by Head Track Coach Brian Goatley

On Thursday, May 25, the El Dorado Springs State Track Qualifiers headed to Jefferson City for what would prove to be an exciting, yet stormy weekend. This was the weekend for the Class 3, 4 and 5 State Track Meet. We got there in time to get a little practice time on the track and then get ourselves geared up for the big show.

On Friday, Senior Tyler Goatley got things started off for the ElDo  team in the 1600 m. run. Tyler started off a little tentative in the first two laps of the race, but then started to settle in and began to move through the traffic ahead. With about a half a lap left, there were just two runners in front of him, in which he was able to get past one of them for a 2nd place finish in State, with a school record breaking time of 4:24.63. The previous record was 4:31.10. Tyler has wanted the school record for a year now, but realized, if he would just run what it took to place well at State, the school record time would take care of itself.

Junior Ashley Knoll, Tyler’s cousin, continued what Tyler had started, running the 3200 m. run later on that afternoon. We knew she had a shot, and just like Tyler, Ashley was really close to a school record, and not only wanted to do well at State, but also break the 3200 m. school record. Just like Tyler, she knew that if she just ran the race that she was capable of and needed, to place well at State, then the school record time would take care of itself. Ashley didn’t let the adrenaline get her out of control early, but ran what she needed to do, holding back a little in the beginning and then pushing through the pack in the later laps, and finished 7th, with a school record breaking time of 11:55.27. The previous school record was 12:01. Overall, a great Day 1 start to the 2017 State track meet for El Dorado Springs.

On Saturday, Ethan Parshall got things started off at 9:00 in the morning with pole vault. Opening height was at 12’6” which was Ethan’s personal best height, and he along with four other athletes were not able to clear the opening height, although, he had a very close shot on his 3rd attempt. Despite that, Ethan is a Freshman and he was in a field where he was the only Freshman, no Sophomores, only four Juniors and 11 Seniors. So being there as the only underclassman in the state was quite an honor. He has come quite a ways this year, especially in the last 3-4 weeks. Things just started clicking and really looking forward to what the next three years will hold for Ethan.

Ashley had the next event on Saturday with the 1600 m. run. She didn’t quite have the day that she had on Friday, and due to nerves, just lost a little focus which hurt her efforts. She ran 5:45 and placed 14th. She is looking to erase that performance next year, but has a year to wait. She started the year with injury and we wondered at one point, if she would have to scrap this year to get healthy for her senior year, but she pushed through and here we are. Overall very pleased with the season she had and looking forward to what she will accomplish in her senior year.

Next up, to finish the ElDo  push was Tyler in the 3200 m. run, however, that would not come without a little drama and waiting. The 5A girls 1600 got interrupted by severe lightning and we were sent to shelter due to several storm cells moving in, along with a tornado warning. A little over five and a half hours later, the track meet resumed, so Tyler, instead of running the 3200 m. run at 2:45, ended up running a little after 8 pm. Weather was much cooler then, perfect conditions for a 3200 m. race. Tyler pushed through and ran a personal best time of 9:41.02, placing him 3rd and shattering the school record that he set earlier in the year, which had held up for 48 years.

This was a great finish to Tyler’s high school career. Now he looks to get ready for the next chapter in his life, as he will continue his running career next year as he heads on to SBU, running for the Bearcats track and cross country teams. Tyler will be missed but we wish him all the best as he moves on. He will do great.

Athletes who placed in the top eight at state receive a medal and All-State honors, so Ashley is All-State in the 3200 m. run, and Tyler is All-State in the 1600 and 3200 m. runs. This, overall, was a great weekend.

TYLER TAKES SECOND AT STATE – In a personal best time breaking a school record, Tyler Goatley took second in the 1600 at state Saturday.

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