Track and Field continues strong season with wins at Eureka and Rockwood Summit

St. Louis U. High’s Track and Field team has been running all over the place in the past few weeks, competing with some of the best talent in Missouri and continuing to dominate the field. In the last two weeks the Jr. Bills have competed at four different meets and managed to show off their impressive talent and depth in all of them starting with the Eureka Invitational back on April 8.

Sophomore Elias Scott sets out on his race. Photo: Kathy Chott

The Eureka Invitational has been a staple of the Track and Field schedule for many years now, but this year was a little different as the frigid conditions paired with the rain forced the Jr. Bills to hold out their sprinting and jumps teams from competing. While the conditions left the team underrepresented in the meet, the distance, pole vault, and throws teams still showed up and achieved an impressive fifth place finish. 

Eli Smith and Eli Dernlan scored points for the team in pole vault, with Smith finishing third and Dernlan fifth. The shot put and discus teams also performed well and competed with some of the best throwers in the state. The running events started off with the open 1600-meter race, where freshman Gavin Smith ran an impressive 5:22 to win. Both the JV and Varsity 4x800 teams won their races. Senior Joe LaBarge ran a huge personal best in the mile, going 4:32 and placing second, only .03 seconds behind first place. In his first open 800 of the season, senior Baker Pashea won the race in a time of 2:01.04 with junior Nolan Meara behind him in fifth place. For the second week in a row sophomore Mason Scargall set the JV 3200 meet record and in the varsity race seniors Grant Brawley and Sean Kellogg, also known as the terror twins, finished first and second, running 9:37 and 9:41. SLUH then closed out the meet with a fourth place finish in the 4x400, giving them an overall total of 71 points on the day. 

After an impressive showing at Eureka, the rest of the varsity team traveled down to Chaminade to compete at the All Catholic Invitational. Even with the varsity team out and running a V2 squad, the team managed a very impressive fourth place finish overall. In the 100-meter dash, senior Chris Brooks (second) and sophomore Joe Harris (third) showed off their skills by easily making it through their preliminary heats and placing very well in the finals. The 4x100 team also finished in an impressive fifth place, especially when considering that they ran against other teams’ varsity squads. In the 800, sophomore Charlie Gray placed sixth with a personal best of 2:12 and junior Brendan Jones was right behind in running 2:17. The 4x800 team placed third and broke 9 minutes. Anthony Zangara (fifth place) and Carter Lowe (sixth) finished right with each other in the 1600, and junior Tim Greiner had the race of the day, breaking 10 minutes in the 3200 (9:58) and winning the varsity race. 

In the field events, Corey Luaders had a great day placing third overall and senior Andrew Reneud was in eighth. Eric Piening comfortably won in the high jump, with a jump of 1.92 meters. Piening finished third in the long jump, and teammate Andy Harris finished seventh. Both of them also came back for the triple jump where this time Harris took first place and Piening second. And finally to close out the day for the team Eli Smith finished fourth in the pole vault and Ben Kean finished in fifth, totalling a score of 102 for the team. 

Last week, after a Wednesday that threatened tornadoes and other blustery conditions, the annual JV/C-2 was moved back from its usual Wednesday afternoon time to the following afternoon. The meet gave the SLUH squad an excellent opportunity to show off the depth of the JV squad against some of the other JV and even varsity athletes in St. Louis.

In the sprints, Joe Harris (11.2 seconds), Kam Bailey (11.5), and Andre Tucker (11.5) showed the depth of the sprint squad running fast 100-meter times and showing their potential for varsity races in the future. Along with the sprinters, the middle-distance and distance runners were able to show off the incredible depth of the squad. The 4x800 relay led off the day with one of the fastest times of the SLUH season so far with Wyatt Seal running his leg of the relay in 2:04 seconds and earning himself a comfortable PR. The most impressive event of the day took place in the 1600 where SLUH athletes took places 1 through 11. Along with this feat, junior Tim Griener won the race in a time of 4:39 which would easily contend for a top spot in a varsity meet. Just after Tim, sophomores Anthony Zangara (second; 4:44) and Charlie Gray (third; 4:47) both ran big PRs and set themselves up for most fast times throughout the season.

Just two days after the infamous JV/C-2 meet took place, the SLUH varsity and JV contingents trekked down to Rockwood Summit to take on some of the toughest competition of the year. Despite some of the strongest competition of the year, the SLUH athletes were able to run great times across the board and win the meet on the varsity level with a total score of 133.5 points.

Seniors Joe LaBarge, Grant Brawley, Sean Kellogg, and Baker Pashea started off the day with a first place finish in the 4x800 relay and a time of 8:14.1 second,s making them the third-fastest Class 5 4x800 so far this season. After the seniors took over the relay scene, sophomore Jacobi Oliphant showed his talent winning the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.99 and then coming back to place third in the varsity 100 in a time of 11.23. Along with Oliphant, senior Chris Brooks ran the 100 where he placed sixth out of the competitive field of athletes and returned to help the 4x200 relay to place fourth. After the 4x200 relay, the distance crew returned to the track to run the 1600 race where sophomore Mason Scargall won the JV level with a time of 4:45. On the varsity level, seniors Grant Brawley (4:29) finished third and Sean Kellogg (4:33) fourth. After the 1600, the sprint squad made up of Chris Brooks, Ryan Wingo, Keshon Parker, and Jacobi Oliphant once again took over running a meet record in the 4x100 relay with a time of 42.95.

As the meet continued, SLUH athletes once again proved their dominance across many events. Connor Greniger had a great day winning the 300 hurdles and running a time of 41.78. Ryan Wingo ran the fastest Class 5 200 time this season, not to mention a huge PR, in the 200 where he ran 21.46 to place second. Anthony Zangara also had a great day breaking the meet record for the JV 3200 race with a first place finish in 10:16. In the jumps, Eric Piening and Andy Harris once again proved themselves against tough competition with Piening taking first in the high jump and third in the triple jump and Harris finishing fourth in the triple jump. 

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