A first-ever Central Ozark Conference boys' track title earned last weekend has given the Carthage track and field squad momentum heading into Saturday's Class 4, District 6 meet at Branson.
But now the season will come to a conclusion for anybody who doesn't finish in the top four in their event to qualify for next week's sectional meet at Ozark.
"Especially on the boys' side we want to use winning the conference as some momentum, but even on the girls' side we had a really good meet even though we didn't score in some events," Carthage head coach Andy Youngworth said Thursday. "It pretty much fell into place for both sides. I'm not going to say that we outperformed expectations because I just knew with the weather and lack of practice we've had that we were faster than what we had run, at least on the track."
Now the boys' squad will try to put all the pieces together to compete for a district championship, while the Carthage girls' will send a smaller squad and focus on qualifying specific events for the sectional meet.
"We might not run a girl in an event where she might be seventh or eighth and instead run her in a relay that has a chance to finish in the top four," Youngworth said. "For the boys, I've never really felt going in since we've been in Class 4 that we had a chance to compete for one of the first or second-place plaques, but I think we've got an outside shot if everything falls into place. We might surprise some people."
District 6 is comprised of Branson, Carthage, Glendale, Joplin, Kickapoo, Neosho, Nixa, Ozark, Parkview, Republic, Webb City and West Plains.
Senior Dawson Allmoslecher is seeded in a tie for seventh in the high jump with a height of 5-10.
In the pole vault, freshman Eli Wells is tied for ninth with a height of 12 feet, while senior Kiefer Maggard is tied for 11th with a height of 11-06.
EJ Morgan, a junior, is the fourth seed in the long jump with a distance of 21-05. He is the top seed in the triple jump, having reached 46-06. Kennan Harrison, another junior, is seeded fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 43-05.5.
In the discus, senior Bryan "Bubba" Burns is the top seed with a throw of 166-06. Sophomore Jeff Pugh is seeded eighth with a throw of 134-08.
Burns is seeded third on the shot put with a top throw of 50-00.5, while senior Oliver Sprenkle is seeded 14th at 41-06.
In relay events, Carthage is seeded second in the 4x800-meter race with a time of 8:20.32. The Tigers are fifth in the 4x200 with a time of 1:34.04. Carthage is the second seed in the 4x100 with a time of 43.80. In the 4x400, Carthage is the third seed with a time of 3:31.17.
Page 2 of 3 - Sophomore Jesse Martini is the eighth seed in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.44.
Cameron Priester, a junior, earned the fifth seed in the 100-meter dash with a top time of 11.52 seconds. Senior Jordan Dangerfield is seeded 12th with a time of 11.84.
Senior Eduardo Reyes earned the ninth seed in the 400-meter dash with a seed time of 53.57, while Matt Vantrease, a junior, is seeded 11th at 53.89.
Freshman Alex Derryberry is seeded 12th, and Martini is seeded 14th in the 300-meter hurdles, with times of 44.80 and 45.29.
Junior Ben Southwick earned the fourth seed in the 800-meter run with a top time of 2:00.90. Junior Carter Hensley is seeded eighth in 2:06.15.
Chase Lyons, a junior, is the 15th seed in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.34.
Hunter Blount, a senior, is the 16th seed in the 3,200-meter run. His seed time is 10:22.79.
In the high jump, freshman Kim Teed is tied for sixth in the seedings with a top jump of 4-10. Junior Amanda Shannon is tied for the 13th seed at 4-06.
The long jump looks to be an especially strong event for the Carthage girls, with junior Vanessa Pawlak seeded second and junior Sierra Barrett tied for third. Pawlak has jumped 16-08 and Barrett has reached 16-02.
The same goes for the triple jump, with Barrett earning the top seed at 36-07.5 and Teed earning the second seed at 36-05, more than a foot past the third seed.
Senior Emily Goeken is seeded fourth in the discus throw with a distance of 121-06, and sophomore Erin Parks follows her in fifth with a throw of 98-01.
Parks is the second seed in the shot put with a top throw of 35-08, while Goeken is seeded seventh with a throw of 32-06.
Carthage is sixth in the 4x200-meter relay with a top time of 1:53.77. The Tigers earned the top seed in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 51.56 seconds. In the 4x400-meter relay, Carthage's time of 4:23.54 was good for the sixth seed.
Courtney Burris, a sophomore, is the 16th seed with a time of 1:07.43 in the 400-meter dash. She is the seventh seed in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.32.
Shannon earned the 15th seed with a time of 53.94 in the 300-meter hurdles.
"My rule of thumb has always been to qualify half of our events to sectionals, and half of our events from sectionals to state," Youngworth said. "I'm looking at this realistically and I'm seeing 10 of our boys' events that are in the top four and a couple others on the bubble so we could have as many as 12 or 13 or we could have as few as eighth. On the girls' side, we're heavy in the field events. I see maybe seven or eight that look pretty good to get out and maybe one or two others who could get out. We could have anywhere from six to 10 on the girls' side. I'll be okay with that.
Page 3 of 3 - "There will be some surprises," he said. "You can't let one great event put you on a cloud or one bad event dump you in the dirt. You have to be consistent. If you have a bad event you can't carry it over to the next event. We just need to focus on being unselfish."