Each of the last three seasons, Midway senior Joey Beller left the Missouri Class 1 track and field state meet full of disappointment. His junior, sophomore and freshman appearances produced underwhelming results.
His final appearance was much the opposite.
After waiting out a rain delay, Beller sidestepped the wet conditions at Lincoln University to win the Class 1 boys shot put. His second toss of 47 feet, 3 inches defeated second-place Max Carrillo of St. Joseph Christian by only a quarter of an inch.
“I had a moment where I thought he was going to get me,” Beller said. “When they announced (his last throw) was short, it was unreal. It’s been four years of wanting to get here.”
Beller was quick to credit the rain, which delayed the running events an hour Saturday and pushed back some of the field events more than two hours. While the weather changed the surface of the shot put launching point, Beller said he was one of the few competitors unaffected by it.
“I use mostly a shuffle, and everybody else uses a spin or glide, so it was to my advantage,” Beller said. “I didn’t have to worry about slipping at all.”
West Platte boys win
By the time the baton reached West Platte senior Dillon Crockett in the Class 2 1,600 relay race Saturday, he said he had narrowed his focus to just one thought.
“Whatever you do,” he told himself. “Don’t get passed. Just don’t get passed.”
Never a worry.
Crockett anchored the West Platte victory in the relay, with junior Conner Salmons, senior Colton Goodlet and senior Adam Roe handing him the lead. The school record holders in the 1,600 relay ran a time of 3 minutes, 26.91 seconds Saturday.
“I’ve never been more happy to run with these guys,” Crockett said. “We came in with the full confidence this could happen after (winning the preliminary race) yesterday. That told us we were capable.”
Roe also placed second in the discus throw Saturday.
Eberle takes gold
The sheer number of participants in the Missouri Class 1 girls high jump was enough to make Midway freshman Adia Eberle nervous. But two hours later, she was the only one left standing.
Eberle took home the state title in the event Saturday after becoming the lone competitor to clear the bar at 5 feet, 2 inches. She bested a field of 16 entrants, exactly double the largest field she said she had seen this season.
“I was really scared at first seeing there were 16 people. That was intimidating,” said Eberle, who was seeded first in the competition. “I did not expect this at all. I was freaked out about it. I was so relieved to win.”
Midway girls win
After two seniors graduated from its Class 1 state-championship 800 girls relay team, Midway was forced to switch up its lineup this season.
But the final result remained the same.
Midway repeated as 800 relay state champions Saturday, edging Worth County by only 0.28 seconds. It was the second straight title in the race for Jessica Owens and Dee Stark and the first for Laine Mills and Taylor Pierce.
Fulte grabs two silvers
A day after winning a state championship in the long jump, Orrick junior Samantha Fulte picked up two silver medals Saturday. She placed second in the 100-meter hurdles race and second in the triple jump. She was also fifth in the 300 hurdles.
West Platte senior Paige Larison took second in the Class 2 girls discus throw.
Lutheran placed second in the Class 1 girls 400 relay race with a time of 52.95 seconds.
Summit Christian Academy freshman Carlie Queen placed third in the Class 2 girls pole vault.
To reach Sam McDowell, send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.