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Track and Field

Lillian Gibbs and Hunter Wendel medal at state for Jackson track and field

Jackson seniors Hunter Wendel (left) and Cade McCadams both made school history in the Class 5 State Meet two weekends ago at Jefferson City. Photo by Nick McNeal

At the Class 5 State Meet held from May 26-27 in Jefferson City, the Jackson track and field teams combined for a total of three all-state finishes.

Placing the highest at state while breaking a school record was senior Hunter Wendel, who took fourth in the 3200-meter run with a personal-record and school history time of nine minutes, 20.66 seconds. Winning the event and finishing 7.52 seconds ahead of Wendel was a member of the Class 5 State Champion Rock Bridge team in senior Ian Kemey by crossing the finish line at 9:13.14.

Fellow senior distance runner Cade McCadams, who will run collegiately at Southeast Missouri State, also broke the program’s 1600-meter record time. While McCadams ran a career-best time of 4:17.74 in the 1600, this mark still only placed him 12th overall to finish four spots and 3.83 seconds shy of placing in the top eight to earn all-state honors.

Both McCadams and Wendel also competed at state as members of the 4×800-meter relay team that finished in 12th place at 7:59.31 (5.17 seconds from being eighth place to earn all-state).

Outside of Wendel and McCadams, other state qualifiers for Jackson’s boys team were seniors Cole Puls (800-meter run; 4×800), Braeden Cain (pole vault), junior Bryce Gentry (4×800) and sophomore Mason Turley (pole vault).

Moving to the girls all-state finishes in Class 5, senior thrower Lillian Gibbs medaled in both the javelin and discus throws. The future Indiana State Sycamore placed seventh in both events, where she recorded a throw of 122 feet, eight inches in javelin and a 119-10 heave for discus.

Winning both events ahead of Gibbs were seniors as well as Liberty’s Morgan Cannon was the individual state champion in javelin at 148-4, while Timberland’s Emilia Lubruyere won the Class 5 discus title with a 138-3.

Making it to state along with Gibbs for the Indians girls team were seniors Mallorie Metzger (4×800), Briaysia Purl (discus), junior Grace Kurtz (4×800) and freshmen Emma Niedbalski (4×800), Kali Smith (4×800) and Brooklyn Williams (long jump).

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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