Near misses at the Cunningham Invite

Near misses at the Cunningham Invite
Missouri Military Academy's Mason Ruckman picked up a top ten in the long jump at the Louisiana meet. [Leslie A. Meyer Photography]
Dave Faries

Head coach Traevonne Smith had confidence in his relay squads even before the season started. That trust was given a boost last Friday when Missouri Military Academy’s runners finished second in the 4x100 and 4x200 events at the Cunningham Invitational in Louisiana.

The Colonels’ Gabriel Canonico took silver in the 300 meter hurdles, chased closely by Gage Gibson of Van-Far. Community R-6’s Victoria DiSalvo picked up a second in the girls 300 hurdles while teammate Paige Meyer tied for the second spot in high jump.

DiSalvo has been moving up the leaderboard all spring. Only Father Tolton hurdler Ellie Reynolds’ blazing 52:37 was faster in the 300. DiSalvo ran a 56.75 for the silver. And in the 100 hurdles, her time of 19.24 was enough for third.

In girls high jump Meyer has been consistent, ranging between 4’07 and 4’09. On Friday she cleared the former, a height equaled by Louisiana’s Reagan Bowser.

It was a good meet for Meyer. She came in sixth in the triple jump, ahead of teammate Jenna Eikel (eighth) and the Van-Far duo of McKenna Eng-Hoffman (ninth) and Abigail Carlyle (10th). Eng-Hoffman’s mark of 12’07.50 in the long jump edged Meyer’s 12’06.00 for fifth.
Eikel finished just behind Meyer in seventh.

The Trojans’ Olivia Kuda earned a top five in javelin with a thow of 81’10.75. Makenna Unglesbee and Hailey Lowry of Van-Far finished in seventh and tenth, respectively.

Ivy Hays of Community had a strong outing in the throwing events. Her toss of 70’07.75 put her on the edge of a top five in discus, where she came in sixth. Hays was eighth in shot put. Kuda finished ninth and tenth in the events.

Other top ten performances on the girls side were put in by Alayna Bryan of Van-Far, who crossed sixth in the 800 meter run. In the 100 dash, Bryan beat out DiSalvo for the eighth spot.

Meyer’s name came up again in the 200, where she hit the line in 10th. Eng-Hoffman appeared on the board again, as well, finished seventh in the 100 hurdles.

Carmen Wilburn of Van-Far completed the 400 in eighth. It was the eight spot for Community’s Alyssa Beamer in the 1,600. She ran an even 7:00.00.

Boys: Quite a day for MMA

Darion Heavens paced the Colonels in the sprints. His 12.01 in the 100 dash put him in fourth. And he crossed in eighth in the 200.

Heavens was also part of both silver medal relay teams. Alongside Kenny Kazoora, Michael Weaver and Alejandro Beverido, MMA’s combined time in the 4x100 of 48.78 was just a fraction off Louisiana’s winning 48.24 mark.

In the 4x200 it was Heavens, Noah Cecil, Connor O’Neal and Noah Corzine clocking 1:43.21 – again second to Louisiana.

Van-Far finished fifth in both events.

MMA, Van-Far and Community seemed to be waging their own battles throughout the day.

Canonico crossed the line second in the 300 hurdles, behind Louisiana’s Jase Luck but ahead of Van-Far’s Gage Gibson. In a tight battle, Canonico ran a 48.37 to Gibson’s 48.66, putting the Indians’ hurdler in fourth.

In the 110 hurdles, the two went at it again. Canonico’s 19.51 placed fourth. Gage ran a 21.81 for fifth.

Community distance specialist Dylan Hoyt finished sixth in the 1,600, besting Alejandro Mercado of MMA (ninth). In the 800, MMA’s Kazoora came in seventh, three places ahead of Van-Far’s Cayden Caldwell.

And this contest spilled over into the throwing events. Community’s Clayton Brandt took fourth in javelin at 110’08.75, beating fifth place Brandon Eoff of Van-Far by eight feet – although all in the field were well in arrears of Mark Twain’s Carter Hummel and his heave of 129’10.25.

It was much closer in shot put. Ryan Capps of Louisiana claimed top of the podium with a 40’04.75. The Indians’ Dayton Sanders thunked the ground at 36’02.25 for fourth. He was followed in order by MMA’s Victor Palino (34’09.00) and the Trojans’ Brandt (34’08.25).
Sanders featured in discus, coming in sixth.

The other top tens by local student-athletes were by the Colonels’ Mason Ruckman, seventh in long jump, MMA’s Beverido who took ninth in the 400 and Van-Far’s Brayden Lay, grabbing tenth in the 100.



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