South Callaway advances to state meet in 23 events

LINN — The South Callaway Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs track and field teams put on another sensational display in the lead-up to the showcase event.

The South Callaway squads combined to qualify in a remarkable 23 events for this week’s state championships as they easily locked up the Class 2, Sectional 2 team titles Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs also exceeded their 17 state-qualifying events from last year.

South Callaway — advancing in 12 events in the girls’ division and 11 with the boys — will compete in the Class 2 state championships Friday and Saturday at Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Stadium in Jefferson City. The top four sectional finishers in each event moved on to the state meet.

The Lady Bulldogs were paced by junior Hannah Oberdiek and seniors Taylor Howard and Bailey Ward, who all qualified for state in four events. Oberdiek won the long jump Saturday, took second in the 100 meters and third in the 200, and was part of the first-place 400 relay that will get a chance to defend its state title. Howard came in second in both the 400 and pole vault, finished third behind Oberdiek in the 100 and was a member of the 800 relay that placed second.

Ward placed second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles, setting school records in both events, and was also on the 400 and 800 relays.

Senior Garner Rudroff and junior Mason Shoemaker led the Bulldogs as both advanced to state in three events. Rudroff will get the opportunity to defend his state title in the long jump after winning the event Saturday. He was also part of the victorious 400 and 800 relays. Shoemaker prevailed in the 200, took third in the 100 and was a member of the 800 relay.

Oberdiek triumphed in the long jump with a height of 17 feet, 4 1/2 inches, and finished second in the 100 and third in the 200 with respective times of 12.91 and 27.21 seconds. She teamed with junior Paige Brown, Ward and junior Alexis Wetherell to win the 400 relay in :51.05.

Howard took second in the 400 with a time of 1:00.50 and was second in the pole vault with a leap of 9-6, equalling her own school record. She came in third in the 100 in :12.93, and joined Brown, Ward and junior Sarah Jennings to finish second in the 800 relay in 1:48.62.

Ward established school marks with her second-place time of :48.94 in the 300 hurdles and her third-place finish of :17.06 in the 100 hurdles.

Jennings also qualified for state by placing second in the high jump (5-0) and third in the triple jump (32-9). Senior Karli Leeper advanced with a second-place throw of 34-1/2 in the shot put.

Rudroff was victorious in the long jump with a distance of 20-7 1/2. He then partnered with sophomore Ajay Cave, senior Seth Markley and junior Cory Hanger to win the 400 relay in :45.44. Rudroff also teamed with Markley, Shoemaker and Hanger to prevail in the 800 relay in a school-record 1:33.92.

Shoemaker triumphed in the 200 in :23.16 and came in third in the 100 in :11.41. Senior Josh Brooks qualified for state by winning the discus (139-7) and taking third in the shot put (41-8).

Junior Terry Miles also advanced in three events, finishing third in the 800 (2:04.67) and fourth in the high jump (5-10). He was a member of the 1,600 relay — joining senior Ethan Ward, sophomore Brandon Ward and Hanger — that qualified by setting a school record with its second-place time of 3:35.82.

Hanger moved on to the state championships when he set a school record in the 400 with his second-place time of :51.93.

The Lady Bulldogs wrapped up the girls’ sectional team title by accumulating 114 points. Russellville was far behind in second with 76 points and Father Tolton took third with 65. The Bulldogs secured the boys’ team championship with 93 points, while Palmyra was second (60) and Fatima third (56).

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