Truth be known, my favorite sport is mostly track and field. Sound strange huh?
Most would go for baseball, basketball, football or ice hockey or other team sports.
I ran track and cross country in high school, and I might say rather poorly.
I guess I just feel for all the sweat and effort that goes into this sometimes inglorious sport. Six hours of watching in the broiling sun each Saturday for me is quite rewarding.
The interest from the public is more than you might figure. There was a nice gathering at the district championships at MICDS and other meets around the region. There will be nearly 8,000 in the stands in Jeff City May 25-26 to see the Class 3-4 state championships.
I’ve seen events that ranged from pee wees, all the way to the 1984 Olympics that had Jackie and Al Joyner, Edwin Moses and the rest of the world-class field.
There have been so many brilliant performances on the track and in the pits, and there’s more to come the end of this month.
Amos Bartelsmeyer of MICDS, a reed-thin middle distance runner is setting the world afire these days. He’s unbeaten at 800 and 1600 meters. His half mile time of 1:54.79 was a new school record in districts this past weekend. And to think, he’s just a junior.
Ezekiel Elliott is a machine in a man’s body. He is powering his way to hurdle titles, one after another. He’s won everything in his wake for John Burroughs in the 110 highs; the 300 intermediates and now he’s knocking off the field in the 100 meter dash. He has another year to go too.
Ladue’s Jehu Chesson, a senior and going to Michigan to play football is another hurdle's champ in the making, winning nearly every 110 high and 300 meter event this spring.
Haley Pryor, senior at MICDS is tops in the girls pole vault. She’s gone 11-3, (at Clayton), a state standard and won districts at 11-0. Going to Rhodes College in Memphis, she should win this year’s title. It went at 10-6 last year.
Annalise Wagner, sophomore from John Burroughs stunned the field Saturday at MICDS, bursting from the pack to win both the 800 and 1,600 meter runs and was on the winning 4 X 800 meter relay.
Cody Medler looks to be a force at 800 meters for Ladue.
I could go on and on.
Too bad, Elliott and Chesson won’t face off in Jeff City. Elliott is in Class 3 while Chesson will duel in Class 4.
Times are getting faster and athletes are getting better. You can bet I will be at sectionals this weekend, and the state finals in JC a week after that. That is all worth the wait.