JEFFERSON CITY -- MICDS senior pole vaulter Haley Pryor had bested 11 feet on several occasions this season, but in the biggest meet of the the season, Friday’s state championship competition at Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Stadium, she just couldn’t get that high.
Pryor admitted later that she felt off her game and was nursing an injury, but as fate would have it, none of that mattered, as the four-time state qualifier was the only participant to clear 10’ 9”, to claim her first state championship in an event she’s worked four years to master.
Pryor also became the first MICDS athlete to win four medals in the same event, after finishing sixth as a freshman, fourth as a sophomore, and second last year as a junior.
The Rams also got a strong showing from senior Madison Mann, who placed in both in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
Mann, who had the lead a third-way through the 100, finished fourth in that event, and also took sixth in the 300. Affton’s Cheyenne Hoerr, who won four events on Saturday, was the winner in both hurdle events.
The sprint relays were also good to MICDS, as the Rams made in to the finals in all three -- the 4 X 100, 4 X 200, and 4 X 400 -- and earned a silver medal in the 4 x 4; a fourth-place medal in the 4 x 1; and an eighth place finish in the 4 x 2.
Team members on those relays were Heather Cousins, Julia Olson, CeCe Moore, and Cameron Jackson (4 X 100 and 4 X 200), with Mann replacing Jackson in the 4 X 400.
Ladue High’s 4 X 200 meter relay team of Shayla Arnold, Kanesha Austin, Alexis Brisco, and Madison Barker, also took eighth in the Class 4 girls 4 X 200 meter race.
The Rams were surprise qualifiers for the final, after race favorites McCluer North was disqualified during Friday’s preliminary for running out of its lane.
But the biggest surprise of the weekend was probably delivered by John Burroughs freshman Jordan McClendon, who came out of nowhere to win the Class 3 shot put competition on Saturday.
McClendon, who was seeded sixth, and not considered a championship threat, wowed everybody with a personal-best throw of 40’ 4 3/4” to surpass the rest of the field by more than an inch and a half.