Monroe City boys win Jerry Ball Relays behind big day from birthday boy Brendan Williams

Monroe City's Michael Hays soars over the bar during the pole vault at Tuesday's Jerry Ball Relays in Canton, Mo. He won the event at 11 feet, 6 inches, and Monroe City won the team title. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Apr. 10, 2013 1:01 am Updated: May. 1, 2013 2:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

CANTON, Mo. -- Brendan Williams' 18th birthday began with a loss.

Williams, a Monroe City senior, set his alarm for early Tuesday morning, got up and bought a $5 scratch-off lottery ticket from a local gas station.

"I lost," Williams said.

That was fine, because Williams saved his victories for Tuesday's Jerry Ball Relays at Culver-Stockton College.

He won the discus with a throw of 129 feet, 10 inches and claimed the shot put with a mark of 44-6. His sweep in the throwing events helped Monroe City win the 12-team boys track and field meet with 146 points. Palmyra was second with 113 points.

"I think it's just because it's my birthday," Williams said of his victories as he sported a big grin.

Williams also had a track meet on his birthday his freshman year, when he also won both throwing events.

He made his win a little suspenseful in the disc. Williams said C-SC's throwing ring is elevated a little more than the high school rings he's used to, and he scratched on his first three throws.

"I couldn't maintain my balance," Williams said.

Needing to get a mark in, Williams decided to throw from the standing front position and wound up tossing a mark to top Highland's Garrett Gray, who was second at 126-5.

"I just had to reset, and I won from the front," Williams said.

He had plenty of breathing room in the shot, topping Clark County's Brandon Bourgeois and Palmyra's Matt Frankenbach, who tossed 41-81/2. Williams changed his technique in the shot, going with the glide technique instead of the rotational.

"I did quite well with that," Williams said.

The Panthers won five events and benefited from having a couple athletes who also play baseball -- Scott Hoover and Kyle Fulton -- in the fold. Fulton finished second in the triple jump at 40-101/4, and Hoover took the 3,200-meter run in 10 minutes, 35 seconds.

Hoover also teamed with Trey Gander, Todd Terrill and John Shuck to win the 4x800 in 8:55.31. Palmyra was second in 9:07.9.

"We got it done," Gander said. "We got our butts handed to us all last year by Palmyra. We wanted that to change this year. We wanted to show them who's boss."

Gander ran the final leg of the relay and then bolted over to the high jump pit, where he immediately scratched on his 5-foot jump. He later cleared that mark and tied for first with Liberty's Ben Deming and Palmyra's Skyler Kline after they all cleared 5-10. Although they shared first in the point standings, Gander was third in the medal standings because of the scratch tiebreaker, which penalized him for missing 5-0 on his first attempt.

It's something he'll learn from going forward.

"I just crossed the finish line (in the 4x800), and I heard (the high jump official) say, 'Gander,' and I was like, 'All right, I'm holding them up. I better get over there,'" Gander said. "I was so tired. I didn't know you had four minutes between your race and your jump."

Monroe City picked up its other first-place finish from Michael Hays, who won the pole vault in 11-6. Monroe City's Chase Pennewell shared the first-place points by clearing the same height.

The Panthers' depth played a factor across the board.

"Our philosophy is to try to double-point in every event," Monroe City coach Tony DeGrave said. "Obviously, sometimes that wasn't realistic, but just a second and fifth or a third and a seventh, those things add up in the long haul."

Mark Twain's Tyler Elledge won the 110 hurdles in 16.56 and the 300 hurdles in 43.85.

"I had a pretty strong finish (in the 300)," Elledge said. "I tried to kick it in at the end. You start out at around 85 percent around the first stretch, and kick it in at the end."

Liberty's Brett Genenbacher won the 1,600 (4:52.1) and finished second in the 3,200 (11:10).

Other individual first-place finishers on the track were Clark County's Logan Prewitt in the 100 (11.13), Mark Twain's Tyler Steinkamp in the 200 (23.62), Unity's Alex Blickhan in the 400 (52.38) and Palmyra's Zach Lewis in the 800 (2:08.22).

In the relays, Highland's Jesse Porter, David Schmidt, Wesley Cramsey and Dustin Wakefield won the 4x100 (47.68); Palmyra's Ben Althoff, Lewis, Brett Smith and Bazil Keller won the 4x200 (1:36.34) and Liberty's Jacob Sorrill, Connor Wolf, Shane Brinkman and Evan Schreacke took the 4x400 (3:41).

In the field, Central-Southeastern's Alger Saldana won the long jump (20-2) and Knox County's Kellen Gillaspy won the triple jump (41-2).


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