The Joplin Globe
High school track and field returns to Junge Field today with a new version of the Joplin Invitational.
Three of the nine teams in the field — Branson, Carthage and Ozark’s boys — are from the Central Ozark Conference Large Division. Other teams include Carl Junction, Seneca, Miami, Springfield Catholic, College Heights and Joplin. Ozark’s girls will compete at a different meet.
Field events are set for 3:45 p.m. with running events at 4:15 p.m.
“We haven’t hosted a varsity track meet in a long time,” said Joplin head coach Kasey Pliler. “I’d like to build it into a four-state challenge. We have more people coming next year who couldn’t this year because of other obligations.”
Carthage’s team will be comprised of athletes who did not qualify for the KU Relays, said head coach Andy Youngworth.
“We’re sending a team to Joplin, but we’re in Lawrence,” Youngworth said. “We normally go to Fort Scott this weekend, but with Joplin having their meet, we want to support our local area. That’s important to us.
“We would love to support that, especially when they get their new school built,” he said. “The KU Relays fits in with our broader goal of being able to compete at the next level.”