FESTUS - The Sikeston Bulldogs track and field team will be competing in a Class 3 Sectional meet in Festus tomorrow.
The Bulldogs have another strong group of athletes that will be competing for the chance to make the trip to Jefferson City next weekend in the track and field state championships.
"We've got 10 events qualified through on the boys and five events on the girls," said Sikeston coach Jerry Dement. "In all honesty I feel like we can get almost all of them through if we have a repeat performance that we had last week. Of course this is a tougher round and the competition is going to be improved. You've got a good idea of how you compare to the other district and know what you can do if you perform up to your capabilities."
The Bulldogs are led by senior sprinter and jumper Felante Larry, who will be favored in both the long and triple jump and will be one of the favorites in the open 200 meter dash and the 4 x 100 meter relay along with classmate Brandon Williams, and freshmen Bryan Branion and Brandon Washington.
Senior hurdler Tyler Woodson, who returned from last year's state meet as one of the favorites this year state-wide in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, has had to overcome a hamstring injury this year.
He competed for the first time in the hurdles last week and qualified in both events with a second and third place finish.
Also competing will be the boys 4 x 200 meter relay with Williams and three freshmen, Branion, Brandon Wright and Tommie Strong.
Trey Stone will be competing in the pole vault and sophomore Salamar Cox will compete in the shot put. Freshman Andre Goodwin will compete in the high jump.
On the girls side, the junior team of Traci Jackson, Ashley Johnson, Deneka Miller and Whitney Turner will compete in both the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 meter relays. The girls posted personal records at the district meet last week in both events and are just two seconds away from the school record in both.
Also, the girls will have both speed relays competing as well. Jackie Nance, Martika Davis, Lashawna Turner and Chasmon Herrion run the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 meter relays. They took first place at the district meet last week in the 4 x 200.
Herrion, a freshman, took first place in the open 100 meter dash at the district meet and will be one of the favorites in that event.
"On the girls side we're seeded in the top four in all five events," said Dement. "All four relays are seeded in the top four and Chasmon as an individual is seeded in the top four. That's all that matters, being in the top four, because there's no team points kept. On the boys side we're seeded in the top four in eight of the 10 events. We have a good chance of getting those kids through if they have a good day. Our biggest stretch right now is in the shot put and the 4 x 200 relay."
Sikeston has had great success at the sectional meet the last several years and Dement is hoping that trend will continue tomorrow.
"I will say this, the kids have had a good week of practice," said Dement. "They're confident going in and they're going to give a good effort. If we get some good events through we'll give a strong showing next week."
Also competing tomorrow will be New Madrid County Central sprinter Jeffrey McFarland, who will be favored in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes. McFarland will also anchor NMCC's 4 x 200 meter relay team.
Teammate Eugene Cooper will also run in the open 100 and 400 meter dashes.
Dexter's Levi Rawson will be competing in the long and triple jumps.
On the girls side, Dexter's Natalie Hayes will be competing in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes. They will also compete in the 4 x 100 meter relay, which they took first in at the district meet.