JEFFERSON CITY - The Sikeston Bulldog track and field team will be sending two relay teams and five individual performers to Jefferson City to compete in the Class 3A state track meet.
The meet will be conducted on Friday and Saturday at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.
"I'd always like more to go, but more important at the state meet is how much quality you have," said Sikeston head coach Jerry Dement. "We think we have six events going that have all had a fine season. In all honesty I think if we perform up to our abilities we'll have a chance to score in all six of them. We really think that the events that we've got up there can represent us well."
The Bulldogs' 4 x 100 meter and 4 x 200 meter relay teams, ran by juniors Michael Colon, Tori Rose, Keena Hatcher and freshman Felante Larry, should be seeded high.
"Both speed relays should be rated in the top six to seven and have a chance to do well," said Dement.
The 4 x 200 team placed in the top eight last year to earn all-state honors.
Brandon Williams and Devante Larry will be alternate runners in the 4 x 200. Thomas Elery will be an alternate in the 4 x 100.
In the shot put, seniors Kevin Keller and Justin Lowes will also compete. Keller was an all-stater last year, finishing third.
"Kevin Keller and Justin Lowes have both been up there before," said Dement. "Kevin was third last year as a junior and Justin has had two trips up there. They're both rated in the top five so they have a good chance to score."
Colon took seventh in last year's triple jump to earn all-state honors. He, along with senior Andrew Lambert will attempt to place in that event.
Colon took first place in last week's sectional in the triple jump.
Lambert will also compete in the long jump provided he will be able to do so. He suffered an ankle injury last week in the sectional meet which kept him from qualifying in the high jump, an event where he was a state favorite.
"Andrew, even though we lost him in his best event, he still has a lot of talent in the long jump and the triple jump," said Dement. "If he's healthy he's going to have a chance to score. Mike placed seventh last year as a sophomore in the triple jump and he's going to look to move up in the rankings."
Lambert's status is still unknown. Dement says he won't know if Lambert will compete until tomorrow morning.
Dale Ham qualified in the 3200 meter run last week and he will have to lower his time even more if he wants to earn all-state honors.
"Dale Ham will be a little bit of a longshot in the 3200 but he has improved from week to week," said Dement. "If continues to drop his times like he has been then he has a chance to score."
Last week Dement thought his team could potentially vie for a state title in 3A. But with injuries and a couple of disappointing performances last week, he has reevaluated the team goals.
"With Andrew healthy and the things he could do, we felt we could be a top three team," said Dement. "Now we're shooting for a top 10 finish. Last year we were 14th and we have a lot of those kids back. So we sure want to improve on last year's ranking. Usually anybody that finishes well at a sectional, and especially as competitive as our district and sectional were, they usually have a good chance to score once they get up there. If they continue to perform like they have been then I look for them to have a chance to score well at the state meet."