BY MICHAEL BOYD JR.
HERALD SPORTS EDITOR
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Oh man, it was not even close.
The Ste. Genevieve girls’ track and field team ran away, literally, with its third straight district championship Saturday at Notre Dame Catholic High as sophomore Kale Clements won four district titles (and broke her own school record again) and Hollyn Zangaro took three gold medals herself.
The still-youthful Lady Dragons won the MSHSAA Class 3 District 1 title once again, scoring 175.5 total team points, which was far better than runner-up Dexter by 69 points.
The Lady Dragons, head coached by Tyne Huck, will send 13 members to the state sectional this weekend. They placed in the top four in 15 total events as eight different members claimed gold.
They did well in just about all the categories, but especially the longer running events.
The event was delayed a few hours due to weather and ended late into the evening.
Abigail Merklin, a freshman, also claimed three top-four medals, including a first-place performance.
Three of the Dragons’ relay teams also will advance, but the 4×100-meter relay unit just missed advancing with a fifth-place finish.
MSHSAA allows the four best finishes in each event to advance to the next level.
Sophomore Kayden Huck (gold, silver), senior Savannah Jerman (gold, silver) and freshman Cecilia Mooney (silver, bronze) each continue their seasons in multiple events.
Junior Alissa Grass (gold), sophomore Sadie Greminger (gold), sophomore Olivia Klump (gold), freshman Lily Kohler (silver), senior Jamison Kemper (silver), senior Dakotah Medows (silver) and junior Kiaira “Kiki” Asher (fourth) all move on to sectionals in respective events.
Clements won the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.70 seconds; and also won the 800m run in 2 minutes, 33.53 seconds. She also was a part of both the 4×400 and 4×800 first-place relay teams.
Zangaro, who won conference and district titles during cross country, and went to state track last season in the 3,200 run, continues adding to her trophy case as she won the 3,200m run Saturday with a time of 12:51.12. She also a part of the 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams that won first place.
Merklin won gold with the 4×400 relay team; took second with the 4×200 relay team; and took bronze in the triple jump.
Huck, Coach Huck’s daughter, won the 300m hurdles with a time of 49.64 seconds; and took second in the 100m hurdles.
Jerman won the 200m dash with a time of 27.10 seconds; and was part of the silver-winning 4×200 relay team.
Grass, who qualified for state last season in the javelin, won her district title again Saturday throwing the spear 35.65 meters (116 feet, 5 inches).
Greminger and Klump both were apart of the 4×800 first-place team also.
The 4×800 relay team took first place with a time of 10:30.14.
The 4×400 relay team won gold with a time of 4:19.86.
Medows took silver in the 1,600m run.
Mooney took silver with the 4×200 relay team that moves on; and took bronze in the long jump.
Kohler was a part of the second-place 4×200 relay team.
Asher took fourth in the high jump.
Last year, the Dragons won the girls’ district title with 138 points as they went on to take fourth place overall at the state meet. In 2021, they won the state title, also under Coach Huck.
Dexter took second with 106.5 points, while Potosi (102) took third. There were 11 squads in the girls’ field.
BOYS: The Dragons took sixth place overall in the boys’ field of districts as freshman Paul Taylor Jr. will advance to the state sectional in three events, claiming two first-place medals.
Taylor won the discus with a fling of 40.29 meters (132 feet-2.2 inches); and won the shot put with a toss of 14.55 meters (47 feet, 8.8 inches)
He also took the bronze in the javelin.
Senior Ayden Butcher also will advance to sectionals in the pole vault, taking the silver medal.
Dexter won the boys’ field with 114 points, just edging runner-up Notre Dame (113). Potosi (102.5) was third, Park Hills Central (78) was fourth, Kennett (78) was fifth and the Dragons scored 61 points for sixth.