The Cleveland Naval Jr. ROTC Commanders continued its mini dynasty in boys’ track and field by winning the Missouri Class 2 state championship in Jefferson City last weekend.
It was the second consecutive state title for the Commanders and fourth in seven years for this small-school track powerhouse. Cleveland scored 75 points to win the championship, followed by Maplewood’s 59 points as the St. Louis area took home the top two team trophies.
For one final time, the Commanders’ talented trio of Kelsey Cole, Antonio Norman and James Allen came up with big individual performances to lead the way. Cole was a three-time winner as he finished first in the triple jump (48 feet 3 ¼ inches), long jump (22-5 ¾) and the 200-meter dash (22.36 seconds).
Norman swept the hurdles races for the second consecutive year. He won the 110-meter high hurdles in 14.8 seconds and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 37.77 seconds. Allen finished second in the 400-meter dash, third in the 800-meter run and anchored the 4x800-meter relay team to a third place finish. The Commanders also finished third in the 4x100-meter relay.
Maplewood enjoyed a strong weekend in taking home a second-place team trophy. The Blue Devils received state-championship performances Zach Barton in the 100 and Malik Stewart in the 1,600-meter run. Barton turned in a winning time of 10.99 in the 100 while Stewart’s winning time in the 1,600 was 4 minutes 31.26 seconds. Stewart also finished second in the 800 and joined Jaylen Burdine, Dylan Boyd and Logan McDonald on the state-championship 4x800-meter relay team. The Blue Devils also finished second in the 4x200 and second in the 4x400 while Christopher Skaggs was fourth in the discus.
The other boys’ medalists at the state meet were Amir Nasiruddin of McKinley Classical, who finished fifth in the shot put and Brentwood’s three sprint relay teams. The Eagles finished sixth in the 4x100, fourth in the 4x200 and third in the 4x400.
On the girls’ side, sophomore McKinlee Morris of Crossroads won the state championship in the shot put with a throw of 38-10. She became the first girl in the school’s history to win a state championship in track. Morris also took home a second-place medal in the discus. Maplewood’s Kayla Buchannan finished second in the 400 and 800. Maplewood also finished seventh in the 4x800. Keiosha Rogers of Valley Park finished third in the 100.
*East St. Louis Flyerettes take second in Illinois
East St. Louis came home with a second-place team trophy from last weekend’s Illinois Class 2A girls state championships in Charleston, Illinois. The Flyerettes were led by thrower Evangelynn Harris, who won the state title in the shot put and finished second in the discus. Her winning throw was 46 feet 1 ¼ inches. The quartet of Shonjahnea Griggs, Faith Mitchell, Likkaya Keyes and Maysha Vickers won the 4x400-meter relay in 3:53.26. Griggs also finished seventh in the 400 and Veronica Sherrod was third in the 300-meter low hurdles. East Side also finished second in the 4x200 and fifth in the 4x100.
*Large schools compete at state championships this weekend
The Missouri Class 3, 4, and 5 state championships will be held this weekend at Jefferson City High. The preliminaries take place on Friday with the championship races set for Saturday.
Here is a list of the returning individual state champions from the St. Louis area:
Class 4 Boys: Jakeel Suber (Parkway Noth), 300-meter intermediate hurdles; Isaiah Martin (Hillsboro), javelin;
Class 3 Boys: Brandon Miller (John Burroughs), 800-meter run; Jameson Williams (Cardinal Ritter) 300-meter intermediate hurdles, Miles Elkins (Whitfield), triple jump.
Class 5 Girls: Dejan Ingram (Hazelwood Central), 100-meter dash; Jada Moore (Pattonville), 200-meter dash; Diamond Riley (Ritenour) triple jump.
Class 4 Girls: Mikayla Reed (Washington) 800 and 1,600-meter runs.
Class 3 Girls: Valarie Whitted (Cardinal Ritter) 100-meter high hurdles.