JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — MICDS scored in six events Saturday in Missouri's Class 3 boys track and field state meet, and that was almost enough to win a state championship.
With 42 points, the Rams fell just one point shy of winning the first team state title in program history. El Dorado Springs won the championship with 43 points.
Still, MICDS matched its best finish ever, a runner-up finish from 2007.
“At the state championship you don’t get much bittersweet,” MICDS coach Jim Lohr said. “The kids go out and give effort and it takes a lot of skill and luck and sometimes luck goes somewhere else. I can’t be upset with the kids; they gave everything they had. We are a small team and the kids here all ran multiple events. I consider this a great day. It ties the best record for our school and I hope the kids are happy, too.”
The Rams won state titles in the 1600-meter relay and the triple jump while finishing as the runner-up in the 800 relay. In the 1600 relay championship, Lohr flipped Tony Nunn from the anchor to the leadoff leg and moved Novo Onovwerosuoke to the anchor, with Winston Moore and Aaron Hendricks in the middle.
That move happened last week in practice, the first time without Hendricks, the lone senior.
“I missed it because my car wasn’t working so I wasn’t there for the practice we did the handoffs,” Hendricks said with a laugh. “It was amazing that we just did that last week.”
The Rams won with a time of 3 minutes, 28.53 seconds, while St. Mary’s (third) and Whitfield (fifth) also placed.
Nunn, Onovwerosuoke, Moore and Harrison Brown were on the runner-up 800 relay for MICDS.
The other title for MICDS came from senior Shawn Putnam, who narrowly won the long jump ahead of Khalil Casimere of KIPP.
Putnam, who only started long jumping the week of the district meet, got the winning mark of 6.81 meters on the second of his four attempts. Casimere was runner-up at 6.79 meters.
“It was a little nerve racking,” Putnam said. “This is just my third week in the long jump, which is kind of funny. I usually run relays and winning here at state is crazy. I hurt my hamstring and I started getting back the week of districts and (Lohr) said why not put you in the long jump to see what happens and look where I am.”
Putnam joins Bryson Banks (2007) and David Allen (1999) as champion long jumpers for the Rams.
MICDS was joined as a state team trophy winner by Lutheran St. Charles, which finished fourth with 38 points – after the meet's normally concluding 1600 relay.
In an unusual circumstance, there was a runoff between two 300-meter hurdlers who were impacted in the event by another runner. Mount Vernon’s Wyatt Cordray and Lutheran St. Charles’ Brison Beck got a second chance at the event about two hours after the initial running and Beck took full advantage of it. The junior ran the event in 40.12 seconds to finish as the runner-up.
Those eight points vaulted the Cougars to 38 team points and past East Newton, which was sitting in fourth with 30 after the 1,600 relay.
Borgia’s Sam Schmidt won the 100 (10.79) and 200 (21.68) dashes. In the 200, he was followed by Normandy’s Aaron Kilbert, Westminster's Tucker Mulick and MICDS’ Onovwerosuoke.
In the 100, Schmidt held off Kilbert and Casimire – second and third respectively – and pointed to his family in the upper corner of the stadium.
“As long as I got first, I didn’t care about my times,” said Schmidt, who became the third track and field state champion from the Washington school.
Whitfield and St. Mary’s also picked up titles on the boys side. The St. Mary’s team of Kevin Coleman Jr., Jamal Roberts, Sam Williams and Adrian Forbes won the 400 relay in 42.60.
“We saw that the first heat’s best time was 44 (seconds) and we have been practicing under 44,” Coleman said. “Football season is right around the corner; we came in first here and now we will have the opportunity to bring it home in football.”
James Milgie won the 400 for Whitfield in 48.46, a new personal record for the junior. He was next to Aurora’s Jacob Rohlman, who had the second best time heading into the second heat.
“My goal was to reach him at the 200 and pass him,” said Milgie, who added medals in the the 3200 relay (third) and 1600 relay (fifth). “It made my year; I worked so hard for this. That was my whole goal this season.”
AREA GIRLS ROUNDUP
Incarnate Word was the top area team placer on the girls side at 12th place. Senior Elyssa Toal, a Western Kentucky signee, was the runner-up in the 800-meter run to provide the highest finish for the Red Knights. Teammate Chavi Flowers was third in the 100 and 200; Lutheran St. Charles' Sakoya Johnson was a hair faster than Flowers to take second: 26.00 to 26.01.
The lone area girls individual championship went to Hermann’s Kaylyn Powers, who won the discus with a throw of 37.50 meters. The best throw for the senior came on her second attempt.
“I have been waiting for this for a long time,” said the three-time state qualifier. “I finally got my name out there.”
Westminster’s 1600 relay team of Addie Draper, Sydney Bradley, Hennessy McGowan and Annessa Shively took second. Wright City’s Zoe Wright was second in the 1600 and later added a fourth-place finish in the 800. An all-state cross country runner in the fall, this was her first trip to the track state meet after COVID-19 canceled last year and she attended a home school as a freshman.