FESTUS - The Sikeston Bulldogs track and field team had a standout day at the Class 3, Sectional 1 meet in Festus on Saturday.
Of a possible 12 events that Sikeston's boys competed in, the Bulldogs sent nine to the Class 3 state meet held in Jefferson City on Friday and Saturday. The Bulldogs also sent one girl to the state meet.
"We're very pleased with our performance on Saturday. I thought our kids stepped up and had about as good a showing as we could have. We had 12 up there and nine of them got out. And the nine we got out looks like they have a chance of scoring at the state meet. Our sectional was very tough. We had some pretty good times and performances under pressure conditions. You always have a few disappointments, but we pretty much had positives all day."
The Bulldogs had two first place finishes. The 4 x 200 meter relay team, consisting of Tori Rose, Devonte Larry, Thomas Elery and Felante Larry took first with a time of 1:30.45.
Also, Michael Colon took first place in the triple jump with a leap of 45-feet, 8 1/2 inches. He scratched by an inch on a leap of 46'7".
Sikeston's 4 x 100 meter relay team of Rose, Colon, Elery and F. Larry took second place with a time of 43.51, just getting beat at the tape by Vashon.
"The 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 have been tough all year," said Dement. "They will have some of the state's better times. We think we're peaking at the right time. The kids seem to be maintaining their speed and they're increasing."
A couple surprises on the day were by Felante Larry in the long jump and Quinton Lamb in the 400 meters. Larry, seeded eighth, took second place with a leap of 21'9.75". Lamb, seeded seventh, took fourth with a time of 50.95.
"We're real pleased with our jumping events," said Dement. "Mike Colon and Felante Larry had banner days. From what I can tell, Mike's triple jump is the best in the state. Probably the biggest surprise of the day was Quinton Lamb. He's made some drastic improvements."
Sophomore Tyler Woodson qualified for the state meet in the 110 meter high hurdles with a time of 15.62 to take fourth.
Freshman Clay Lincoln took second in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:30.99.
Senior Ryan Gibson placed fourth in the pole vault with a leap of 12'0" to qualify. It will be a return trip for Gibson after qualifying as a sophomore.
Devonte Larry took second in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 40.30.
"Devonte Larry continues to have a good spring," said Dement. "Clay Lincoln is peaking at the right time and he's handling things well for a freshman."
On the girls side, Paige Kaiser qualified for the state meet in the pole vault with a third place leap of 9'0", a personal record for her.
"Paige PR'd in the pole vault," said Dement. "Nine feet is her best, so she's going to get a trip out of the deal."
Sikeston athletes just missing the cut for the state meet were Andy Croxford (shot put), Joe Johnson (discus), Rachael Vining (long jump) and the 4 x 400 meter relay team which got nipped at the tape by Soldan. Vining missed qualifying in the long jump by four inches.
All events were electronically timed in the sectional meet.
Other area athletes that qualified for the state meet were New Madrid County Central's 4 x 100 meter relay team, NMCC's Jeffery McFarland in the 200 meter dash (3rd - 22.33), NMCC's Michael Malone in the long jump (1st - 22'2") and the triple jump (3rd - 43'10").
On the girls side, Dexter's Hannah Burleson qualified in the 100 meter dash with a second place time of 12.74.
She also ran legs on the qualifying 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meter relay teams.
They took second in the 4 x 100 relay at 50.50 and took fourth in the 4 x 400 relay at 4:13.84.
But it was bittersweet for Burleson. Considered one of the favorites in the long jump, she scratched on all four attempts.
Also qualifying for the state meet was NMCC's girls 4 x 200 meter relay team with a second place time of 1:49.82.