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BY MICHAEL BOYD JR.
HERALD SPORTS EDITOR
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Track and field is always tough, especially at the state level.
Each year is different. That’s what Ste. Genevieve found out over the weekend, even when the previous two seasons the Lady Dragons brought home state trophies, including a state title in 2021.
This year, the young Dragons, both the boys and the girls, battled as best as they could, but only three members claim all-state medals as they settled for 21st place for the Lady Dragons and 46th place for the Dragons at the two-day MSHSAA Class 3 championships over the weekend at Jefferson City High’s Pete Adkins Stadium.
The Lady Dragons had 13 state qualifiers in the event.
Sophomore Kale Clements added to her track medal count by adding two more on Saturday afternoon, while junior Alissa Grass and freshman Paul Taylor Jr. also brought home some hardware.
Clements took the second-place silver medal in the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.44 seconds, then rallied to claim seventh place in the 800m run as she provided the most points for the Lady Dragons.
Junior Alyssa Grass repeated as an all-state medalist in the javelin competition. She took fifth overall with a personal-best throw of 38.37 meters (125 feet, 11.0 inches).
Last season, Grass finished seventh for a medal.
Senior Jamison Kemper (shot put) finished 12th with a toss of 9.96 meters (or 32ft., 8.25 in.), while freshman Abigail Merklin (triple jump) took 14th with a leap of 9.22 meters (or 30 feet, 3 inches); and sophomore Hollyn Zangaro (3,200m run) took 15th with a time of 12:51.69.
The all-sophomore 4x800m relay team of Sadie Greminger, Zangaro, Olivia Klump and Clements took 13th overall with a time of 10:41.53.
Senior Savannah Jerman (200m dash), junior Kiaira “Kiki” Asher (high jump), sophomore Kayden Huck (100m hurdles, 300m hurdles) did not place in their respective events.
The 4×200 relay team of freshman Cecelia Mooney, Asher, Merklin and Jerman; as well as the 4×400 team of Mooney, Merklin, Huck and Clements did not place, either.
The Lady Dragons finished with 14 points overall for a four-way tie for 21st.
Lutheran-St. Charles won the girls’ field with 51 points, followed by Eldon (37), Centralia (36), Palmyra (35) and Summit Christian (Lee’s Summit-32) to round out the top five.
BOYS: Paul Taylor Jr. took fifth place overall in the shot put, with an all-state medal toss 15.39 meters (or 50 feet, 6 inches).
Taylor also took 10th place in the javelin with a throw of 43.41 meters (or 142 ft, 5 in.).
Senior Ayden Butcher did not place in the pole vault competition.
The Dragons finished with four points for 46th overall.
Bowling Green (near Hannibal) ran away, literally, with the Class 3 boys’ state title with 74.5 points, while East Newton County (Granby-37) took second. Herculaneum and Lutheran North (St. Louis) both tied for third place with 30 points each, and Pembroke Hill (Kansas City) was fifth with 29 points.
MSHSAA gives out its patented Missouri-shaped trophies to the top four teams, and its all-state medals to the top-eight athletes (or relay teams).