Eleven track 'Cats are headed to sectionals
The Cassville boys and girls track teams competed in the Class 3, District 6 track meet at Carl Junction this past weekend and one certain sports reporter has the sunburn to prove it.
Despite what was a hot day, the Wildcats excelled, breaking many old records and qualifying athletes in six events (Note: The top four placers in each event qualify to sectionals).
The Cassville girls finished 12th at the meet overall, although neither squad brought a full complement of competitors.
The Ladycat tracksters' sole qualifier was Kristi Whitcomb. She took third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 49.05 seconds. Only a freshman, Whitcomb set a new personal and team best for the season and also edged to within two seconds of Cassville's school record in the event.
Cassville's other top finishers included Misty Long, who took fifth in the 3,200-meter race, and Brittney Wilbanks, who finished seventh in the pole vault.
The Ladycats ran three different relay events, but none of the teams quite hit the mark. The 1,600-meter team (team members unavailable) finished seventh. The 400-meter team of Paige Hukill, Ariel Abramovitz, Wilbanks and Ron'L Hoff also took seventh.
The 3,200-meter relay team of Hoff, Long, Abramovitz and Tia Baker was the closest of all the teams. After fighting for fourth much of the way throughout the race, the team just couldn't hold it and fell to sixth, missing sectionals by just six seconds. However, the time of 10:37.30 broke their season best by more then four seconds.
On the gentlemen's side of the track, Cassville was able to qualify in five events. The Wildcats finished 10th overall.
Nate Evans was Cassville's highest finisher all day. Evans ran a 52.20 in the 400-meter race, breaking his season best by three-hundreths of a second. Nick Pianalto's first toss of the entire meet in the discus throw qualified him to sectionals. The senior took third in the event with a toss of 142'6.5". Brian Elkins qualified in the triple jump. He bested his previous best by three inches with his 41'5" leap.
The Wildcats had two relays qualify. Both the 3,200-meter team of Dannon Rose, Evans, Corey Wilbanks and Jeremy Archuleta and the 800-meter team of Evans, Phillip Cooper, Brent Elkins and Brian Elkins took fourth. The 3,200 team held third for most of the race but just got beat at the end to take fourth place. Both teams set new season bests. The 3,200-meter team finished in 8:33.32 seconds, beating their old best by seven seconds. The 800-meter team finished their race with a time of 1:34.90, beating their old time by a second.
Cody Lee and Corey Wilbanks also placed in the top eight at the meet. Lee took seventh in the shot put, falling just 1'6" away from qualifying, and Wilbanks took eighth in the 3200-meter run.
Qualifiers are now headed to Branson on Saturday for sectional competition.