ODESSA, Mo. — For a moment, Will Mattock’s weekend looked to be in peril.
Maryville’s star senior found himself pinned to the inside of the track during a chaotic closing stretch of the 800-meter run Saturday at Odessa High School. He ended up in almost a literal fight to the finish for the top-four spots in the Class 3 Sectional 4 meet.
In the end, Mattock pushed into fourth place, securing a berth in a third event for this weekend’s Class 3 Missouri State Track and Field Championships.
“It was tough. I’m not going to lie,” Mattock said. “It was a fight to the end. I didn’t know where I was going to end up, but I knew where I wanted to be and I was going to use every last bit of energy to get there.”
Mattock advances to state in the 800 and 1,600 while also a part of Maryville’s district and sectional champion 4x800 relay. He will be looking to add to last year’s state medal in the 800 and his two top-eight state showings in the longest relay race.
If not for a strong final 100, Mattock might not have gone back in the 800.
The top four runners ended up separated by less than a quarter of a second. The District 8 champion, Mattock was out of the state spots with about 50 meters to go when he navigated the inside line of the track and moved around Clinton junior Matthew Jones.
At the line, Lamar junior Kolin Overstreet won the race in 2:00.38 with St. Michael’s the Archangel junior Daniel Rogge second in 2:00.56 and Hogan Prep freshman Dyimond Walker third in 2:00.59.
Mattock’s fourth-place time was 2:00.62, while Jones faded to fifth about 2 seconds back.
“I knew it was going to be really close,” said Mattock, who ran nearly 7 seconds faster than his district-winning time. “We were all running hard so I had to just do everything I possibly could to push through.”
Mattock also worked from behind in the 1,600 to claim a state spot. He sat in fifth in the final lap of the race but easily sprinted past Knob Noster sophomore Sam Wilhelm and settled into another comfortable fourth-place finish.
Mattock now spaces his events out at state across two days, comfortable with his approach of closing late to earn his bids.
“I think both of these races played to my advantages in the setting that I could come from behind. That’s helpful to run the kind of race I like,” Mattock said.
Maryville’s long distance runners again led the team into state. The Spoofhounds’ 4x800 team of Zach Kizer, Brandon Auffert, Garrett Dumke and Mattock were again dominant in victory. Kizer and Mattock both turned in 2:03 splits to lead the effort.
In fact, the big efforts helped put Maryville in fourth place in the team standings before the meet was suspended due to persistent severe weather with two track events and the pole vault moved back to Monday.
Dumke added to his schedule for next weekend by finishing fourth in the 3,200 once the meet was resumed on Monday. The sophomore finished with a 9:54.72. Freshman Cale Sterling finished in seventh.
Dumke was the team’s third two-miler last season behind Caleb Feuerbacher, now running at UMKC, and Zach Staples, now running at Northwest Missouri State. He was third behind his teammates in the MEC Championships as a freshman, but couldn’t run in districts because each team is allowed just two runners.
“It is fantastic for Garrett personally and it is just another indication of what kind of program coach (Rodney) Bade has set up,” Maryville coach Nathan Powell said. “We are going through to state in every distance event for the boys. You have a solid group of runners going through and to have a sophomore like Garrett come through and run his best ever time in the biggest meet he has ever had to run in — it just goes to show that Bade had him prepared.”
The Maryville boys finished fourth in the very tight team race. They finished with 63 points, just two behind El Dorado Springs, three behind Odessa and seven behind champion Lamar.
If not for late-season injuries, Maryville’s track contingent might have been larger.
Jacob Davenport, a junior, qualified in the 110 hurdles with a second-place finish (16.15), despite stepping down on the final hurdle for the second straight week. He advanced to sectionals in just one individual event after a lingering hamstring tweak led him to scratch out of the 300 hurdles at districts.
At sectionals, Davenport was part of Maryville’s two redesigned sprint relays, which were minus seniors Braiden Sells (hamstring) and Alex Gotszling (unavailable). The Spoofhounds’ 4x200 came in fifth while the 4x100 was sixth.
Gotzling scratched out of his spot in the open 100 due to a schedule conflict, while Sells later attempted to run in the 200 with a severely injured left leg, which forced him to pull up lame in the final stretch and finish a distant eighth.
Maryville junior Connor Nielson just missed a state spot, placing fifth in the 300 hurdles in addition to his eighth-place finish in the triple jump.
In addition to the runners, Maryville pushed individuals to state in the long jump and pole vault.
Carson Pistole, a junior jumped 20 feet, 2½ inches on his third try to push into second place behind Warsaw junior Parker Love. The mark was 2 inches better than his District 8 mark but still off his season-best of 20-10½.
Treyton Paris will be making his first trip to state in the pole vault. The senior had his season end in sectionals last year when his pole was deemed illegal and he had to borrow one. He had no such troubles this season, but had to wait until Monday to clear 10 feet, 3 inches to take fourth place and earn his spot in Jefferson City.
“Last year was a mess for him,” Powell said. “Then to go down there on Saturday, sit all day and then have them send you home — he did a great job to stay focused. … He competed when you had to.”
While the Maryville girls qualified three for sectionals, they fell short of sending anyone to to state meet, but with a young team, Powell is excited to see what the group is capable of in the future.
“Hopefully next season they can build on that and expand on their successes,” Powell said.
Maryville sophomore Ilse Flores-Hernandez came in sixth in the 100 hurdles, while fellow sophomore Morgan Stoecklein was seventh in the long jump, going 15 1½ on her third of four attempts. Flores-Hernandez ran a season-best 17.97 in the hurdle final.
Junior Laura Feuerbacher had the 3,200 pushed back to Monday and finished in seventh place with a 13:28.17.
The Spoofhound boys will make the trip to Jefferson City for Friday and Saturday’s Class 3 State Championships. Events will get underway on at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.