JEFFERSON CITY — Jordan Cook didn’t take much time to celebrate his win in the first preliminary heat of the 800-meter run.
Following his victory, the Rock Bridge senior distance runner calmly sipped water from a cup and talked to his fellow competitors, but when the second heat began, Cook’s eyes immediately turned to the track to watch.
Cook’s 1:54.86 800 time makes him the top qualifier for Saturday's Class 4 state final at David T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City.
Trailing throughout the race, Cook sprinted past three competitors, and in a photo finish, leaned across the finish line just ahead of Lee’s Summit North’s Kolton Shelton to win by eight-hundredths of a second.
“I got boxed in early in the race, so coming down the stretch I just kept thinking, ‘I need to be up further than I am right now,’” Cook said.
Cook and the seven other fastest qualifiers will compete in the 800 finals Saturday.
Rock Bridge thrower Austin Ray was the Bruins' top finisher Friday placing fourth in the shot put with a throw of 54-11 ¾ .
After delaying the start of the 3200-meter run due to warm weather, the Bruins took home two medals in the event with Caleb Wilfong finishing sixth and Nathan Keown taking eighth.
Wilfong also anchored Rock Bridge’s sixth-place 4x800-meter team. Cook, Collin Sees, Zach Cook and Wilfong combined to run a school record of 7:52.96.
Nathaniel Egharevba placed eighth in the high jump and 10th in the 110 hurdles.
The Bruins boys team has 13 points and is in fourth place overall with four athletes yet to finish. The Rock Bridge girls have two relays and two individuals remaining.
Nicole Mello was Hickman's top performer, finishing 10th in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:13.76. She will also compete in Saturday’s 3200.