Ten Marceline, nine Brookfield qualifiers for sectional track, field meet

BHS’ Sharp won three district races, MHS’ Bruner, Kussman, relay group one each

Paul Sturm
Linn County Leader
Brookfield High School junior distance-running whiz Alexandra “Alex” Sharp, seen, at left, winning one of her races as she laps slower runners during the Clarence Cannon Conference Relays meet May 4, earned the CCC’s “Female Athlete of the Year” award by being the top points scorer in the girls’ division of the meet at Kahoka. Most often, a sprinter/jumper who counts more on explosive athleticism and less on endurance earns such awards, but Sharp – stepping out of her “comfort zone” a bit to also compete in the relatively-short 400-meters at the league meet – earned 33 points by winning the 3,200 in 11:47 and 1,600 in 5:25, placing fourth in the 400 in 1:04, and finally, despite not feeling well, according to her father, being second in the 800 in 2:27. She will receive a plaque symbolizing her achievement, which she followed up last Saturday by sweeping the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 in the Class 2 District 4 meet. ( PHOTO SUPPLIED / RONNIE SHARP )

MONROE CITY — Marceline advanced 10 entries – nine of them girls’ – and Brookfield nine – six girls’ and three boys’ – from last Saturday’s Class 2 District 4 high school track-and-field meet to this coming Saturday’s state-qualifying sectional meet at the same site.

Leading the Linn County schools’ contingent back to Monroe City will be 3-times 2021 district champion Alexandra “Alex” Sharp of Brookfield, who – as anticipated – was winner of the 3,200-, 1,600-, and 800-meters runs.

Marceline didn’t have any multiple-event winners, but juniors Sarah Kussman and Ramzee Bruner did claim the 100-meters high hurdles and high jump, respectively, and the quartet of Lucy Moseley, Gracey Jordan, Cassi Rodgers, and Payton Weese claimed first place in the 800-meters relay.

Neither Brookfield nor Marceline had a boys’ event winner.

Joining the aforementioned half-dozen MHS Lady Tigers at sectional will be Aislinn Schick in the high jump, in which she finished third.

Kussman also advanced in  pole vault and Bruner in the triple jump, as well as each being on the qualifying 1,600 relay group with Moseley and Jordan.

The victorious 800 relay quartet also took second place in the 400 relay to move on and Weese qualified individually in the 300-meters low hurdles.

The only Tiger to extend his season was Caleb Stallo, with a third-place finish in the 110-meters high hurdles.

Aside from Sharp, BHS will have Zoey Chrisman, Tyler Polley, Dawson Baker, and both of its 400-meters relay squads – Owen Boley, Jadan Abongo, Trace Alexander, and Baker for the Bulldogs and Avery thompson, Rylan Head, Darcy Izard, and Ella Daugherity for the girls – at sectional.

Polley was third-place finisher in the 800, Chrisman fourth in both the shot put and discus throw, and Baker fourth in the javelin throw. The girls’ relay group was third and the boys’ nabbed the fourth and final sectional berth from its race.

Next Saturday, competitors who finish in the top four of an event will qualify for the Friday, May 21, Class 2 state meet.

As a continued COVID-19 mitigation precaution, the Missouri State High School Activities Association this year will conduct each of the five classifications’ state meets on separate days (as it did for wrestling) to minimize the number of people on site at the Dennis and Roberta Licklider Track Complex at Jefferson City High School’s Adkins Stadium on any given day.

As a consequence of the single-day format, all sprint-length races (100- through 400-meters, including both hurdles races) will be run in two sections against the clock, rather than (under the 2-days format) having preliminary heats on the first day to cut the field in half to eight and then a single, finals race on the second day.

Distance races (800, 1,600, 3,200) and field events are unaffected by the change to one day, in terms of already being finals-only events. However, competitors in more than one of those events will not have their exertion potentially spread across two days, as it can be under the 2-days format.

Normally, for instance, the shot put and discus, which often have participants qualified for both, are conducted on separate days, the same as with the distance (long and triple) jumps.

Additionally, the 2-day schedule always splits up the three longest individual races with the 3,200 on one day and the 800 and 1,600 the other, easing the load of runners who might be in both the 3,200 and one of the other two or all three.

This year, however, at state, the competitors will have to deal with the same stamina issues with which they have dealt throughout the regular season and pre-state postseason meets.

.

Team-wise at this past weekend’s Class 2 District 4 meet, Marceline’s eight top-3 girls’ finishes helped lift the Lady Tigers to third place in the team standings with 88-1/2 points. Clark County was champion with 113-3/4, barely ahead of Palmyra’s 112. The boys’ champ, as expected, was Monroe City with Brookfield eighth and Marceline 12th of 14.

In terms of specific performances by Marceline and Brookfield track-and-field athletes at district, Sharp ran a 2:23.39 in the 800, a 5:38.91 in the 1,600, and a 12:00 flat in the 3,200 to win each race.

In the high jump, Bruner was best with a height of 5’3-1/4” (1.61 meters), while Kussman won the high hurdles in 17.09 seconds, and the MHS 800 relay broke the electronic tape in 1:52.52.

Bruner’s second place in the triple jump came at a distance of 33’2-1/2” (10.12m) and the 400 relay group’s runnerup clocking was 53.24 seconds.

Weese’s third in the low hurdles was in 49.36 and Stallo’s in the highs was 17.08. Marceline’s Schick cleared 4’9” (1.45m) in the high jump and Kussman topping out at 9’8” (2.95m) in the pole vault for third. Brookfield’s Polley finished third in the 800 in 2:06.86. The Lady Bulldogs’ 400 relay time, close behind Marceline, was 53.78.

Chrisman tossed the shot 33’10-1/4” (10.32m) and the discus 93’9” (28.59m) for her pair of fourth places. Baker fired the javelin 129’ (39.32m) to beat out MHS’ Connor Ratliff by 10 inches for the fourth and final sectional berth in that field event, while the BHS 400 relay posted a 47.11 seconds time.

The county’s Class 2 schools had a very limited number of near-misses, as far as moving on.

In addition to Ratliff, Marceline had a fifth place from Chloee Dorrell in the pole vault. Brookfield fifths were by Boley in the 400 and in the 1,600-meters relay.