Two Lady Hornets qualified individually during Saturday's (May 18, 2019) storm-shortened sectional meet. Hornets have advanced two in solo events and relay, have one relay and one field event still to be completed in Monday's (May 20) resumption of suspended competition

ODESSA, Mo. — Pending Monday’s (May 20, 2019) resumption and completion of their state-qualifying Class 3 sectional meet at Odessa, Chillicothe High School will take seven individuals as five entries to next Friday’s and Saturday’s (May 24-25, 2019) Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 Track-and-Field Championships and could finish with as many as nine participants in seven events. (For an up-to-date followup, visit our website at www.chillicothenews.com and check sports editor Paul Sturm’s Twitter account @CTSportsPSturm)
Those partial numbers are the result of the weather interruption and postponement of this past Saturday’s (May 18) competition. Several Class 3 and Class 4 events – both on the track and in the field – could not be completed before last Saturday’s bad weather arrived.
CHS had entrants in to non-completed boys’ events – the 1,600-meters relay group of Isaak Rasche, Peyton Forck, Ethan Corbin, and Kaleb Mullikin and, in the pole vault, Rudy Yutzy.
Athletes need a top-4 finish at sectional to extend their season to the limit – the upcoming state meet.
Already sure of repping the red-and-black at Jefferson City High School’s Licklider Track-and-Field Complex next weekend are Lady Hornets Kylee Larson and Jordan Hibner and Hornets Damarcus Kelow, Rasche, Forck, Mullikin, and Deon Reynolds.
Each of the first four in that list will be involved in one solo event. The latter three will be joined by Rasche in the 800-meters relay.
Because schools are allowed to have alternates available for any qualified relays, Chillicothe might have another athlete or two travel to Jefferson City as backups.
Chillicothe’s boys’ 1,600 relay had the fastest district time of the eight sectional-qualifying groups, so it rates a very good chance of advancing to state.
Sophomore Rudy Yutzy entered Monday’s rescheduled action with the fifth-best successful district height, so his prospects for moving on to Jefferson City were more dicey.
The best finish by a Chillicothean in a completed event at Odessa Saturday was by fast-finishing freshman Kelow with a dramatic finish in the discus throw.
In the wake of his personal-best 144’11” that earned him second place at district the week before, the Hornet had fouled once and thrown nothing farther than 127’7” through three of the four rounds of throw. At that point, he stood outside the state-qualifier ranks, needing to better 129’8” on his last, pressure-packed hurl of the discus.
With teammate Luke Hopper plagued by three fouls (either ring violations or the discus landing out of bounds) after opening with a decent 125’8” attempt, Kelow spun across the ring one last time knowing it was now or never.
Under that heat, he delivered, sailing the discus 134’1”, far less than his best of late, but enough to not only climb into the top four, but catapult him all the way to second place. When none of the remaining contestants bettered that, the ninth grader was state-bound.
The two Lady Hornets who’ll make the trip to Missouri’s capital city will do so for the first time as state-meet competitors, each having fallen short last year after reaching the sectional level.
With the meet scheduled pushed forward in the day in an attempt to beat the approaching stormy weather, senior Kylee Larson took care of her business early.
She went 100 meters over high hurdles in 16.68 seconds in the meet’s third race, capturing the fourth and final state berth for that race. Larson’s time was 16.68 seconds, 0.12 away from third and 0.23 ahead of the fifth-place non-advancer. Had she only matched the 16.88 she ran at district, she’d have been left out of the state meet again.
Junior Hibner had more cushion, in terms of placement, but not a lot in terms of distance, in the long jump.
She leapt 16’1” on her second of four tries, putting her solidly in third at that time. However, when the closest she came to increasing her distance as a 16’ final attempt, there was some unease. Fortunately for her, the closest any of her pursuers came was the 15’10” of Trenton’s Mykah Hurley that bumped the Lady Bulldog up from fifth to fourth on her last attempt. Another competitor, after fouling on her first three jumps, posted a 15’8” on her clean final attempt, but could not overtake either Hurley or Hibner.
Rasche, a junior and sectional victim like Hibner in 2018, ran in the 400-meters dash, along with Mullikin. The race, in which those two had taken turns finishing ahead of each other of late, took on some extra intrigue when only six runners went to the starting line, rather than the qualified eight. That meant four of the six on the track would go to state.
That select group ended up including Rasche, but not his classmate and teammate, after a tight finish among four runners for the last two spots. Rasche was timed in 51.32 seconds, 0.18 behind the third-place runner, but secure in the final state spot by nearly a half-second. Mullikin ended up sixth, a couple of strides behind his teammate in 52 seconds flat.
The Hornets’ 800-meters (4x200) relay group of junior Reynolds, Forck, Mullikin, and Rasche ran a 1:34.25 to claim the final qualifying spot in that race. They had a clear-cut margin of almost a second over the fifth-place group.
The previously-cited non-advancing finishes of Mullikin and Hopper were among 10 events in which CHS entrants did not move on.
Chillicothe’s nearest misses in that category belonged to two Lady Hornets throwers, both of whom were denied at the last moment by the same girl.
Shot putter Montana Hall immediately bettered her district distance, but eventually was overtaken and KO’d.
The junior started out strong with a 35’3” put that put her third after one attempt, but, while steady and solid after that, never tacked on a better toss. She was bumped down to fourth after three throws and then nudged out of the last state spot in the final round when Olivia Frisbee of Knob Noster, who had not done better than 34’10” previously in the meet, got off a 36’4” heave on her last try.
Just before meet competition was suspended – and eventually ended, another Lady Hornets junior, Abby Jones, also took fifth place in the discus throw, just outside the state-qualifying ranks.
Her miss wasn’t quite as near, in terms of the distance between her top throw and the fourth-place finisher’s, but was identical in terms of drama and who was involved.
Like Hall, Jone got off her best throw – 102’9” – right out of the chute, putting her in fourth place after one round. She stayed there while everyone’s second and third throws took place, but, in the last round, Frisbee again stared down the pressure and launched a throw of 107’5” to repeat her last-gasp qualification.
Posting a sixth place for CHS, like Hopper and Mullikin, was Hornets 2019 graduate Lavery Jones. His 45.08 time in the 300-meters intermediate hurdles was more than two seconds shy of the fourth-best time.
Taking seventh place was the Lady Hornets’ 400 relay group of Delaney May, Jones, Hibner, and Larson. They ran a 52.83, about 1.4 seconds too slow to move on.
Larson finished seventh, as well, in her lesser hurdling race – the 300-meters lows – in 50.5. In order to not risk injury which could jeopardize her already-cemented qualification in the high hurdles, she eased up considerably late in the race, once she was well out of the top four and they were over their last hurdle.
Officially placing eighth at sectional was another recent graduate, William Perry, in the 1,600 run. He was timed in 4:52.72, more than a second faster than he ran at district.
Two CHS girls’ entries took last without posting an official performance.
After passing on the opening height of 7’ in the pole vault, junior Kennedy Corzette was not able to clear 7’6”, so she officially “no-heighted.”
Later, in the 3,200 relay, normally a low-risk race for disqualification, CHS’ group was “DQed” after finishing, being cited for running inside of the track’s inside-lane line at some point in the race. Although no official time was credited to the Lady Hornets group of Emma Burk, Kadence Shipers, Katelynn Sullivan, and May, it came across the finish line last anyway in 11:20.6.