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Track and Field

Jackson track sweeps Notre Dame Invitational by winning a combined 13 events

Jackson senior Mallorie Metzger won the 800-meter run with a time of two minutes, 28.66 seconds at the Notre Dame Frozen Invitational on Saturday. Submitted photo

In the first meet of this year’s track and field season, both the Jackson boys and girls team asserted its dominance by winning the Notre Dame Frozen Invitational.

The girls did so with a final score of 140 as Festus placed second with 10 less points, while the boys won their meet by 28.83 points with a 139.33 to Festus’ total of 110.5. Jackson won a combined total of 13 events as the boys eight with the girls taking gold in five.

Host Notre Dame had both of its team take fourth place as the girls produced 74 points versus the boys final score of 69.5. The Bulldogs combined for six first-place finishes as each squad won three events.

The Jackson boys’ eight wins were equally split between the track and the field as senior Hunter Wendel took home gold in two events. He did so individually in the 3200-meter with a time of nine minutes, 48.84 seconds.

Wendel also helped the 4×800-meter relay team take first with a time of 8:39.96, where he was accompanied by fellow seniors Cole Puls, Cade McCadams and junior Bryce Gentry.

The Indians had two other relay teams take first place in the 4×200 and the 800-meter sprint medley relay. On both of these teams for Jackson was sophomore Gavin Alspaugh as senior Andrew Boyd, sophomore Blake Cain and freshman Barrett Reagan were on the 4×200 team with him, which won the race with a time of 1:37.91.

Also on the first-place 800 team with Alspaugh were junior Mason Settle and sophomores Coleton Geiser and senior Kyle Craigmiles. They won the race at 1:46.69.

Moving on to the field events, it was a quartet of seniors winning for Jackson as Braeden Cain took first in pole vault (13 feet, five inches), Conner Matthews was first in high jump (5-11.75), Nicholas Heisserer won shot put (43-8.75) and Layne Gross finished first in the javelin throw (140-6.25).

Jackson’s girls team won a majority of its events on the track as senior Mallorie Metzger, who recently signed with Maryville University, won the 800-meter run at 2:28.66.

Also claiming gold individually on the track for the Indians was sophomore Annika Barks as she took first in the 3200 by posting a time of 12:01.43.

The Jackson girls’ 800-meter relay medley team primarily composed of underclassmen won its race at 2:12.75. Making up the team is junior Alees Stephens, sophomore Victoria Dent and freshmen Mollie Metzger and Lilly Watkins.

On the field, Jackson seniors Briaysia Purl and Lillian Gibbs won their respective events of the discus and javelin throw. Purl did so with a heave of 106-6.25, while Gibbs produced a mark of 116-9.5.

Even runner-ups for Jackson included senior Evan Kiefer in the 3200 (10:11.32), freshman Beckley Goetz in the 400-meter dash (1:05.27), sophomore Skyler Stroder in shot put (32-2.5), the girls 4×200 team with Dent, Mollie Metzger, Goetz and freshman Brooke Williams (46.13) and the girls 4×400 team with Mallorie Metzger, sophomore MeKayla Dunn, senior Gracie Metzger and freshman Emma Niedbalski (4:37).

As for the Notre Dame girls team, Bulldogs senior Jenna Givens and junior Lauren Eftink both won two events. Eftink and Givens were both members of the first-place 4×400 team with sophomores Courtney Tatum and Lily Carr as they won the race at 4:35.1.
Individually, Givens — the two-time all-state medalist in triple jump — won the event with a leap of 35-0.75. Eftink, who earned all-state last year as well, took first in the 1600-meter run by crossing the finish line at 5:28.59.

The Bulldogs boys team won two field events as Lindenwood signee senior Cole Bruenderman took first in triple jump and long jump with marks of 45-1.75 and 21-8.75, respectively.

Notre Dame senior Davis Dow won the team’s lone field event by taking first in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.74.
Taking second place for the Bulldogs in their individual events was senior Katelyn Turner in pole vault (9-5.5) and junior Jacob Brown in the 200-meter dash (22.83).

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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