JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Just before the 4x400-meter relay, Monroe City boys track and field coach David Kirby huddled his team.
He was told by assistant coach Patrick Baker the most recent team scores, and Monroe City needed a victory in the 4x400 relay to secure the Class 2 state championship.
"Blake Hays just kind of smiled at me and said, ‘Let's go,'" Kirby said. "I just told them to do our thing."
The Panthers didn't disappoint.
Monroe City's relay team of Zach Osborn, C.E. Talton, Josiah Talton and Hays won the race in a school-record time of 3 minutes, 27.14 seconds to secure the state championship Saturday at Adkins Stadium. Monroe City won with 57 points, beating Lathrop by 11 points.
It was the breakthrough Monroe City hoped for after placing in the top five each of the last three seasons.
"We finally pulled off the first," Hays said. "It's awesome doing it in your senior year with all the guys here. It's just awesome."
Winning three events certainly helped.
The team of Osborn, Hays, C.E. Talton and Keenan Batsell won the 4x200 in 1:29.63, beating Brentwood by 0.20 seconds.
Hays won the 400 in 49.40.
"That's my race," Hays said. "Whoever puts the most effort kind of wins it. To be on the top in my own event was really crazy and something I was really lucky to do."
C.E. Talton also took second in the triple jump at 44 feet, 5.5 inches. Osborn took sixth at 43-0 to give Monroe City 11 points from the event.
"This group of seniors have been close to winning twice," Kirby said. "For them to get to the top at the meet today and end their high school career on the highest note is really special."
The Clarence Cannon Conference showed its dominance, too.
Clark County had two athletes win state championships and finished third with 44 points. South Shelby was fifth with 38 points.
Nathan Frazee won the 3,200 in 9:55.57, while Caleb Lapsley won the 100 dash in 10.97. Kyle Golbricht took second in the shot put at 51-1.75, and Damien Scharfenberg was sixth at 47-2.75.
Highland's 4x200 team of Chance Newton, Kaden Koch, Jacob Klocke and Drew Mallet took fifth in 1:32.89. The same team was seventh in the 4x100 in 44.42.
Klocke took sixth in the high jump at 6-0.
"Our conference is just crazy good," Kirby said. "The CCC is probably the best small-school conference in the state in all sports."
On the girls side, Monroe City's Emalee Williams finished second in the 800 in 2:25.27.
Clark County's Alexis Ellison was third in the 100 in 12.64, fourth in the 200 in 25.97, and she was fifth in the long jump at 16-4.5.
South Shelby's Meredith O'Neal was sixth in the 1,600 in 5:34.24.