Prep Boys Track

Alexander, Panthers cement legacy with medal haul

Jarom Alexander
Posted: May. 26, 2019 12:01 am

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A change of venue and an altered schedule didn't impact Jarom Alexander's performance even the slightest.

The Palmyra senior sprinter won four medals Saturday at the Class 3 state track and field championships at Walton Stadium on the University of Missouri campus. Alexander finished in the top eight in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and was part of the 4x400 relay team that finished second with a school record time.

"The guys who are mentally tough and go out and do what they do no matter the circumstances are the guys we want to be," Palmyra coach Shannon Haerr said.

"Our guys have battled adverse situations all spring and never let it bother them. Once again, they just went out and did what they do."

The championships were originally scheduled to take place at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City over a two-day span. The tornado that caused considerable damage in the state capitol, including some destruction at the stadium, forced officials to reduce the event to one day at three different sites.

For Alexander and the rest of the field, that meant running the preliminary races in the morning and the finals in the afternoon.

He and his teammates handled that fluidly.

Alexander finished fifth in the 100 dash in 11.08 seconds, sixth in the 200 in 22.44 and eighth in the 400 in 51.54.

He also ran the final leg of the 4x400 relay, closing with a 49.8.

"We tell kids all the time hard work pays off, and there are times it doesn't, but it's awfully special to see it happen," Haerr said. "We looked back in the record books all the way into the 1970s and no track athlete at Palmyra had won four medals at state like that. It's pretty remarkable."

The 4x400 team of Tucker Aeschliman, Abe Haerr, Brett Griesbaum and Alexander finished in 3:26.52, which is the new school record.

"Those are four guys who are really good dudes and are really good friends," Shannon Haerr said. "I appreciate when all the hard work culminates in something special."

The 4x800 relay team of Haerr, Mason Roberts, Aeschliman and Griesbaum also medaled, taking fifth in 8:21.66.

At the Class 4 meet at Washington High School in Washington, Mo., Hannibal had two athletes reach the podium. John Clubine, a freshman,m took fourth in the boys javelin with a toss of 170 feet, 1 inch.

Cami Bross, a junior, finished seventh in the girls high jump, clearing 5-4.