Mark Twain earns strong finish at Louisiana Invite

Mark Twain junior McKenzie Lathrom jumps during the Louisiana Invite on Tuesday.
Posted: Apr. 26, 2017 2:59 pm

Mark Twain throwers Dalton Hill and Miguel Mendez are peaking at the right time of year.

The pair finished 1-2 in the shot put on Tuesday at the Louisiana Invitational, where the Tigers track and field squad finished third overall with 98 team points.

Hill's best throw was 43 feet, 6 inches, while Mendez came in at 41 feet, 1 inch.

"(Both) improved and had PRs," Mark Twain coach Karl Asbury said. "They threw their farthest so far this year, so we like to see that improvement. I'm very pleased with that." 

Mark Twain, which competes in the Eastern Missouri Conference meet next Tuesday and districts next Saturday, finished behind Bowling Green (196) and Van-Far (147) in the team standings. 

Aside from winning the shot put, Hill also placed first in the discus at 122-04. 

"Right now, he's sitting in a good position that he could advance (through postseason meets)," Asbury said of Hill. "At the beginning of the season, he wasn't throwing as far as he wanted to. But we're getting there." 

Junior Devin Neff finished first in the mile (4:54.57) and 2-mile (11:28.14) races, while Brandon Hamilton took fifth in the 100 meters (12.15) and Jace Barton crossed sixth in the 400 meters (58.03). 

The Tigers 4x800 team of Neff, Barton, Andrew Ogle and Braden McLeod finished third in 9:43.64, while Hamilton teamed with Neff, Barton and McLeod to take third in the 4x400 at 4:09.27.

Owen Schmidt joined Hamilton, Nathan Davenport and Blake Curry to place third in the 4x100 in 49.63 seconds. The same group finished fourth in the 4x200 with a time of 1:44.76.

Curry finished second in the triple jump and third in the long jump, while Davenport took fifth in the long jump. Terry Monroe and Mendez rounded out the Tigers finishes with third and fifth, respectively, in the javelin. 

The Mark Twain girls earned second-place finish out of five teams with 103 team points, trailing only Bowling Green, which totaled 213. 

The Lady Tigers won four events during the competition. 

Elizabeth Branham raced to first in the 100 meters with a time of 13.83 seconds, while McKenzie Lathrom finished first in the long jump (15-01.50) and triple jump (33-07.00) and Maddy Ford raced to first in the mile (6:01.30). 

The Lady Tigers 4x800 relay team of Lathrom, Maddy Ford, Kelsey Kendall and Sylvia Astorino earned second place in 11:40.90. The same group also won the 4x400 relay in 4:51.79. 

The Lady Tigers 4x100 team placed fourth in 57.01 seconds, while the 4x200 group took third with a time of 2:01.92.

Haley Branham finished fourth in shot put, fifth in discus and sixth in javelin, while Sara Spoonhower took fourth in javelin and sixth in discus.

Lauren Williams placed fifth in the triple jump. Kelsey Lutz finished sixth in the high jump, and Alexis Ruba was sixth in the 100 hurdles.

Lenny Martin finished fifth in the 200 and sixth in the long jump, while Astorino raced to third place in the 2-mile and fifth in the mile.

Other top finishes for the Lady Tigers included Elizabeth Branham (sixth in shot put), Shelby Epperson (fifth in 100 meters), Paige Eddington (sixth in 100 meters), Kenzie Ogle (fifth in high jump), Kendall (fifth in 800 meters) and Ford (fifth in 300 meter hurdles).

"They've all been working hard on improvements," Mark Twain coach Erin Mack said. "They're making gains, which is all I can ask for. We're a week out from conference, and next Saturday at districts, that's where the real test is going to be." 

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