COLUMBIA - Six-year-old Jack Lowen held a piece of SweeTARTS candy with the index finger of his throwing hand while participating in a disc golf tournament at Oakland Park as part of the Show-Me State Games. Jack competed in the 12-and-under division.
His mother, Karalyn Lowen, plays the sport several days a week, competes in disc golf leagues in Columbia and on Saturday watched her son's first disc golf tournament.
Parents Jerrad and Mechelle Chaney drove from Ashland to watch their son Austin, 6, compete in his first disc golf tournament as well.
Throughout the tournament, the parents of both children acted as caddies, carrying the discs while trying to maintain the attention of their children. Keeping their kids focused during the Show-Me Games was the goal for the day.
"As an adult, you want them to be super focused," Karalyn Lowen said. "But they're kids."
Jerrad Chaney said that keeping the kids on track can be difficult, especially when the weather is working against them.
"When it's this hot, it's hard to keep Austin interested," Chaney said.
Austin Chaney has been playing disc golf with his dad for several years, and after his first competition, it didn't matter to his father how he finished.
"I would have been happy with anything today, because we didn't know how many kids would show up," Chaney said.
Austin Chaney won the gold medal for his efforts, while Jack Lowen took silver.
But the boys weren't the only ones who needed to channel their concentration. Kaitlyn Evans, 10, competed in the 12-and-under girls' division, and after last year's silver-medal performance, she took the gold Saturday.
"She runs off a lot of energy, and she's full of it," said her mother, Paula Evans.
Kaitlyn plays many different sports, such as softball, football and kickball, and disc golf is another way to stay active. Her mother said that with an active daughter, it's best to let her play multiple sports.
"She gets to enjoy the outdoors, so she's not sitting inside playing video games," Evans said.