By Michael Davison
Globe Sports Writer
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Half a point separated Lamar's boys from a team trophy at the MSHSAA Class 2 Track and Field Championships.
The Tigers finished with 261/2 points for fifth place, just behind Mark Twain's 27. That came on the heels of being runner-up by seven points at the district in Lamar.
But there is some good news, all but one of the Tigers will be back next year.
"We just have to find a pole vaulter and someone to run on the 4x400, but we'll be OK," junior Garrett Parker said. "We have a good team, but Anthony Garrett scores a lot of points for us. He's one of the fastest kids I've seen."
On the girls' side, Lamar took 15th and Pierce City 17th.
Garrett, also a junior, took home four medals - third in the 100- and 400-meters, sixth in the 200, and fifth in the 1,600 relay.
"The guys we went up against were fast," said Daniel Bell, the senior on the team.
"Now we know what we need to do next year," Sean Rhoades said.
"I've never had someone pass me on the curve like that," added Matt Obert.
Bell's quiet reaction to two medals Saturday was understandable. He tied for third in the pole vault at 13 feet, but he's gone as high as 14, which would have given him second.
Parker had his second-best throw of the season to take seventh. Steelville's Andy Oaker set the Class 2 record at 172-11.
"It was different," Parker said. "I've never competed against someone like that before."
Senior Kayla Piley just missed collecting four medals this year. She finished third in the 110 hurdles but didn't make the final in the long jump.
Crystal City's Precious Selmon finished first in both those events and the 300 hurdles, which Lamar junior Keely O'Sullivan took fifth.
"I was seeded eighth, so I could only go up," she said. "You really have to attack the hurdles and I did better today.
"Next year will be difficult without Kayla. Not only is she a great athlete, but she's a great person."
At the district, sophomore Matt Bandy showed an impressive kick to win the 1,600. On Saturday, he was too far back to catch Wright City's Larry Paul, who ran a 4:19.83 to Bandy's 4:24.05.
"I'm a little disappointed, but I couldn't run any faster," Bandy said. "I let him get away too early.
"The pace surprised me. It was more like the 800 than the 1,600."
In the 800, Bandy finished seventh.
Although she didn't know it - or expect it - but Amanda Miller's tie for fifth place in the pole vault was the best finish of the Lady Eagles of the day.
"At least I did better than last year," she said. Jenna Eck took sixth in the 100, Rachael Levingston was seventh in the 200, and the 400 and 800 relays were sixth and seventh, respectively. Kara Rosebrough took eighth in the shot put.
"I threw better last year," the exasperated Rosebrough said. "It seems eighth place likes me.
"One of these days I'll do better. I always do better at districts."From staff reports
Thomas Jefferson makes semifinals
OZARK, Mo. - The Joplin Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School boys tennis team is hoping the third time is charmed.
The Cavaliers reached the team semifinals of the MSHSAA Class 1 Championships on Saturday for the third year in a row by posting a pair of 5-2 victories.
Thomas Jefferson defeated Springfield Catholic on its courts before packing up and moving to Ozark to dispatch the Tigers.
The Cavaliers make their semifinal appearance at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Cooper Complex in Springfield. Winners meet in the afternoon for the crown.
Thomas Jefferson, in its victory against Catholic, received singles wins from Will Humphreys, Mark Silva, Joe Newman and Matthew Taylor. Humphreys and Silva then won at doubles to secure the victory.
Thomas Jefferson, hiking its dual record to 9-1, used the identical formula to stop Ozark.
Thomas Jefferson lost 5-1 to Kansas City Pembroke Hill in the final last season at Cooper. St. Louis John Burroughs stopped the Cavaliers 5-0 in 2004.
Eagles' tennis team falls in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Rock Bridge made short work of Joplin's tennis team in sectional action Saturday, stopping the Eagles 5-0.
"They were definitely ready to play today," Joplin coach Larry McGregor said. "We had a good season (15-3 in duals) and we're feeling good about that.
"We're only losing one senior (Logan Skelley), so we should be strong again next year."
The Eagles will hold their postseason banquet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the school cafeteria.
Slashers to hold baseball camp
The Joplin Slashers will host a baseball camp for boys and girls ages 6-12 May 31-June 1 at the Joplin North Fields.
Check-in time is at 9 a.m. and checkout is at noon. The cost is $25.
For more information, call Dennis Vilea at (417) 438-9826 or Scott Wright at 489-0629.
JHS to sponsor soccer clinic
A soccer clinic for boys and girls grades 1-8 will be held this week at Joplin High School between 10 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday.
Joplin head coach Eddie Miller and assistant Thomas MacQueeney, plus former varsity players, will work the clinic.
A fee of $25 can be brought to the clinic Monday.
For more information, call Miller at (417) 624-6349 or MacQueeney at 206-6362.
By Michael Davison