It was a close call, but Nick Jones was able to successfully defend his Class 1 crown in the 100-meter dash.
Jones earned the first of his four state medals with a first-place time of 11.24 seconds in the 100 at the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 1 state track and field championships at Lincoln University's Dwight T. Reed Stadium on Saturday.
A pair of South Callaway field athletes joined Jones as local state champions as senior Garner Rudroff and junior Hannah Oberdiek each captured first place in their respective Class 2 long jump competitions. Rudroff snatched up his second-straight state title on Friday while Oberdiek - a part of the Lady Bulldogs' 400-meter relay title team from last year - secured her first career individual gold.
Jones was a four-time medalist for a second consecutive year while Oberdiek and Rudroff both medalled three times. Jones came up short in his bid to repeat as boys' 200-meter champion with a second-place finish while also earning runner-up honors in the 400 and the long jump.
Jones' time of :11.24 in the 100 just beat Greenfield senior Brendan Black's runner-up jaunt of :11.26. Black returned the favor later in the day by denying Jones of a second straight state title in the 200.
Black finished the 200 in :22.85, legging out Jones' effort of :22.89. Stewartville's Dominick Fleeks earned top honors in the 400 with a finish of :50.08 while Jones was just behind him at :50.73.
Salisbury junior Brady Francis just got past Jones' mark of 22 feet, 1/2 inch in the long jump with a first-place hop of 22-3.
Jones posted the fastest qualifying time in both the 100 (:11.24) and 200 (:22.48) in Friday's preliminaries. Jones logged the third-fastest qualifying time in the 400-meter preliminary, finishing in :50.46. His efforts on Saturday produced 34 points for the Eagles through 16 events.
Oberdiek left little doubt with her long jump win, soaring to victory with a season-best leap of 17-9 1/4 on Saturday. Crane sophomore Emma Lander was a distant second with a jump of 17-1.
"She showed great composure through the rain delay and then also competing hard in the 4x100 and 4x200 before the long jump competition," South Callaway jumps coach April Holzem said. "It was an awesome experience to watch Hannah come through with a clutch final jump and also a season's best."
Oberdiek - a fifth-place finisher in last year's 100-meter final - took home eighth place in 2014 with a time of :13.22. Regan Nash of North Platte gained the state title with a clip of :12.56.
Oberdiek secured a spot in the 100-meter finals with a run of :12.97 in Friday afternoon's preliminary.
Rudroff claimed his second-straight state crown with a season-best leap of 22-1 1/4 on Friday, beating out N.J.R.O.T.C senior Michael Wells' effort of 21-11 1/2.
"Garner came in today with the mindset that the long jump was his to lose," Holzem said. "He jumped his personal best for the season, breaking into the 22-foot range again ... We're so proud of him, not only for his efforts in the long jump, but as a member of the 4x100 and 4x200 (relay) teams, and also graduating as well."
The South Callaway quartet of Oberdiek, seniors Taylor Howard and Bailey Ward and junior Paige Brown came up just seconds short of defending its title in the 400 relay, completing its run in :50.57, just behind Metro (:50.54).
The same four finished the 800 relay in a runner-up time of 1:47.63. Penney won the state title in that event, crossing the finish line in 1:46.98.
Howard, Ward, Brown and Oberdiek notched the top qualifying times in both the 400 (:51.05) and 800 (1:47.03) during the Friday afternoon preliminaries.
"We were really happy with the relays," South Callaway head coach Tim Rulo said. "I know I was sad for the girls because they really wanted to repeat. They may not get it now, but second-place finishes in both relays was phenomenal and we're super stoked for how they did."
Junior Cory Hanger finished eighth in the 400-meter dash with result of :52.83 on Saturday. Hanger clocked the event's sixth-fastest preliminary on Friday with a run of :51.25. Wells secured the 400-meter state title in a time of :49.11.
Hanger, Rudroff, senior Seth Markley and junior Mason Shoemaker earned sixth place in the Class 2 400-meter relay final with a finish of :45.38 while placing eighth in the 800 relay in a time of 1:34.37. Lamar (:43.28) and Charleston (1:31.54) won the state titles in the 400 and 800-meter relays, respectively.
Hanger, Rudroff, senior Seth Markley and junior Mason Shoemaker produced the seventh-fastest 400-meter relay time on Friday, finishing in :44.58. The same foursome earned the final spot in the 800 relay with a preliminary run of 1:33.51.
Senior Karli Leeper earned eighth in the girls' shot put with a toss of 33-11 3/4. Brentwood sophomore Sophia Rivera won the event with a heave of 45-8.
Junior Sarah Jennings took 10th in the girls' long jump by leaping five feet. Summit Christian Academy freshman Carlie Queen won the state title with a meet record jump of 5-7 3/4. Jennings placed 12th in the triple jump with a finishing result of 33-3/4. Lander topped the field with a championship hop of 36-1.
Junior Terry Miles ran a time of 2:04.87 in the boys' 800-meter run on Saturday to take 12th place. Fatima's Tom Zeilman won the event in a time of 1:56.74. Miles also earned 12th place in the boys' high jump, clearing the bar at a height of 5-10. Sarcoxie sophomore Lath Kisling won the state championship with an effort of 6-3.
Senior Josh Brooks took 14th in the boys' shot put with a throw of 41-8. West Platte senior Adam Roe took home the state title with a heave of 54-9 1/2.
Shoemaker failed to reach the boys' 100-meter final, running a 13th-place time of :12.02 in the preliminaries. Shoemaker placed 10th in the 200 with a preliminary result of :23.15.
Howard finished ninth in the preliminary run of the 400 with a time 1:00.2. The boys' 1,600-meter relay team of Hanger, Miles, senior Ethan Ward and sophomore Brandon Ward finished 15th in the preliminary round in 3:40.13.
"We're just so honored and humbled to be coaching these kids and the success they've had," Rulo said. "They've put in the time and they put the trust in us, which can be hard sometimes. It's so fufilling to see hard work pay off."