Adia Eberle waited until the bar reached 5 feet to make her opening attempt in the Class 1 girls high jump May 19, the same height where the Midway senior bowed out last season.
That, more than anything else, symbolized the difference between her disappointing junior season and her satisfying final appearance in the Missouri Class 1-2 state track meet. Eberle won the high jump, a feat she also accomplished as a sophomore, with a jump of 5 feet, 6 inches and came within a whisker of breaking the all-Class 1 mark.
“Today was a relief,” Eberle said. “I was nervous today, for sure.”
Being back at Jefferson City High School’s stadium was feeding into those nerves, because it was the same venue where she finished a surprisingly low fifth place with that 5-0 mark. Even clearing a season-best 5-7 the week before in winning her sectional meet couldn’t completely calm her.
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“I didn’t want it to get in my head like it did last year,” Eberle said. “So I just had to take a deep breath and jump like I know I can jump.”
Eberle was still collected enough to clear every height she attempted on her first try until she reached 5-5. By then the title was hers after Evelyn Carswell of School of the Ozarks made her third miss at 5-4.
After clearing 5-5 on her second try and sailing over the bar at 5-6, Eberle decided to take a shot at 5-7 ¼ and eclipsing the Class 1 mark of 5-7 that had stood since 1993. She almost made on her first attempt when she clipped the bar with her heel.
Setting records, though, wasn’t Eberle’s goal Friday.
“I just wanted to clear 5-2,” said, Eberle, who will compete for Kansas next year. “I just wanted to do better than I did last year.”
Peyton Richardson also won a gold medal for Midway, and the record book will now list him as the Class 1 state meet record holder in the boys javelin.
That’s because he’s the first and only Class 1boys javelin champion.
An exhibition event the last two years, the javelin became an official event this season, and Richardson took the Class 1 boys title Saturday with a 167-9 toss that will serve as the record. He reached that distance on his last throw of the day, and it came after he has already secured the title.
“I already knew that I was a state winner,” Richardson said. “So I just kind of reached back and threw and I threw my farthest.”
Richardson just took up the javelin last year, when most Missouri schools started picking the event knowing it would soon become part of the state meet. In that short time, he reached a personal-best of 170 feet as well as winning a state title.
“I got pretty good at it,” Richardson said.
Midway also had all-state performers in Chandler Stephens, who placed eighth in the boys pole vault, Joshua Yahnig, who was eighth in the boys discus and Ellie Kalinka, who took seventh in the girls javelin. The Vikings also had four relay teams, but none of them advanced to the finals.
“We got some medals to take home,” Midway track coach Bryan Stahl said. “We figured we’d do well in the field but we didn’t know how well we’d do on the track.”
Drexel’s Jacobs wins discus
Joey Jacobs of Drexel barely missed out on winning a medal during the first day of the meet. On the final day, he made sure he wouldn’t go home empty-handed.
Jacobs won the Class 1 boys discus title, unleashing a throw of 152 feet, 7 inches. He fell shy of his personal best of 156-3, but after suffering through placing ninth in the shot put the day before, wasn’t about to complain.
“I came in wanting to redeem myself for that one,” said Jacobs, who placed third in the discus and seventh in the shot last year as a junior.
Redemption came on his final throw in preliminaries, which nobody could touch in the final round. While Jacobs knew he had a good throw, he wasn’t quite convinced it was a winner at the time.
“I thought there’s a chance it would, but I was a little nervous,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs was one of five Bobcats to finish on the podium in the Class 1 meet. Hauns Tholin was fourth in the boys 1,600, Aaron Woods finished sixth in the boys 110-meter hurdles, Maycie Mayfield tied for fifth in the girls pole vault, and Heide Swoger was eighth in the girls discus.
Sherwood’s Johnson soars
Elijah Johnson of Sherwood has had better days than the one he had last Saturday. But he was still good enough to get a medal.
Johnson, a junior, took second place in the Class 2 boys triple jump with a leap of 43 feet, 7 inches. That’s a good foot off his personal best of 44-6, which is also a school record. He placed eighth the day before in the long jump 20-8, which was also short of his personal best and school-record 22-5 in that event.
“I did about average of what I was thinking I was going to do,” Johnson said. “Maybe I’ll push it a little harder next time and come out first.”