Hickman Relays bring familiar faces, odd races to Kewpie, Spartan seasons

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | 11:19 p.m. CDT; updated 6:36 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

COLUMBIA — Battle High School's track team did not appear out of thin air.

As a result of the redistricting that occurred with the introduction of the new high school, many Battle students were formerly Hickman High School students.

Students who made this switch and ran track at both schools returned home Tuesday for the Hickman Relays.

Spartan junior Ben Brooks, who competed in the state meet for the Kewpies just last year, said it was surreal to walk around his old track.

He chatted with many of his ex-teammates as purple mixed with navy in circles of friends across the infield.

"I'm doing a lot of reminiscing," Brooks said. "I'd much rather see my Hickman team win than Rock Bridge or Jeff City."

Hickman coach Stewart Johnson is in his first year as head coach of the Kewpies, but coached many of the current Spartans in his days as a Hickman assistant.

"It's bittersweet knowing a lot of these kids were wearing purple and gold last year and now they're wearing blue and gold," Johnson said. "You know how they work out and things they've done for you in the past. It's just odd."

Hickman junior Mikayla Logan, who jumped a personal record of 17-feet-10-inches Tuesday, said it was amazing to compete against her old teammates — students she attended school with since she was a child.

"It's fun, you know, you get to compete against your friends," Logan said. "It's almost like a family reunion."

Logan's jumps would have landed her in second place in the triple jump if there was such a ranking at Tuesday's meet.

But, the Hickman Relays are a different type of meet.

In track, using the term "relays" to describe a meet can be arbitrary. For instance, at the Missouri Relays, which took place April 11-12 at Audrey J. Walton Track in Columbia, multiple open (non-relay) events were run.

However, in the Hickman Relays instance, "relays" signifies the fact that no events are scored individually. For instance, Logan's jump was placed with the jumps of two of her Hickman teammates to create a team score in the long jump event. This team score was then stacked alongside the team scores from the other competing teams to see what school won each event.

This was the case for each of the field events along with the hurdle events. For the sprints and distance runs, the athletes competed solely in relays. 

To make the meet even more out of the ordinary, no overall team scores were recorded on Tuesday.

No school won; no school lost. 

Johnson said it was nice change up for his kids to participate in.

"It breaks up the monotony of a long track season," Johnson said.

That season continues for the Kewpies boys team Saturday, when they compete at the first ever Battle Relays.

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