GRANT CITY, Mo. — The South Holt/Nodaway-Holt boys showed their depth in Tuesday’s Worth County Tiger Relays in Grant City. Even with standout senior Reagan Morris sidelined midway through the meet, the Spartans were able to pull off a third-place team finish in the 19-team field.
“It is just a good quality win for us, third out of that many teams is not bad,” Spartan coach Jonn Casey said.
Morris helped the Spartans get off to a good start in the field events with a third-place finish in the triple jump and qualified for the finals in the 200-meter dash with the fastest preliminary time, but in the 400-meter dash, he pulled up with a hamstring injury. Morris’ injury likely cost the Spartans 20 team points as he would have been a favorite in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes.
The Spartans were able to flash their depth to still get into the top-three and senior Eric Ottman helped pick up some of that slack with a second-place run in the 200-meter dash with a 24.73.
“Coming in, I hadn’t been doing so well in the 200, so this meet I really wanted to focus on that,” Ottman said. “I tried to focus in the blocks on getting a good start.”
Ottman was also fifth in the long jump — the first time he has ever done that event.
“Coach asked me yesterday if I wanted to try the long jump and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll give it a shot,’ so coming out with fifth-place after one practice felt really good,” Ottman said.
Senior Taran Clark was fourth in the long jump and was strong in the hurdles with a second-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles and a third-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles.
Freshman Dawson Fansher earned a pair of medals in the distance races with a fourth-place finish in the two mile and a sixth-place finish in the mile. Freshman Hayden Elifrits was second in the shot put with a 42-foot-10.
Before Morris’ injury, he joined Gannon Phelan, Drew Quinlin and Ottman finished third in the 4x200-meter relay. The Spartans were sixth in the 4x400-meter relay and the 4x800-meter relay.
“I think we are all running pretty fast,” Ottman said. “I think if we get our blocks down perfect, we can make a run at it.”
For the Spartan girls, senior Olivia Richards was the star with four individual medals including a first-place finish in the triple jump with a 34-foot-7.
Richards rounded out her day with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash, a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth-place finish in the long jump. It was the first time that Richards has run the 100-meter dash.
“I kept watching her split on the 4x100 and saying, ‘That can’t be right,’ but it was right so I put her in there and she did well,” Casey said. “Now she has created all sorts of problems for me (referencing deciding which events to use Richards in).”
The other area of strength for the Spartans was the distance races with freshman Makayla Bohart and sophomore Reese Morris finishing third and fourth in the 3,200-meter runs. Bohart was sixth in the 1,600-meter run.
“The older kids are helping me coach with these younger kids and we are just trying to reload every year and stay at the top,” Casey said.