May 17, 2016
The Lafayette Boys kept their undefeated season going at Ladue High School in St. Louis Saturday at the MSHSAA Class 5 District 2 and Class 4 District 3 Track and Field meet. After two consecutive runner-up finishes to Blue Springs at the state meet the past two years, the Lancers are shooting for a state championship to go with their two cross country state titles the last two falls. The district meet went about as well as hoped for as Lafayette totaled 189.5 points to beat CBC-122, Kirkwood-89.5, Eureka-85, and five other schools at the first of three legs of the state championship series.
The Lafayette distance crew racked up an astounding 80 points. They were led by what is almost certainly the best foursome of distance teammates in Missouri history: seniors Devin Meyrer (Baylor signee), Alec Haines (Oklahoma State signee), Dylan Quisenberry (Mizzou signee) and junior Austin Hindman, who was named the USA Triathlon Junior athlete of the year for 2015. That foursome combined for 54 points at last year’s state meet including a historic 1-2-3 finish in the 3200 meters. They will be shooting for more this year. They have the US#23 time in the 4×800 with their 7:50.46 clocking last month. Saturday, junior Tommy Laarman and Nassim Oufattole joined Quisenberry and Hindman to post an 8:05 for the 4×800 victory. The victory was one step away from not happening. An official after the race spoke to one of the Lafayette runners and informed him he had almost drawn a disqualification. The official told the runner he had stepped on the inside line of lane one with consecutive left foot steps. A third consecutive step would have earned a DQ, and ended Lafayette’s quest for a second straight 4×800 state title, and hurt their overall team state title hopes.
Next up for the distance crew was the 1600 meters where Haines, Meyrer and Quisenberry went 1-2-4 to advance to sectionals with Haines edging Meyrer 4:27.01 to 4:27.02. Quisenberry, Haines, and Meyrer sit 1-2-4 on the state performance list with season bests of 4:17, 4:18 and 4:18. The finish added 23 points to the Lancers total. For Hindman, Districts was just his fourth meet of the year, suggesting he missed some time with injury. If not for that, it seems likely he could have gotten a 1600 qualifying time and Lafayette could have had four boys in the race, and a good chance they all would have advanced.
In the 800, Quisenberry and Haines went 1-2 in 1:58 for another 18 Lancer points. Then came the 3200 meters. Lafayette head coach Matt Warren told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s David Kvidahl that the coaching staff wrestled with the idea to race the speedy Quisenberry on the 4×400 relay or in the 3200. Ultimately, they decided the other 4×400 runners were capable of success themselves and that to maximize their points at state they should run Quisenberry in the 3200. The race looked like one of their cross country races from the previous two falls as they grouped up and led the race. The group led the whole race with Hindman and Meyrer trading off the pacing efforts. Down the homestretch, the four spread out across four lanes and finished four across in 9:24. That time is faster than all but three other Missouri boys this season, while Meyrer and Hindman sit 1-2 in the state with their 8:59 and 9:12 performances earlier this season.
While Lafayette’s distance crew was amazing, the Lancers are a well-rounded team with talent in many events. Senior Brad Alexander took home the 100 meter title-11.01, and the 200 crown-21.89, while anchoring the 4×400 to victory in 3:27 and anchoring the 4×100 to a runner-up finish. Senior hurdler Chris Roggenburg captured the 110 and 300 hurdles in 15.83 and 40.72. Other top performers for the Lancers were senior Taylor Grimm who captured the high jump with a clearance of 6-2 and took third in the triple jump with a 42-11.5. Junior William Preckel was second in the discus-145-5 and third in the shot put -49-02.25. Lafayette advanced to sectionals in 15 of 18 events.
In the shot put, the state’s number three and fifth best performers faced off. Parkway South senior Austin Lawless had a best of 57-4 while Kirkwood junior and football quarterback Reece Goddard had a best of 57-0. On the first toss of the competition, both went 56-10.5. Goddard was able to improve though with a personal record of 57-1 for the victory. Goddard also captured the discus title with a mark of 167-11. Goddard finished third in the discus and sixth in the shot at last year’s state meet.
In one of the most competitive events of the day, five boys went over the 22-foot mark in the long jump. CBC’s Kamryn Babb, one of the top sophomore football players in the country as wide receiver and defensive back, captured the district title with a best jump of 23-2.75 for a MO#7 mark. CBC racked up 20 points in the event as junior Brent Bledsoe was third and senior August Bindbeutel was fifth.
Four pole-vaulters cleared 12-6 while Kirkwood senior Austin Southerly came out on top with the fewest misses. CBC senior Ryan Scott edged Marquette sophomore Wendell Brommer in the triple jump 43-2 to 43-0. Lafayette’s Grim and Nathaniel Dailey went 3-4. Eureka claimed the 4×200 title in 1:30.82, just edging CBC, who claimed the 4×100 title in 43.13.
On the girl’s side, the Lafayette girls claimed the district title. The fourth-place 2015 State meet finishers edged 2015 Class 5 runner-up Kirkwood, 164.5 to 156.5. Nerinx Hall was third with 82.5 points and Marquette fourth with 78 points in the eight-team meet. Lafayette Head Coach Rick Voss’ Lady Lancers are led by two of the three best distance runners in the state in seniors Anna West (Baylor signee) and Sarah Nicholson (Northwestern signee). Cross country and distance coach Scott Brandon is retiring after the season and the Lancer distance runners will try to send him out with a bang.
A big surprise at the meet was Anna West scratching out of the 3200 meters. West, who moved to fifth on the Missouri All-Time 3200 meter list with her US#22 10:26 at the Eureka Kimball/Wintermeyer Invitational last month, will focus on the 4×800, 800, and 1600 meters. The move will save West’s leg’s from three 3200 meter races in the state series and set her up for faster 800 and 1600 meters at state, and fast mile or 3200 meters races in the postseason. Lafayette coaches say the move will give West a better chance at the 800 meter state title.
West and Nicholson teamed up with Mollie Rogan and Margaret Nicholson to win the 4×800 in 9:28, the best time in Missouri this year by four-plus seconds. Nerinx Hall was second in 9:37. West set a personal best of 4:49 in the 1600 a week ago, which is a US#19 mark and puts her in the top five in Missouri history. West cruised to the 1600 meter title at districts in 4:57 while Nicholson was second in 5:10. Marquette seniors Hannah Pierson and Danielle Mohrmann were third and fourth in 5: 15 and 5:18.
In the 800, West posted a MO#4 2:16 for the victory while Nerinx Hall junior Erin Smith was second in 2:19. In the 3200, Nicholson, who ran a 10:32 the week before, won in 10:43 to edge Washington sophomore Mikayla Reed by a second. Just like in the 1600, Marquette’s Pierson and Mohrmann went 3-4 in 10:58 and 11:05. Even without West, Lafayette got 14 points in the event with senior Julia Romero’s fifth place finish in 11:09.
Kirkwood swept the short sprints and hurdles titles. Junior Hava Turner captured the 100 and 200 meter crowns in 12.25 and 25.43. Turner finished fourth and eighth in the events at state last year and sits seventh and 10th on the current state performance list. Senior Andrea Kuehnlein won the 100 hurdles in 15.70 and the 300 hurdles in 46.27. Kuehnlein is tied for 3rd in the state with a best of 45.14 and was Class 5 runner-up last year in 43.26.
Junior Kara Steele had a big day for the Pioneers. Steele posted a PR and MO#1 and US#66 39-4.5 mark in the triple jump for the victory. Steele anchored the winning 4×200 relay in 1:43.78 and the 4×400 relay in 4:00. Steele also took second in the 400 meters while Nerinx Hall sophomore Nicki Horn posted a MO#17 58.57 for the title. Kirkwood senior and Mizzou basketball signee Jordan Roundtree took third in the 400 while running on the winning 4×2 and 4×4 relays. Kirkwood senior Meridian Buckner-Swain added 10 points for the Pioneers with her MO#21 shot put victory with a mark of 40-2.
Marquette’s Mar’keyia Chambers, Mary Carroll, Sa’taya Heyward and Christian Mills claimed the 4×100 crown with a MO#9 49.67. Lafayette freshman Brittany Hawthorne took the discus with a 109-11, while teammate Kerri Newcomer captured the high jump with a 4-10 clearance. St. Joseph’s Anika Nobs won the pole vault, clearing 10-0.