There will be a battle for bragging rights Wednesday night during the first annual Illinois-Missouri Senior All-Star Track Meet at Quincy High School.
There will be a battle for bragging rights Wednesday night during the Illinois-Missouri Senior All-Star Track Meet at Quincy High School.
Graduated standouts representing more than 20 high schools are lined up to compete in the first annual event dreamed up by Palmyra coach Nick Koetters and Liberty coach Jared Schmidt.
“We just wanted the chance to showcase our kids for one last meet before they go off to college,” Koetters said. “Some of them are doing track in college, but for the most part, most of them aren't.”
The special meet begins with field events at 6 p.m. and continues with track events that kick off an hour later. Admission is $5 for adults, while kids six and under are free. All proceeds will be donated to an area chapter of the Special Olympics.
The event won't be your average track meet, according to Koetters. The organizers plan for a fast-paced, fan-friendly meet that pits athletes from each state against each other.
The meet will exclude a couple regular events and combine other competitions. The shot put and discus will be jointed into one free-flowing competition, as will the long and triple jumps.
“You can watch both of them without going back and forth,” Koetters said.
There won't be 300 meter hurdles or a 3,200 meters race. Same goes for the 4x800 and 4x200 relays. The remaining relays — 4x100 and 4x400 — will be run with members from different schools teaming together.
“That's one of the unique, fun things we're going for,” Koetters said of the relays. “Take four fast kids from different schools and put them on a relay team and see what they can do together.”
Matt McClelland, coach at Quincy High School, was instrumental in the planning as his school offered its facilities for the event.
“We had Quincy in the mix all along,” he said. “At first they didn't think they would be able to (host), but then it ended up they were able to. It's going to work out pretty nicely.”
Working with Koetters to lead the Missouri team is Monroe City coach Laura Mulvaney and Clark County coach Nicole Harper.
Schmidt and McClelland lead the charge for the Illinois squad.
“The first year, we're trying to figure out what the heck goes on with it,” Koetters said. “We've already figured out what to do better next year, what to ask for better, what to plan ahead better. That's why Jared and I are in charge, so we can be the guinea pigs for it.”