The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

May 8, 2012

Lamar rides its strengths to district track title

Lamar added to its trophy collection Saturday without leaving home.

The Tigers won the Class 2, District 5 track and field championship at Lamar by having multiple top-four finishers in the events where the Tigers are strongest.

Sam Bailey, Ben Bailey and Austin Boice all qualified for the sectional meet in the discus. “All three have thrown 149 feet, so that’s obviously a strength of ours,” said head coach Rodney Baldridge. “Our 4x800 ran really well. They cut their time by 11 seconds.”

The relay team of Josh Garfield, Zachary Ray, Landon Compton and Drew Buckner won in 8 minutes, 33.08 seconds, eight seconds faster than second-place College Heights.

The 4x100 relay unit of Jared Beshore, Zakk Yokley, Nolan Jeffries and Cade Payne won in 43.86 seconds and missed tying the school record by one one-hundredth of a second.

“They were happy with their time but disappointed they didn’t break the record,” Baldridge said. “I believe it was set in the early 1990s.”

Lamar also won the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Beshore, Brett McDonald, Yokley and Payne ran on the 4x200, and Payne, Garfield, Nick Jeffries and Nolan Jeffries ran on the 4x400.

Nick Jeffries broke his own school record in the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.65 seconds and won the 110 hurdles in 15.28 seconds. “He has been within three hundredths of a second in the high hurdles,” Baldridge said. “Our sectional is tough in the hurdles. Strafford and Liberty (Mountain View) both placed in the hurdles at state last year.”

Drew Buckner was second in the 1600, about five seconds behind Ryan Beaver of College Heights, who won in 4:39.63. Buckner also placed second in the 800.

The district championship in track was Lamar’s first since 2007, Baldridge said.

Looking ahead to the sectional meet Saturday at Fair Grove, Baldridge said he expects to see some familiar faces from Liberty (Mountain View). Lamar defeated the Eagles in the Class 2 football quarterfinals each of the last two seasons.

“Our times are pretty good, but it’s hard to say,” Baldridge said. “Liberty (Mountain View) won the other district, so I’m sure they’ll be our stiffest competition.”

Class 1

In the District 4 meet at Vienna, Bubba Galvan led Wheaton to third place in the team standings and won the long jump, triple jump, 110-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles.

Darrell Burns of Wheaton won the high jump and teammate Justin Walker was third, while Kyle Robbins was second in the discus. Wheaton’s 4x400 relay team was third and the 4x200 relay was fourth.

In the girls’ division, Everton’s Kala Svendsen won the 100 and Linsey Denney was fourth in the triple jump. Everton’s 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams placed third.

Samantha Etzler of Wheaton was fourth in the 800.

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