With the season on the line, the Hannibal track and field teams advanced a slew of standouts through the Class 4 District 4 championships Saturday at Columbia Battle.
With the season on the line, the Hannibal track and field teams advanced a slew of standouts through the Class 4 District 4 meet Saturday at Battle High School in Columbia.
The Hannibal squads combined to send athletes in 15 events to the Class 4 sectional in Mexico this coming weekend. Individuals and relays that placed in the top four kept their state hopes alive.
The Pirate boys finished fourth in the district with 79 team points, trailing champion Parkway North (124), runner-up Mexico (89) and third-place Liberty-Wentzville (84).
The Lady Pirate girls placed sixth with 70 team points, while Fort Zumwalt East won the title with 127.
"All in all, we were extremely proud of our performances," Hannibal coach Jeff Gschwender said. "Even the ones that didn't qualify through really stepped up and competed well. A lot of personal records and season bests. They came out and focused, competed and got after it."
For the second straight season, Shamar Griffith was district champion in the long jump and triple jump. The senior recorded a distance of 21 feet, two inches in the long jump and set a personal record of 45 feet, 8 1/2 inches in the triple jump.
Siblings Ayden and Claudia Nichols continued to shine in distance running events. Ayden Nichols won the boys 1,600 meters in 4:33.56 and placed fourth in the 3,200 meters with a time of 10:16.94. Claudia Nichols earned first place in both girls races, posting a personal record of 5:32.74 in the 1,600 and 12:41.64 in the 3,200.
Kaitlyn Griffen won the district title in the girls high jump by clearing a new personal best of 4 feet, 11 inches and also placed fourth in the pole vault at 9 feet, six inches. Senior teammate Taylor Vandelicht finished third in the pole vault at 9 feet, nine inches.
Jeremiah Weathers raced to second place in the boys 100 meter dash with a personal record time of 11.25 seconds, while Will Sewell posted a third-place finish in the 200 meter dash in 23.23. Mika Taganeca placed fourth in boys shot put with a throw of 43 feet, six inches.
Emily Bramblett took third place in girls shot put at 34 feet, two inches, and Autumn Bigsby finished fourth in the girls 400 meter dash in 1:04.04.
The Lady Pirates 4x800 meter relay team of Keri Bareis, Elle Hudelson, Alayna Pipkin and Bigsby earned second place with a time of 10:18.12.
The Pirates 4x100 meter relay squad of Griffith, Sewell, Weathers and Billy Smashey took runner-up honors in 43.61 seconds.
Several Hannibal athletes fell just short of advancing despite setting personal records during the meet.
Diamond Fernando placed seventh in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 17.20 seconds. Andrew Jones set a PR in the 300 meter hurdles. He posted a seventh-place finish 43.68 seconds. Danny Colborn, meanwhile, set a personal best of 41 feet, 8 1/2 inches to take seventh in the triple jump.
Griffith nearly missed advancing in the 100 meter dash. He finished fifth in 11.39 seconds, crossing five-hundredths of a second from a qualifying time.
Keano Wallis, Sha-vontrez Bell, Malik Reyes and Fernando teamed up for seventh in the boys 4x400 relay. Andrew Vaia, Carter Munch, Evan Flashpohler and Nathan Schutte finished eighth the 4x800 relay, while Fernando, Sewell, Smashey and Weathers earned sixth in the 4x200 event.
Other top finishes for the Hannibal girls included Pipkin (fifth in 800 meters), Ais'Linn Dixon (seventh in triple jump), Molly Broughton (eighth in triple jump), Breanna Gonzales (eighth in discus) and Elaijah Mayfield (eighth in 200 meter dash).
Chasity Davis, Dixon, Mayfield and Josie Zeiger finished eighth in the girls 4x100 meter relay.
"Some stuff got through that we were expecting," Gschwender said. "Some stuff got through that we weren't expecting. Overall, we thought the kids competed very well and did a lot of our best performances, which is what we expect here at the end of the year.
"We've got to make sure we stay focused on performing well and come out and do what we've got to do next week to make it to state."