Monroe City wins boys district track meet

Monroe City senior Connor Pfaff clears the bar in the pole vault during the Class 2 District 4 track and field meet on Saturday morning in Monroe City, Mo.

MONROE CITY, Mo. -- Monroe City extended its streak of district track and field titles in the Class 2 District 4 boys meet on Saturday at Lankford Field in Monroe City.

Monroe City boys track head coach David Kirby said he was proud of how his team competed against tough competition from 13 other schools.

"This is the eighth year in a row we've won districts," Kirby said. "Obviously, last year we didn't compete. The kids have busted their butts and done a really good (job) today."

Monroe City came away with a win the 4X400-meter relay with a team of Joshua Talton, Jaylyn Countryman, Kabott Harlan and Josiah Talton. Monroe City finished with a time of 3:35.06.

Palmyra was right behind Monroe City in the 4X400-meter relay, placing second with a time of 3:35.06. Palmyra's 4X400-meter relay team consisted of Hayes Miller, Gideon Bogue, Carson Hicks and Abe Haerr.

"Monroe is really good at the (relays)," said Palmyra boys track head coach Shannon Haerr. "We are running with them and that's really where we want to be right now. Hopefully at some point we can close the gap, but we were just pleased with how they ran today."

Monroe City narrowly missed wins in the 4X100-meter and 4X200-meter relays.

In the 4X100-meter relay, just a split-second separated the top-three teams with Highland winning with a time of 45.48, Putnam County placing second at 45.65 and Monroe City placing third at 45.68. Highland also edged out Monroe City in the 4X200-meter relay, with the Cougars placing first at 1:31.73 and the Panthers placing second at 1:33.07.

"Highland's sprint relays are phenomenal and they really push us to do better," Kirby said. "So, I am extremely proud about the way the kids have performed today, especially on a colder day."

Monroe City also finished third in the 4X800-meter relay, sending all four relay teams to the sectional meet.

Mark Twain will send two relay teams to the sectionals, with both the 4X400-meter and 4X800-meter relays teams placing fourth.

The Tiger 4X400-meter relay team consisted of Chase Lake, Jaxen Lake, Will Owen and Lukas McLeod. The Tiger 4X800-meter relay team consisted of Brandon Black, Chase Lake, McLeod and Owen.

"They are a pretty competitive group," said Mark Twain boys track head coach Matt Boswell. "I know they wanted first or second today, but I'm glad they are moving on to sectionals."

Monroe City has two athletes going to sectionals in the throwing events after Joshua Talton placed fourth in the discus and Connor Pfaff placed third in the javelin. Pfaff also placed second in the pole vault to qualify for sectionals.

Waylon DeGrave placed third in the long jump and Josiah Talton placed second in the triple jump to qualify for the sectional meet.

Monroe City qualified for sectionals in eight track events. Among those with sectional-qualifying performances included Cameron Jones placing fourth in the 100-meter dash, Josiah Talton placing second in the 200-meter dash, Elmer Martinez placing fourth in the 200-meter dash, Harlan placing fourth in the 800-meter run and second in the 1,600-meter run, Logan Lucas placing winning the 3,200-meter run and fourth in the 1,600-meter run, Kaleb Griffin placing third in the 3,200-meter run and Aaron Plumb placing fourth in the 110-meter hurdles.

Miller won the 400-meter dash, qualified for sectionals in the 100-meter dash after placing third and was part of Palmyra's second-place 4X400-meter relay team.

Haerr won both the 800-meter run and the 1,600-meter run. He qualified for a third sectional individual event after placing third in the high jump and will also be part of the 4X400-meter relay team going to sectionals.

Palmyra senior Weston King qualified for sectionals in two events after placing second in discus and third in shot put.

Hicks finished second in the high jump to qualify for sectionals, rounding out Palmyra's eight individual sectional berths.

"We think they will advance to state, but you just never know," Haerr said. "That's why we run the races. They got to compete on that given day, no matter what the weather is. We just hope for a good showing out at sectionals."

Just missing out for Palmyra were Caleb Juette and Connor Bross, who finished fifth and sixth in the 3,200-meter run.

Mark Twain had two individuals qualify for the sectional meet with Owen placing second in the 800-meter run and McLeod placing third in the 400-meter dash.

Mark Twain seniors Dawson Leake and Carter Hummel concluded their high school careers on Saturday in the javelin. Leake placed eighth in the event, while Hummel placed 10th and had previously set the school record in javelin this year.

"I've seen a lot of growth, both physically and mentally," Boswell said. "It's a pretty young team. We are graduating just those two javelin throwers. We just have a lot of young guys who haven't competed a lot (due to missing last season) and who haven't ran in these meets a lot. The growth that they have shown ... has been enormous."

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