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).