by Head Coach Brian Goatley

In the 22 years that I have coached track and field, this year was a first. The Class 3, 4, and 5 State track meet was scheduled to be held at Jefferson City High School, for a two day meet starting on Friday, May 24, and ending on Saturday, May 25. However, due to the storms and tornadoes that hit the state and wreaked havoc, including on Jefferson City. The meet was temporarily suspended.

After deliberations by MSHSAA officials, and due to devastation in Jefferson City, the meet was moved to 3 different sites, and the Class 3 State Meet was held at the track and field complex on the University of Missouri campus, Columbia. Also, the meet was moved to just a one day meet on Saturday, May 25. I want to applaud MSHSAA as well all of the many extra volunteers it took to pull off hosting at 3 different sites. It wasn’t perfect or ideal, but considering the circumstances, it was the best solution for the moment. A lot of critical decisions had to be made in such a short period of time and I feel the officials did the best with what they had.

So, with the change, the El Dorado Springs track team headed to Columbia on Friday, May 24, and practiced on the track and prepared themselves for the long track meet ahead on Saturday. The day for ElDo started with the javelin throw. We had two throwers in the field, Shelby McKinney and Brayden Housh. Brayden ended up throwing a second best throw of his career with a 147’ 1” throw, second only to his sectional meet throw of 151’. That throw ended up placing Brayden 12th overall. Shelby threw in the 2nd flight of throwers and got off to a good start. He ended up throwing a personal best throw of 159’5” on his first throw of the day. His second throw increased by 3” to 159’8” and his 3rd throw ended up 1” farther at 159’9”. This got him into finals for 3 more throws. He did finally match his best throw from prelims, but wasn’t able to advance his distance. Shelby did however cap his senior year with an All-State, school record breaking performance at State, finishing 7th overall, with a throw of 159’9”. This was Shelby’s first trip to the state meet, as he had finished 5th the previous two years at sectionals, just missing the State meet. So making the State meet his senior year was exciting to see and he handled the pressure of a big meet really well. We want to wish him the best, as he now transfers his attention to playing football at Evangel University next year, with the possibility of maybe throwing for the track team in the spring. He is undecided on that as of now. We are extremely proud of him and want to wish him the best.

Brayden Housh, after finishing his throws in javelin, hurried over to the pole vault area, to join teammate Ethan Parshall. Both of them were coming off of a high from Monday, as they both went 14’ for the first time. Unfortunately, Ethan couldn’t get his rhythm going like he did on Monday, and ended up just going 13’3”, but still ended up finishing 5th place overall. Brayden had a rough warmup, but got things going in competition and ended up on a new high, breaking the school record once again, with a height of 14’3”, which placed him 4th, just ahead of Ethan.

These two have been good for each other and have gone back and forth this year. Both of them end the season with All-State honors, finishing 4th and 5th. This was especially nice to see, due to the adversity that they had to endure, getting there. The big storm that we had had earlier in the week completely uprooted our pole vault mats, and damaged then significantly, as we had to pick them up out of the fence. So we had to travel to practice. So it was a challenging week, but they handled it well.

Daelen Ackley was there for the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, which would normally be run on separate days, but with the change in venue, ended up having to run both on the same day. He ran well in the 1600, finishing just 3 seconds off of his season best, with a time of 4:34 to finish 6th. Normally the two races would not be a tough double for Daelen, but running championship caliber races, on a day when the heat finally showed up, made it a difficult day for Daelen. He did endure though and started his 2nd race of the day, the 3200. Due to the heat and this not being the first race for most of the field, the pace went out a little slow. Daelen took over the pace early in the race to try and keep the pace a little more honest. He did fall off later in the race, but still finished 4th with a time of 10:01. He had to do this on a short week, as he had to finish his sectional meet on the Monday before.

Morgan was our lone girl. She was in the 800 meter run. She struggled out of the start, and didn’t have her best race of the year. The good news is, her and Daelen are both freshmen and just being immersed in this kind of stage as a freshman, will pay great dividends for the years to come.

As the day finished, we saw 5 of our 7 different entries end up with All-State honors. They were: Shelby McKinney (Javelin), Ethan Parshall (Pole Vault), Brayden Housh (Pole Vault), and Daelen Ackley (1600 and 3200 runs). At the end of the day, the boys team ended up 11th overall with 19 points, just 2 points out of 7th and just 8 points out of a 4th place trophy position.

Overall, we were very pleased with how the weekend turned out. There was adversity at every turn, but the athletes handled it really well. Extremely proud of them all.

We will wrap up the season on Tuesday, May 28, with the Awards ceremony.

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