Halfway through the collegiate men’s 400-meter run on the second day of the Missouri Relays, all running and jumping in the Audrey J. Walton Stadium ceased and a mass of fans rose to face the American flag.
At two in the afternoon Saturday, with 19 events completed, it seemed a little late for the singing of the National Anthem. It was just on time, however, for the game starting next door at the University Softball Field. Everyone at the meet paused respectfully and the anthem was heard for the second time. For two minutes, athletes and fans from 50-plus high school and college teams from around the Midwest, supported the same cause. Then the song ended and the stadium was once again divided into black and gold, purple, green, red, orange and blue.
Although the season is halfway over at the college level, the meet was the first of the season for many high school teams. For rivals Hickman and Rock Bridge it was not only the first meet, but also the first time some of the athletes were competing in their events. Nevertheless, both teams took home victories and the possibility of future success.
Hickman’s Asia Walker competed in the girls’ triple jump for the first time winning at 10.82 meters. Walker placed third in the girls’ long jump on Friday.
Rock Bridge sophomore Lauren Borduin placed third in the girls’ 1600-meter, an event she hadn’t competed in before. She said the 1600 was her “biggest success” of the meet because it was a new challenge. Borduin also won the girls’ 800 meters, setting the meet record by more than 7 seconds.
“A lot of people are being tested out in different places,” she said. “Our team is continuously improving every time I see them.”
The changes seem to be working for both the Bruins and the Kewpies. Rock Bridge won the boys’ 4x100-meter and 4x200-meter relays and placed fourth in the girls’ 4x100-meter relay. Rock Bridge junior David Seamon won the boys’ long jump and senior David Noble was second. Noble also placed second in the boys’ 100 meters.
Hickman placed third in the boys’ 4x800-meter relay as well as the boys’ distance medley relay. The Kewpies’ girls’ distance medley relay team finished last in its division after making last-minute changes in its lineup. Hours before the event, Tess Olsen was sent home sick. Elizabeth Hughes was switched from the 400-meter leg of the race to the 800-meter position. The team added Ciara Tatum in Olsen’s place.
Hughes wasn’t concerned that her team didn’t place high. She said they did well “under the circumstances.”
Hickman coach Steve Kissane said the meet was definitely a success for the Kewpies.
“The kids did really well today,” he said. “There were a lot of very encouraging performances.”
Missouri also had several victories. Sophomore Jason Morris broke the school men’s hammer throw record with a winning throw of 213 feet, 11 inches. Missouri sophomores Chris Rohr (209-2) and Tyler Dailey (204-4) took second and third in the event. Five Missouri athletes achieved NCAA regional qualifying marks in the men’s shot put. Rohr placed second adding two feet to his personal best at 58-6. Bill Hobson was third at 58- 1/4. Nate Englin was fourth at 57-4 3/4. Tyler Dailey was fifth at 55-9 3/4, and Adam Burla was sixth at 55-9.
The Mizzou women’s 4x800-meter relay team won in 8:53.61, setting a meet record.