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Track and Field

Notre Dame boys track claims first-ever C3D1 title, while Givens and Smith win C4D1 events for girls

The Notre Dame boys track and field team poses with Class 3 District 1 Championship on Saturday at Festus High School. Submitted photo

For the first time in program history, the Notre Dame boys track and field team was able to win a district championship. The Bulldogs did so by winning five events and scoring 144 points to take home the Class 3 District 1 Championship.

Notre Dame’s boys team also qualified for sectionals in 12 events by placing in the top four a total of 15 times.

Leading the Bulldogs to three of their wins was senior Evan Bruenderman, who won the district title in triple jump at 44 feet, two inches. The Saint Louis signee was also on the first-place 4×100 (44.48 seconds) and 4×200-meter relay (1:31.83) teams.

Evan’s younger brother sophomore Cole Bruenderman was on both of these relay teams and also qualified for sectionals as an individual in triple jump (third; 42-11; personal record). Evan also qualified for sectionals in the long jump (second; 20-3), while Cole was on the third-place 4×400 team (3:40.31).

The Bulldogs final two first-place finishers was senior Zach Bleckler and sophomore Greg Dennis, who won the long jump (20-4) and high jump (6-2; personal record), respectively. Bleckler took second behind Dennis in high jump at 5-10.

Additional boys sectional qualifiers: Dennis; third in 110-meter high hurdles, junior Caleb Garner; third in 200, sophomore Mason Morris; third in 3200; senior Drew Barber; fourth in shot put; senior Owen Beussink; fourth in pole vault; fourth-place 4×800 team.

Notre Dame’s girls team was moved to Class 4 District 1 due to MSHSAA’s new championship factor and placed sixth overall with 76 points. The Bulldogs claimed two gold medals and qualified for sectionals in seven events with eight top-four finishes.

One of the girls team’s wins was by sophomore Jenna Givens, who became a Class 4 District 1 Champion in triple jump with a mark of 36-1.25. Givens has yet to be dethroned in triple jump as she’s taken first in every competition this spring.

Givens was also on the 4×100 (second place; 51.04), 4×200 (second; 1:48.5) and 4×400 (third; 4:14.14) sectional-qualifying teams.

On all three of those relay teams with Givens was senior Lauren Brown and junior Leah Jansen. Jansen qualified for sectionals individually by taking third behind Givens in the triple jump at 33-8.75.

The final Bulldog to win a district championship was senior Hailey Smith, who won the 1600-meter run with a personal-record time of 5:21.12. She also set a new career-best time in the 800 at 2:25.28 to take third.

Additional girls sectional qualifiers: Senior Allie Burnett; fourth in 100-meter hurdles.

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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