By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
CARTHAGE, Mo. —
Eleven athletes in seven events will represent Carthage at the MSHSAA Track and Field Championships on Friday and Saturday at Jefferson City.
The number of events Carthage will compete in is the most since the Tigers have been in Class 4, said head coach Andy Youngworth.
“We qualified in seven events when we were Class 3, so it ties the record,” he said. “Obviously, the level of competition in Class 4 is a little tougher.”
Carthage is positioned to possibly win some medals, especially in the field events. E.J. Morgan is the No. 3 seed in the triple jump at 46 feet, 8.5 inches and teammate Kennan Harrison is seeded eighth. Curtis Goldmon of Rockhurst is at the top of the list at 47-0.25.
Morgan is seeded ninth in the long jump. The top nine in the long jump and triple jump qualify for the finals.
Bryan Burns, a Missouri Southern recruit, is the No. 7 seed in the discus. He placed second last year with a toss of 179-1. Josh McDonald of Timberland returns to defend his state championship.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Burns said. “Hopefully, I’ll do a little better than last year. Toward this part of the season, it’s more mental and a little tweaking here and there.
“I just have to do what I did to get to this point,” he said. “Last year, I was pretty nervous going in. This year, I’ve already seen most of the guys I’m competing against.”
Carthage’s presence on the track is led by Cameron Priester, who is seeded 14th in the 100 meters. He will run on the Tigers’ 4x100 relay, seeded 15th, along with Harrison, Tyler Ralston and Jordan Dangerfield.
Longer-distance runners Hunter Blount, Carter Hensley, Ben Southwick and Dawson Allmoslecher will compete in the 4x800 relay, seeded 13th. Matt Vantrease is the alternate.
“We’re working to the end,” Southwick said. “This is our last race together, so we have to make it count.
“We want to win a medal. We’ve gotten faster every race, so that’s what we’re working toward.”
As a spring season littered with weather-related delays and cancellations approaches the end, there is a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms Saturday in Jefferson City.
“We had three varsity meets cancelled, so it was a tough season early on,” Youngworth said. “When it was cold, we ran. When it was rainy, we ran.
“But we had some zero days when there was thunder and lightning which I really think kept us fresh,” he said. “We finished higher at the sectional than we were in the district, which is unusual.”
In the girls’ competition, Carthage will be represented by Emily Goeken, the No. 10 seed in the discus.
“We had some great (girls) performances at sectionals, but in the events we were in, they were just better,” Youngworth said.