MARYVILLE, Mo. — One of the benefits of having the Northwest Missouri State track and field team, along with the Hughes Fieldhouse, in Maryville is that teams from all over the tri-state area descended on Maryville on Saturday to compete alongside the Maryville Spoofhounds and Nodaway Valley Thunder in their season-opening meet.
The Northwest Missouri High School Invitational attracted large schools form Iowa and Nebraska to participate in the indoor meet with 24 schools meeting in the Hughes Fieldhouse.
“It was a great opportunity for the kids to get out here and get some good competition from teams we don’t see,” Nodaway Valley coach Kenneth Hamilton.
The Maryville boys got off to a strong start to the season with a fourth-place finish, the highest finish among the Missouri schools attending.
“They did great,” Maryville coach Rodney Bade said. “We were really impressed with a lot of kids.”
With the indoor aspect of the event, it allowed the teams to compete in events that they do not usually get to do. That allowed 10 Spoofhound athletes to find their way into the Maryville record books.
The girls’ distance medley relay broke the school record in that event with Meah Schommer, Avery Derr, Carleigh McElvain and Katherine Pohren running a 14:59.6 to take the record in that event.
“Those girls ran awesome,” Bade said.
In the boys’ distance medley relay, Bradley Deering, Dylan Meyer, Colton Berry and Connor Blackford ran a 11:08.9 to break the school record that the team set last season.
With sophomore Dylan Masters ill, Berry had to step into his spot in the relay and responded with a strong split to help get the record.
“We were pretty hyped going into this, then on Thursday and Friday, Dylan Masters came down down sick, so obviously he wasn’t able to race on Saturday and we had to find a replacement,” Deering said. “Colton Berry stepped up.”
In the 60-meter dash, first-year runners Tuan Jacobson and Wyatt Garner each broke the Spoofhound record — a sign to the high hopes that the new group of sprinters bring to the program. Jacobson edged Garner by a thousandth of a second to earn the record.
The best finishes of the day for any Maryville athlete came in the long jump and triple jump where senior Keaton Stone took second in each to out-of-state competitors.
“I think this meet will be one of the biggest meets with bigger schools that we will see,” Stone said. “I think being able to get second with a lot of those bigger schools here is good. It means I should win a lot of meets this year and I’m excited for that.”
Stone joined Meyer, Delton Davis and Jesus Flores to take fourth in the 4x400-meter dash. Stone filled in for Masters in the race.
“This was a much bigger meet and more competitive than last year and I think, for our older kids, that helped them a lot,” Bade said.
Other top finishes came from Garner, taking fourth in the long jump; Deering, taking fourth in the 1,600-meter run; Blackford, taking sixth in the 800-meter run; Flores taking sixth in the 200-meter run; Sadler Viau, taking sixth in the 60-meter hurdles; and Kort Watkins, taking sixth in the shot put.
“It feels awesome to just come out and get a PR at the beginning of the season,” Deering said of his 4-second personal record in the mile. “I wasn’t expecting it either. … It was a good day. It felt great honestly.”
For the girls, junior Ella Schulte led the efforts by taking fourth in the 60-meter hurdles. Jillian Bagley was sixth in the 60-meter dash.
“Jillian surprised herself and got into the final,” Bade said. “… The girls in general — I think a lot of it comes down to just their attitudes. Everyone was eager and willing today, and ran for each other. I think that will help us down the road.”
Nodaway Valley came to the meet with several of its most experienced options not available to compete, but got to see several of their younger options get valuable experience. One of the highlights of the day was John Fuhrman, Clay Hanson, Reece Walker and Blake Bohannon taking 12th in the 4x200-meter relay.
“We are right where we want to be with that,” Hamilton said.
The best finish of the day for the Thunder was sophomore Ava Graham with a 9.89-meter toss in the shot put to finish fourth — behind three seniors from Millard South in Omaha.
“Ava is in an interesting place because she has high expectations and high goals for herself,” Hamilton said. “We are trying to help her achieve those the best we can, so coming to a big meet like this where there is lots of high competition is great for her head space and great for her.”