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Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

SHS tracksters ready for state meet

Friday, May 27, 2005

(Photo)
Sikeston track and field athletes
JEFFERSON CITY - A season full of pain and sweat will come to an end this Friday and Saturday in Jefferson City for the Sikeston High School track and field performers who have qualified for the state tournament.

Led by head coach Jerry Dement, these students are looking to stand above the rest of the crowd at the event.

"I think we've got some kids that can really do well up there," said Dement. "We're excited about going. Our kids have really put in a lot of time and effort this spring to put themselves in this position, and they're getting rewarded with a trip to the state championship, so we're really proud of them. We got a quality bunch."

The team is headlined by seniors Felante Larry and Tyler Woodson, who are both involved in multiple events.

In addition to participating in the 4 x 100 relay with Brandon Williams, Bryan Branion and Brandon Washington, Larry will also compete in the 200 meter dash, the long jump and the triple jump.

His excellence in these competitions, especially the jumps, has been apparent since the season's start.

"Felante Larry has been one of the top jumpers in state all year in the long jump and the triple jumps," noted Dement. "He's gotten some of the longest jumps in all classes, with 23 feet in the long jump and 46-4 in the triple jump."

Larry is hoping he can top these impressive distances, as well as the 22-

second run in the 200 he sped out earlier in the year.

Woodson, who qualified in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, is trying to make sure he can continue to improve after a season hampered by injury.

"He's coming back strong," said Dement. "He was an all-state medalist in both hurdle races last year, and he's returning to form and going up there to chase a championship."

The girls also look to make a strong showing at state this year. Chasman Herrion (who will also compete individually in the 100 meter dash), Lashawna Turner, Jackie Nance and Martika Davis will represent Sikeston in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays.

The 4 x 800 team, which is comprised of juniors Traci Jackson, Whitney Turner, Ashley Johnson and Deneka Miller, will also perform in Jefferson City. This talented core of athletes set the school record in the 4 x 800 relay last week at the sectional meet.

On top of being successful in the individual events, this Sikeston track team also has some overall goals they would love to accomplish as a group.

"We're shooting for a top five finish for the boys," said Dement, "which we usually shoot for and have been in for the last four or five years. That's going to be awfully tough to do."

For the girls, coach Dement revealed that it's going to be a top 20 finish.

"Those are our goals, and we're going to strive to obtain them," he said.

While all the attention this Friday and Saturday will be on the athletes who perform, Dement made sure to commend the influence of his top-rate coaching staff on the kids.

"Sikeston has established a nice tradition in track and field. A big contributor to that has been the work of my assistants," said Dement. "Those guys have put in a lot of time and effort and we've been successful in each of their areas. I'm appreciative of that and I'm proud to work with them."

Also competing at the state meet will be New Madrid County Central's Jeffrey McFarland, who qualified in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes and will run a leg on the Eagles' 4 x 200 meter relay.

Dexter's Levi Rawson will compete in the long and triple jump.

On the girls side, Dexter's Natalie Hayes will compete in the 400 meter dash and will run a leg on the 4 x 100 meter relay team. Also competing from Dexter is Mallory Kennedy, who qualified in the triple jump.