Linders places seventh at MSHSAA Track and Field State Championships
The Neosho Track and Field team wrapped up their season on May 27 at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City on a day filled with weather delays.
Senior Jayden Browning, a three-time state qualifier who likely would’ve made it all four years sans COVID, wrapped up her athletic career at Neosho placing 13th in the triple jump (10.73) and 14th in the long jump (5.22).
Junior Kaden Cole placed 11th in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:28.51.
“(My goal was to) mainly get here,” said Cole. “To show college coaches what I can do and produce. Just getting here is a huge blessing to me. Going to state for cross last year was kind of an ice breaker for me, getting here in track for first time is a huge (accomplishment) for me.”
Junior Tristin Linders placed seventh in discus with a throw of 46.71 meters to earn All-State honors, breaking his own personal record and earning a steak dinner in the process.
“Heading into this year, really, my goal was just looking to make it here, to the show,” said Linders. “I was really fortunate, had a lot of ups and downs this year, and ended up pulling it out here at the end. It was great.”
“My deal is if you throw further than what I did (when I was in high school) ill buy you a steak dinner,” said Neosho Throwing Coach Frank Hebert. “I’m proud to be buying another steal dinner this year. My first discus state dinner.”
Hebert added that last year, Linders looked on pace to possibly do what he achieved this year before the season was canceled due to COVID19.
“Came back this year, and it can go one of two ways,” said Hebert. “they can say they’re done and give up on it cause its frustrating or do what he did. He gave me a call, probably about a month before the season started, and talked about the things he wanted to accomplish and the work he wanted to put in and what do we need to do to get to where we need to be at end of the season. We had some good conversations about it, had some stumbles along the way, made some mistakes, but in the end his work ethic and attitude got him to where he is today. Being coachable in the right ways helped him achieve what he has, and I can’t wait to see what he does next year.”
Linders told the Neosho Daily News he wasn’t too upset with the rain delays, in fact, he was happy about it because of how he’s stepped up and thrown in these conditions in the past.
Hebert added that they’ve been working on his warmups the past few weeks by shortening them, seeing a pattern of Linders throwing his best during warmups.
“His very first warm up throw was probably 45 meters or so,” said Hebert. “I was like, ‘ok this is going to be a good day,’ Next one was 40 meters, ‘ok we’ll see what happens,’ He drops a bomb for his first throw and started to let loose. It was a ton of fun to watch.”
After receiving his medal and standing at the podium, Linders talked to the Neosho Daily News about his reaction.
“Complete joy,” said Linders. “I’ve been looking forward to this since my freshman year. This has been a goal of mine just to make it here and to medal just put the cherry on top. Next year, I’m really looking forward to that too.”