4x800 Team

Two Seniors and two underclassmen take on the 4x800 relay with determination to win State.

Above: Emmalee Williams, Junior; Hannah Wheeler, Senior; Lauren Smith, Senior; Ella Hays, Freshman.

The Monroe City Track and Field team boarded the bus to head to the Missouri Class 2 State Competition on May 20 in Jefferson City. As the bus left town, fans lined the street with signs, cheering on the athletes to their state bound destiny with hopes of bringing home a title.

The girls 4x800m relay team had set their sights on breaking records as they headed off to the state competition. Together, Lauren Smith, Hannah Wheeler, Ella Hays and Emmalee Williams worked out a plan to shed seconds off of their personal record. As the girls took their positions on the track, fans cheered them on as they took the lead. Not only did they bring home the 4x800m First Place State Title, but they did it approximately 11 seconds faster than the teams trailing them and also broke their personal record by 21 seconds, finishing with a victory time of 10:05.86, just shy of the 1992 record, which still remains to be broken.

Girls Head Coach Laura Mulvaney stated, “Our 4x800 team has been together since the very beginning. They ran together in cross country, making themselves strong mentally and physically, and continued to improve themselves throughout the track season. They ran together in almost every meet, only losing once all season, so they have earned the title as the best 4x800 team in the state. This is the first overall girl 4x800 relay team win in Monroe City history, so it makes it extra special to be a part of school history and to earn that relay team plaque.”

The Panthers and Lady Panthers brought home 10 State Titles including: Carly Youngblood obtaining Second Place in Pole Vault, vaulting 10 feet 10.25 inches; Emmalee Williams finished the 800m race placing Third, with a time of 2:23.28; Emmalee Williams, Lexie Birt, Lauren Smith and Abbey Smith placed Fourth in the 4x400 relay with a time of 4:15.32; Josiah Talton placed Sixth in the Triple Jump jumping 12.93; Jaylyn Countryman, Josiah Talton, Joshua Talton and Kabbott Harlan placed Seventh in the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:34.22; Joshua Talton received Seventh Place in Discus throwing 41.80m; Elmer Mendez-Martinez, Waylon DeGrave, Josiah Talton and Joshua Talton placed Seventh Place in the 4x200 with a time of 1:33.42; Logan Lucas placed Seventh Place in the 3200m race with a time of 10.03.49; and Josiah Talton placed Eighth Place in the 200m dash with a time of 22.83.

Overall, the Monroe City Girls’ Team finished Fifth in the Class 2 State Competition. Girls Head Coach Laura Mulvaney stated, “This season has been such an amazing roller coaster, especially after losing our season last year to Covid-19. We didn’t always win every event, but these ladies are incredibly talented, and it showed when they came home placing Fifth overall as a team. When you’re competing against over 50 other schools, that’s a huge accomplishment,” adding, “It’s a pretty big deal to participate at the State level anyway; you’re participating with the top athletes in the State, so to experience that is truly exciting. We took seven girls to State, and every girl who participated medaled in the top eight. That’s a pretty special accomplishment to have all your athletes who participated become All-State athletes.”

This year the track team will say good-bye to nine senior track athletes. Boys Head Coach David Kirby commented on each of his seniors stating, “Cody Wagner has been a solid performer throughout his high school career.  I have really enjoyed watching him improve over the years.  He has a great work ethic and motivation to be the best competitor he can be. Aaron Plumb has done a great job improving in the hurdles over his high school career.  His enthusiasm and eagerness to assist others is a quality that will take him far. Connor Pfaff is an amazing young man.  He has been a great athlete for Monroe City, but still finds time to be involved in many other areas.  He is truly a Renaissance Man.  It has been an honor to get to coach him. Logan Lucas is a first-year runner who has been a great joy to have as a part of the track and field team.  He is an analytical runner who enjoys setting a strategy and making it work.  It has been really fun to watch him perform and excel this season. Kaleb Griffin has been a great member of our track team.  He has worked very hard to make himself into the runner he is today.  He always brings energy and a very workman-like approach to the track,” with gratitude he added, “Thank you to the Class of 2021 Track and Field athletes.  It has been an honor and privilege to get to coach you all.  You have given me a lifetime of memories.  Remember to always "toe it up and attack the race." 

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