Monroe City's Spalding dominates, but Palmyra girls win Jerry Ball team title

Liberty's Jacki Graham, left, takes the baton from Taylor Klingele during the 4x800-meter relay at Tuesday's Jerry Ball Relays in Canton, Mo. Liberty won the event. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Apr. 10, 2013 1:31 am Updated: May. 1, 2013 2:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

CANTON, Mo. -- When Marion County senior Kaelyn Spratt heard Carly Spalding's winning long jump mark announced Tuesday, Spratt uttered the words that probably summarized the feelings of most people in attendance.

"Holy crap," Spratt said as Spalding's jump of 18 feet, 11 1/2 inches was read by the public address announcer.

Spalding, a senior for Monroe City, broke her school record of 18-11 and crushed the mark of 18-5 1/2 that she used to win the event at the Class 2 state meet last season. She dominated the competition Tuesday at the Jerry Ball Relays at Culver-Stockton College.

Palmyra's Audrey Miles was second in the long jump at 16-5.

It marked the first of Spalding's three victories. She won the 100-meter dash in 12.18 seconds and teamed with Kiette Mundy, Kayla Spalding and Olivia Crager to win the 4x100 in 52.34. She added a second-place finish with a 5-foot jump in the high jump, an event she just started competing in this year.

"It was a good day," said Spalding, who is also Class 2's defending champion in the 100 and ran the anchor on Monroe City's state title winning 4x100 relay last year.

It was an equally a good day for Palmyra. The Lady Panthers won their third team title in as many meets this season with 127 points. Monroe City was second with 82 3/4 points.

Palmyra's Megan Hooper and Kelsey Martin kept their individual streaks going, too.

Hooper won the high jump for her third straight meet with a jump of 5-4, and Martin took the 200 for the third meet in a row, running a 27.1.

"I had a really good start," Martin said of her 200. "I always get nervous during that race, but if I have a good start, then I (can) usually finish well."

Martin also teamed with Evie Miles, Allie Dietrich and Emily Bross to win the 4x200 in 1:50.94, continuing their perfect streak to open the season in that event.

"It seemed like all the handoffs were really good, and we all ran good legs," Evie Miles said.

Palmyra racked up six first-place finishes overall and tallied 24 points in the relay events.

Palmyra coach Nicholas Koetters was especially impressed with the selflessness of his team. Palmyra was missing a few athletes due to injuries and conflicting activities, and that led to Koetters shuffling some girls into events they don't normally participate.

"That's the great thing about our girls," Koetters said. "They'll step up."

Katee Hinkle stepped up in the 400. In an even she doesn't normally run, Hinkle won in 1:03.72 before finishing fourth in the 800 (2:47.25) and teaming with Martin, Evie Miles and Lindsay Van Tross to finish second in the 4x400 (4:29.19).

Miles and Van Tross don't normally run the 4x400. Miles gave up running the 300 hurdles, an event she normally does well in, to join the relay.

"We had a lot of girls step up, and we did really well with that," said Martin, who also finished second to Spalding in the 100 in 12.63. "It takes a lot of teamwork (to win team titles)."

The Miles sisters swept the hurdles events. Audrey won the 300 hurdles in 49.63, and Evie took the 100 hurdles in 16.34, using a strong finish to overtake Liberty's Ashlyn May (16.44) in the final 40 meters.

"She came out strong," Evie Miles said of May. "I didn't come out as strong as she did, but I finished strong."

Other individual winners on the track were Central-Southeastern's Katelyn Rhea in the 800 (2:36.26) and Canton's Josie Walsh in the 1,600 (5:50) and 3,200 (12:42.47).

In the relays, Highland's quartet of Cassidy Ferrara, Taylor Hamilton, Katelyn Boone and Avery Johnson won the 4x400 (4:27.03) and Liberty's Taylor Klingele, Jacki Graham, Meghan Obert and Cheyanne Austin won the 4x800 (11:11.9).

In the field, Knox County's Natalie Gudehus won the pole vault (9-0) and the triple jump (32-4), Mark Twain's Kyley Barnes won the shot put (36-11) and Clark County's Jessica Roberts took the discus (99-10).


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