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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sikeston tracksters ready for state meet

Friday, May 30, 2003

(Photo)
Photo by David Jenkins, Staff
JEFFERSON CITY - The Sikeston Bulldog track and field team will send the most representatives its had in a number of years to the state track meet which starts today in Jefferson City.

While Sikeston's young girls team only has one representative in pole vaulter Paige Kaiser, its the Bulldog boys team that has had a banner year.

The boys team has placed high in several invitational meets, including a first place finish at the Meet of the South, second place finishes in the Murphysboro, Jackson and SEMO Conference meets and a third place finish in the Poplar Bluff Invitational.

To top it off, the Bulldogs successfully defended their Class 3, District 1 championship for the third straight year.

Now head coach Jerry Dement is hoping the team is ready for a big day on the biggest stage.

The boys team is sending nine different events and 11 participants.

"We always have high expectations and this year is no different," said Dement. "We're taking more events than normal, we've got nine this year which is a nice amount.

"I think there's only one other team with more events covered than we do. That's quite a large amount of events of us, especially considering the quality of the district and sectional we had to get through to get there."

At the state meet, participants are seeded based on their performance at the sectional meet. Sikeston for the most part will have some high seeds, particularly in their two relay events.

The Bulldogs' 4 x 200 meter relay is seeded second while the 4 x 100 meter relay team is seeded fourth.

Tori Rose, Devonte Larry, Thomas Elery and Felante Larry run on the 4 x 200 team. Rose, Michael Colon, Elery and F. Larry run on the 4 x 100 team.

Apollo Patterson and Brandon Williams are alternate runners for the relays.

"Our kids have set their goals high and we're going to go up there and compete to the best of our ability and see how well we can do," said Dement."

Colon is seeded first in the triple jump after his leap of 45-feet, 8.5 inches. He took second in the state last year.

Felante Larry is seeded second in the long jump at 21'9.75" behind New Madrid County Central's Michael Malone.

"I've checked them out against everybody," said Dement. "In just about every event if we do the best of our ability then we've got a chance to place in the top eight.

"Our other events are all in the top eight with the exception of one. We're hoping that every event we take up there has a chance to place. Our goal is for each kid to go up there and be all-state and finish as high as possible."

Devonte Larry's time of 40.3 in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles isn't one of the fastest, but he has run as low as 39.68 in the event this year which would put him in the top six.

Sophomore Tyler Woodson's sectional time of 15.62 in the 110 meter high hurdles was the highest of all state qualifiers, but his personal best of 14.9 on two different occasions would place him second.

Freshman Clay Lincoln ran the 1600 meters in 4:30.99 last week at the sectional meet which places him in the top seven at the state meet.

Senior pole vaulter Ryan Gibson, who also qualified for the state meet as a sophomore, went 12-feet at the sectional meet. But his personal best of 13-feet would put him right in the top eight.

And junior Quinton Lamb, a surprise qualifier in the 400 meter dash, has a legitimate shot at placing in the state meet if he can duplicate his time of 50.95.

Kaiser set a personal record last week at the sectional meet in the pole vault so Dement is hoping she can improve one last time.

"She's the only girl going but she's got a legitimate chance to score," said Dement. "She PR'd last week at nine feet and she's been jumping that all week in practice. If she can repeat that then she's going to have a chance to place."

Sikeston track and field athletes that qualified for the Class 3 state meet in Jefferson City pictured from left are: Quinton Lamb, Tyler Woodson, Clay Lincoln, Ryan Gibson, Michael Colon, Paige Kaiser, Tori Rose, Devonte Larry, Thomas Elery, Brandon Williams and Apollo Patterson. Not pictured is Felante Larry.