Neosho’s Justin McKee was part of two district championships, one individual and one team, at the Class 4, District 6 Track and Field Championships on Saturday at Branson High School.
Meanwhile, between both the girls’ and boys’ teams, the Wildcats qualified for sectionals in nine events.
McKee won a district title individually with his first place finish in the long jump — setting a new personal record with a distance of 21’5. He then joined the 4x200 meter relay along with Darrian Guillory, Isaac McMaster and Ryan Taylor to win the title with a time of 1:31.21.
After competing in nine events, McKee was picked up in a big way by teammate Davin Bentz in the 4x100 relay. Without even practicing an exchange with Guillory, Bentz stepped in and helped pace the Wildcats to a third place finish in the event to qualify for sectionals.
Also moving on for the boys in individual events were McMaster, second place, 300 hurdles; Logan Davidson, second, high jump; and Guillory, third, high jump.
After winning the district title in the 100 hurdles last season, Sydnie Lowe failed to make the cut this year after she fell during the event. Disappointed, she gathered herself and finished second with a season-best time in the 300 hurdles to advance to sectionals. Tiffany Gilford also advanced in the 100 hurdles after taking second, and Kylee Hulsey was second in the high jump to advance.
Nelson said each qualifier has a realistic shot at advancing from sectionals next week in Ozark, Mo., to the state meet in Jefferson City.
“We’re really excited,” Wildcats coach Zac Nelson said. “We have every kid or group of kids we’re taking that has an opportunity to make it (to state). The competition will be tight, but every one of them has the chance.
“I’m excited for all of them. Davin filled in and did a great job. Sydnie Lowe took a fall in the 100 hurdles and was in contention. That was a big deal. She was really frustrated with herself, but she was able to come back and got out in her other event. I was very pleased with her in that respect.
“McKee did a great job. I hate to point out individuals though. All of those kids deserve credit this week.”
The MSHSAA Sectional Championships begin on Saturday at Ozark High School with athletes advancing from there to the state meet.