It was a good night to be a member of the Althoff High School boys track and field program on Thursday at the Class 1A Nashville Sectional Track Meet.
One of the most elusive running backs in the South Seven Conference last fall, Althoff junior Jaylen Bester proved to be just as hard to catch on the track Thursday as he won the 100 meters and long jump while also taking second in triple jump to lead a spectacular night for the Crusaders at Nashville High School.
Bester won the 100 meters in 11.1 seconds and edged teammate Melvin Brock by four inches in the long jump with an effort of 21 feet, 9 inches to lead the way for Althoff, which also won the 400 and 800 meter relays. The Crusaders finished with a time of 44.1 seconds in the 400 meters and 1 minute, 34.2 seconds in the 800 meter relay.
Add that to a second-place finish by Bester in the triple jump and a runner-up place by Brock in the 200 meters and Althoff will be represented by seven entries at the Class 1A state track meet which will be held May 26-28 at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston.
Pickneyville won the sectional title with 99 points, 19 more than second-place Althoff (80) and 28 more than third-place Wesclin (71).
Laird, Mugele lead Wesclin
One of the top Class 1A athletes in the state in the pole vault, Wesclin senior Blake Laird cleared 14 feet to win the event and lead the Warriors to a well deserved third-place finish. Ryan Mugele also qualified for the state finals, placing second in the 300-meter hurdles.
Nashville made good use of the home field advantage by winning the 3,200 and 1,600 meter relays, while also earning bids in the state finals were Gavin Lietz in the pole vault, Derryn Holmes in the 400 meters and Brandon Scknitker, who won the 1,600 meters.
Okawville’s Schwankhaus earns a pair of state bids
Okawville’s standout distance runner Jacob Schwankhaus will be competing in two events next week at the state finals after winning the 3,200 meters and placing second in the 1,600 meters.
Other local state qualifiers include Sparta’s sectional champions William Monroe in the shot put and Alyze Nesbitt in the triple jump. Monroe will also throw the discus in Charleston after placing second on Thursday.
Lebanon advanced in the 1,600 meter relay and had Elland Morris qualify in the 800 meters, while Luke Goebel of Mater Dei (3,200 meters) and Antonio Cozart of Dupo (110 hurdles) also moved on.