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The Bruins track and field team took their first step toward the state championships yesterday as they competed at the MSHSAA class four, district five meet in Jefferson City.
Despite morning humidity and a few afternoon rain storms, the boy’s team beat Jefferson City for the district title with 176 points. The girls team scored 165.5 points, taking second to a very strong Jefferson City squad. RBHS had many competitors place in the top four to advance to sectionals.
“For each event, we just had to focus on getting as many points as possible,” junior Megan Schulte said. “Our main goal was for each team to win districts and to get as many people through to sectionals as possible. We had a pretty good day overall.”
In order to execute their goal of getting athletes to the sectional championships, the Bruins had to focus on one event at a time, pushing emotions to the side if a race did not go as planned.
“As far as mentality goes, districts is a time where you change how you approach the race,” senior Sam Garrett said. “It isn’t about time anymore. Place takes precedent. You go out and just race to be in the top four. If you don’t make it out in an earlier event, it’s important that you put that behind you and focus on the current race. You can’t change what happened but you can dictate your approach to the next race.”
On the girls side, junior Christina Oyelola ran a time of 12.7 in the 100 meter dash, placing second and won the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.65. Garrett placed third in both the 1600 and 3200 meter runs with times of 5:10 and 11:10 respectively. In the 100 meter hurdles, junior Mallory Short placed first with a time of 15.06 and junior Sienna Trice placed second with a time of 15.23. Later in the afternoon, Trice placed first in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 46.92.
The sprint relays brought in two first place finishes. The 4 x 100 meter relay team of Trice, Oyelola, junior Hailey King and sophomore Madison Wipfler won with a time of 50.20, beating Jefferson City by .58 seconds and the 4×200 meter relay of Trice, Oyelola, King and Jones placed first with a time of 1:44.61.
The girls team also added points in the field events. Jones placed third in the long jump with a jump of 16 feet, ten inches.. In addition, sophomore Mubinah Khaleel placed first in the shot put with an impressive throw of 38 feet, five and a half inches.
The boy’s distance team had standout performances throughout the day. At the beginning of the meet, the 4×800 meter relay team of sophomore Zach Cook, senior Ty Griggs, senior Nicholas Dale and senior Collin Sees easily placed first over West Plains with a time of 8:03. Senior Jordan Cook placed second in the 800 meter run with a season best time of 1:56. 92. He went on to place third in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:18. His teammate, senior Caleb Wilfong, beat him by a second to place second with a time of 4:17. At the end of the day, Junior Nathan Keown placed second in the 3200 meter run with a time of 9:35.
On the field, senior Daniel Brennan placed first in the triple jump with a jump of 45 feet, two and a half inches. He went on to place second in the long jump with a jump of 21 feet, six inches. In the discus, senior Austin Ray placed first with a throw of 160 feet, 11 inches, adding another ten points to the Bruin’s dominant score.
Overall, the track and field teams were pleased with their execution in the first meet of the post-season. With months of training behind them, it is time for the athletes to fine tune their performances to see peak results.
“We all performed really well because of how hard we worked in the months leading up to districts,” senior Nicole Montgomery said. “Our workouts prepared us well and it showed through our performances.”
This Saturday May 19, the Bruins will compete to advance to the state championships at the sectional championships against competition from central and southern Missouri in West Plains.
By Emily Wright