The Palmyra boys track and field team advanced 10 athletes to sectionals with a third-place overall finish at the Class 3 District 4 meet.
Brock Boulware needed an extra boost Saturday.
The Palmyra senior was not happy with the pace he ran the first lap in the 800 meters during the Class 3 District 4 championships at California High School.
Boulware used the crowd to his advantage in the final lap as he came away with a district title in the event.
“Hearing the roar of the crowd the last 100 meters while being ungodly stressed really helped push me through,” he said. "My first lap was a 63 (seconds), and that just won’t cut it at sectionals. But it’s a win and I will just need to dial it in this week in practice.”
Boulware won the event with a time of 2 minutes, 7.31 seconds — just over half a second ahead of his second-place competitor.
The win helped the Panthers to a third-place finish in the boys team standings with 95 points.
Centralia took home team honors with 131 ½ points, while Southern Boone finished three points ahead of Palmyra.
Boulware teamed up with Abe Haerr, Nick Mudd and Brett Griesbaum to win the 3,200 relay. The quartet crossed the finish line in a time of 8:34.78, which was 11 seconds faster than second place.
Boulware mentioned the win is just the first step toward their ultimate goal.
“We were very confident,” the senior said. “We just got together and said, ‘Hey, let’s just do what we have always done.’ We have had our eyes on state all year, so while winning districts is awesome, we can’t relax just yet.”
Weston King earned Palmyra’s only other first-place medal during the meet.
The freshman captured the discus title with a throw of 138 feet, 2 inches to set a new personal record.
“Weston had a great day throwing,” Palmyra coach Shannon Haerr said. “He is a powerful young man who has worked hard to get better, and it’s coming together at the right time for him.”
Jarom Alexander advanced to the sectional level in a trio of events. The junior sprinter picked up second in the 100 (11.3) and fourth in the 200 (23.29) in addition to anchoring the 400 relay to a runner-up finish with a time of 45.55.
Tucker Aeschliman, Nick Lickfield and Tristen Gottman joined Alexander on the relay as the quartet set a new personal record in the event.
“Jarom is a special athlete who works hard to get better each day,” coach Haerr stated about the relay team’s anchor. “All four of those guys have worked hard all year, and their handoffs have improved, which has been the difference in better times.”
Aeschliman notched a personal record in the 400 as he finished third with a time of 53.28.
Griesbaum and Dylan Redd rounded out the individual Panthers who advanced from the district.
Griesbaum picked up a second-place medal in the 1,600 with a time of 4:51.09, while Redd finished fourth in the pole vault. Redd cleared 12-0 and edged teammate Braxton Long for the final sectional qualifying spot as both cleared the same mark.
Senior Aaron Howser barely missed moving on as he set a new personal record in the shot put with a heave of 42-7.
Haerr mentioned he was pleased with the way his entire team performed on Saturday.
“I was really proud for the way our guys came out and competed,” the first-year head coach stated. “We finished third against some very good programs. I am happy with sending 10 different athletes on to the sectional.”
The Class 3 sectional is scheduled for Saturday.