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Jackson sprints to 200 title
Central junior Nicole Jackson came to Jefferson City this weekend as the top returning 200-meter runner in Class 4.
Jackson left Dwight T. Reed Stadium on Saturday as the 200 state champion, edging Michelle Gay of Notre Dame de Sion by three-hundredths of a second at the state track and field championships for classes 3 and 4.
Gay had the top time in the preliminaries Friday, with Jackson second.
Jackson finished Saturday in 24.90 seconds, followed by Gay in 24.93.
"It was extremely close, about a photo-finish," Central coach Lawrence Brookins said. "There was no doubt who won it, though. It was close from the start until about the last 20 or 30 meters."
The state title was the first for a Central individual since 1999, when Dionna Webb won the long jump with a jump of 18 feet, 11 1/2 inches.
The 200 was the fourth race of the day for Jackson, who also ran in the 100, 400 relay and 800 relay. Jackson finished fourth in the 100 in 12.29 seconds.
Nicole Jackson, Roxanne Jackson, Dani Gross and Nadia Cox teamed to finish fifth in the 800 relay in 1:44.35 and sixth in the 400 relay in 49.77.
Tigers junior Emma Porter matched her top vault of the season on Saturday at 10 feet, but finished tied for ninth. Vera Neuenswander of Jefferson City won the pole vault with a Class 4-record vault of 12-1.
Central failed to medal in the 3,200 relay, finishing 16th in 10:10.47.
Thanks in large part to four all-state finishes by Jackson, the Tigers finished sixth in the team standings with 28 points.
Jackson junior Rachel Kahle had a pair of sixth-place finishes in the sprints. She finished the 200 in 25.72 and posted a time of 12.35 in the 100. Kahle also finished 14th in the long jump with a jump of 16-3 3/4.
Amanda Peiffer finished just out of the medals for Jackson with a ninth-place finish in the discus. Peiffer finished with a throw of 114-9. Jackson teammate Katelynn James was 13th with a throw 101-3.
On the boys side, Central junior Tyler Terry finished second in an event for the second straight day. Terry followed a second-place finish in the long jump on Friday with a runner-up finish in the triple jump on Saturday.
Terry's jump of 46-8 1/4 inches marked a personal best. Geoffrey Daniel of Webster Groves won the event with a jump of 46-10.
"Tyler Terry had another solid Tyler Terry weekend, coming home with medals in both events," Brookins said.
Fellow junior Matt Willingham added to Central's point total with an eighth-place finish in the pole vault. Willingham cleared 13-6.
Chase Johnson finished 14th in the 800 in 2:00.09 to round out Central's competitors.
Overall, the Tigers boys ranked ninth in the team standings with 17 points.
Perryville junior Brittney Castleberry ended her weekend with an eighth-place finish in the 100 hurdles. Castleberry finished in 15.7 seconds, slightly slower than her 15.57 preliminary time.
The Pirates' 1,600 boys relay, the lone area Class 3 boys entry on Saturday, finished eighth in 3:31.01.
Eureka senior Merideth Snow, a former Jackson resident, finished her high school career with two more individual state titles Friday and Saturday. Snow easily won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Snow won those two events all three years at Eureka, after moving to the school before her sophomore year following her freshman year in Nebraska.