Five claim All-State status in Jefferson City


Raef Yager clears the bar in the high jump. [Eric Mattson]
By: 
Dave Faries
Editor

The best Class 4 track and field athletes in the state were met with the worst of conditions. But five Bulldogs emerged from windswept Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City with All-State honors.

Mexico’s Jordan Mitchell finished seventh in the boys 100 meter dash and eighth in the 4x200 to claim two medals. Anthony Shivers, Ian Williams and Keeley DiBlasi joined him on the podium as teammates on the relay squad.

Raef Yager took eighth in the high jump competition.

But on a day when chilling gusts gave mid-50s temperatures a February bite and athletes were quick to slide back under their hoodies, the weather could be more frustrating than the competition.

“When I hit the 100 meter mark the wind smacked me in the face,” Mitchell said, referring to his part of the relay.

MSHSAA officials flipped the track for the 100, putting the wind at runners’ backs. Mitchell ran an 11.01, a fraction behind winner Daniel Thwing of Union’s 10.94.

Shivers launched Mexico’s relay, starting in lane one. When he rounded the corner, a furrow of concern crossed Williams’ mind as he watched from a distance.

“I thought ‘why are we so far behind?’” he recalled before realizing the staggered start caused the illusion.

The hand offs went smoothly and the team kept a blistering pace through all four legs.

“It felt like we ran our best, even though we didn’t,” DiBlasi observed.

Their eighth place time of 1:32.83 was just a second back of Moberly’s winning mark.

At the high jump pad, Yager was also battling conditions. Starting on the left side meant launching into the wind. He cleared 6’1.50 – well off his norm.
“It’s cold and windy,” the Mexico senior noted. “But I’m going out an all-stater.”

Moenaisa Sidique did not match her usual time in the 400 meter dash. Capable of laps in the 58 second range, she crossed in 1:01.65 for 10th on the board.

The girls 4x400 team of Sidique, Cora Ransom, Sidney Turlington and Alexis Smythe recorded a time of 4:22.52 for 15th.

The quartet had come from behind in sectionals to earn their spot on the state grid.

“It was really good to represent Mexico,” Turlington said. “We worked really hard to get here.”

In the throwing arena, Emma Nowlin’s 95’8 put her in 14th overall.

Head coach Buck Green could only shake his head at the unusually blustery conditions. But with five of the 10 Bulldogs that qualified for state returning with medals, he called it a good day.

“It feels great,” Williams added. “We accomplished all that we wanted.”

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