Ten Bulldogs advance to state track meet

Ten Bulldogs advance to state track meet
Jordon Mitchell (right) leads teammate Anthony Shivers at the start of the boys 100 meter dash on Saturday. [Dave Faries]
Dave Faries

When Cora Ransom handed the baton to Moenaisa Sidique for the final leg of the 4x400 relay, Mexico’s hopes for a berth in the state championship appeared dim. The team ran sixth, two spots from advancing.

“There was a little bit of doubt,” Ransom said. “But it’s Moenaisa.”

Sidique kicked into an extra gear, making up three positions to put the team in third, earning a trip to Jefferson City.

With Sidney Turlington and Alexis Smythe, the Bulldogs’ girls 4x400 team became four of 10 from Mexico advancing from the Class 4 Section 2 competition in Montgomery County on Saturday. They will represent Mexico at the state championship on Friday.

Raef Yager came away with Mexico’s top finish. He battled St. Charles’ Braden Geollner in high jump, eventually tapping out at 6’05.00 to take second in the event.

But the Bulldogs’ senior struggled in the early going. He had selected spikes unsuited to the surface and did not have a chance to make a change until after a few attempts.
On one jump he scissors kicked over the bar.

“At first my legs were not there,” he explained.

Jordan Mitchell’s third in the 100 meter dash was a measure of determination. He ran an 11.27, just a tick behind winner Monte Weaver of Parkway North’s 11.11.

Mitchell had to make up ground – not an easy achievement in 100 meters.

“I almost slipped at the start,” he said. “But I kept my head down and pushed.”

Mitchell was also part of the boys 4x200 team that also overcame an early problem. The new surface at Montgomery County covered the acceleration markers in the hand off zone.

“We were a little confused at first,” admitted Keeley DiBlasi. “We didn’t run our best.”

And as Ian Williams pointed out, the squad was going up against some of the best competition in Missouri – equal to what they will face in the state championship.

The team of DiBlasi, Williams, Mitchell and Anthony Shivers took fourth with a time of 1:32.09. But all say there’s more in the tank for state.

Shivers faltered off the blocks in the 100 dash and crossed in sixth. Williams also finished six in the 300 meter hurdles. Morgan Grubb cleared 11’08.50 in the pole vault, which put him in sixth.

Two girls in individual competition joined the 4x400 team. Both earned slots at state.

Sidique was off her best pace, but held on to third in the 400 meter dash with a 59.27. She ran behind a familiar foe. Nnenna Okpara of Parkway Central also won districts.

In discus, Emma Nowlin’s throw of 98’06.00 captured third on the podium.

“I was kind of nervous,” she said. “When they said the final result I was about to cry.”

Sophia Powell of Moberly won the sectional crown in discus with a heave of 112’01.

The 4x400 relay held the most drama. Alexis Smythe ran the opening leg and battled to make up a critical position. In the final 50 meters she took sixth.

“I thought ‘I have to get this,’” she said. But she also realized sixth was not ideal. Her role on the team is to put them in position to win. Turlington and Ransom are to hold the place or to move them up.

But after Ransom’s turn, Mexico was still in sixth.

“I was really scared,” Smythe added.

No matter. Sidique had hemi power in her legs. She raced past runners from St. Charles and St. Dominic.

“Now we have to go out and do the same thing,” Ransom said.


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