023 may have been a "down year" relative to the other two, but expect the Wichita State to pick it up once again this spring and help the Gophers climb on to the podium again. He is ranked 1st in Class 1 in the 110 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles, and long jump, and is ranked 3rd in the 100 meter dash, accounting for 36 points on his own if that holds true. The threshold last year was 32.


Mound City

Mound City heads into the 2024 season as a contender for state hardware with a good balance of talent at distance, jumps, and in the hurdles events. 

August Meadows and Chauncey Brown are a solid hurdle duo as they come in ranked 4th and 5th in the 110m hurdles, respectively, and Meadows is 4th in the 300m hurdles. Keaton Zembles has been a consistent force for them in the distance events with 2:02.33 and 4:33.37 personal bests in the 800 and 1600, good enough for medals at state last spring and 3rd overall rankings in both heading into 2024. Brown is ranked 8th among triple jump returners and they have an 11-0 pole vaulter in Ernest Peters. At the moment, 11-0 gets the job done at the state meet, but Peters should continue to climb in 2024. 

Mound City should compile points in several different areas to help power their team all the way to the state podium.



Three Singers are ready to push the Tina-Avalon Dragons to the top of the Class 1 state rankings. Those Singers are not Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Stevie Wonder, no, they are Tucker, Tanner, and Tyler Singer

You don't often see a team that is carried by their throws crew as much as this one is, but with a projected 32 points in the three throws events, Tina-Avalon could find themselves on the podium with just these three guys. Tucker leads the way with a massive personal best in the shot put, nearly 10 feet ahead of his brother Tanner in 2nd, 18.29m (60-0.25). Tanner comes in at 15.32m (50-3.25), sealing 18 points in that event for the team. Tucker also comes in with the 5th ranked javelin throw (47.17m, 154-9) and 4th ranked discus throw (41.35m, 135-8). Tyler pushes points for the team with a 41.15m (134-6) personal best, but has already thrown 44.15m (144-10.25) this season. 

If Tina-Avalon can pick up a point or two from rising sophomore Tanner Briddle in the sprints, then there is a real shot that Tina-Avalon not only earns a trophy, but wins it all this spring.


Dark Horse Team to Watch

Rich Hill

Rich Hill is on the outside looking in when examining rankings based on 2023 marks, and probably is a little too high on the initial rankings lists to be considered a "dark horse," but they are certainly a team to watch, nevertheless. 

Zane Becker and Daylan Black lead the way in the jumps events, primarily. The duo could combine for 27 points in the four jumps as they are ranked second in three of them. Black was mentioned with Kade Wright in the pole vault preview, but he heads into the season with a 4m (13-1.5) personal best that he has already matched in 2024. A few more points from Brayden Chandler in the distance events could very well push them over the top and into a podium spot once again.