Bryan “Bubba” Burns set a new school record in the discus and finished second, Kaylee Morgan took third in the long jump and Stefan Stokes finished seventh in the hurdles to highlight Carthage’s appearance at the state track and field championships in Jefferson City this weekend.
Burns, a junior, scratched on three of his first four throws but made it to the finals with a throw of 170-03. His first toss in the finals was also a scratch, and his second went just 156 feet. The third time was the charm, though, as Burns hit 179-01 feet, breaking the old school record of 174-06 set in 2000 by Solimon McCoy.
“That was huge and it’s great for him,” Carthage head coach Andy Youngworth said. “Second place at the state meet as a junior is amazing. Our sectional was tough, with three of the four medalists coming from our sectional.”
Like Burns, McCoy set the school record as a junior. Youngworth gave a lot of the credit to discus coach Kacey Thayer.
“Last year 143 feet was his personal record as a sophomore, and this year he ends up being a second-place medalist, so that was huge,” Youngworth said. “I’m really excited for both of them. It shows that hard work pays off.”
Stokes, a senior, broke the 15-second mark in the 110 hurdles, finishing in seventh place with a time of 14.95 in the finals. His preliminary time was 14.87.
“He finished second in his heat,” Youngworth said. “He ran hard. He didn’t cruise. I’m really excited for him and it’s great when you have two four-year seniors end their high school careers with a state medal.”
Morgan, a senior, earned third place in the long jump. She jumped 15-08, 17-00.75 and 17-05.50 in the preliminaries and reached 18-01.50 in the finals.
“She was fifth or sixth going in to her last jump and she popped an 18-01.50, which put her into third place,” Youngworth said. “That was huge. I was really happy for her. Here’s a four-year track kid who qualified for state two years in a row in four events and she had not medaled yet. It was very gratifying to see her on the podium to get her medal. I know coach Chuck Sailer was excited for her, too. He does a really good job with them and this is his seventh year as our jump coach. I’m happy for he and Kaylee that she was able to medal.”
In the 200 meter dash, Morgan finished 13th with a time of 25.89, posting the second-fastest time of her career.
“It was good to see her get out,” Youngworth said. “She really competed hard. My concern was she had run three events on Friday and had to come back Saturday morning and jump after being in the heat all day. If she would have run her personal record of 25.47, she might have qualified.”
In the 100 meter dash, Morgan earned 15th place with a time of 12.83, matching her time from the sectional race.
“Even if she had set a new personal record, she might have made the finals, but there was a girl who set the state record in the 100 today,” Youngworth said.
Carthage finished 15th in the 4x100 relay, with sophomores Amy Keller, Sierra Barrett and Amanda Shannon joining Morgan to post a time of 51.03.
“We didn’t meet our goal of a personal record, but we held our spot,” Youngworth said. “We had good exchanges with three sophomores on that team, and only Amy Keller had run at state last year. They’re just fast people in that race. When you get to the state track meet, that’s what you’re going to find. We were a little bit off our season’s best, but we would have had to have broken our school record by almost a second-and-a-half to get to the finals. I was pleased for them.”
This season marks the second year in a row the Tigers have sent two athletes on the boys side who each medaled. Morgan’s third-place performance in the long jump is the first girls medal won by Carthage at the state meet since 2008.
“It was a long drought,” Youngworth said. “We’ve gotten kids there but they haven’t been able to medal. It was nice to bring that medal home to Carthage.”