Groves improves on own record, repeats as Class 2 discus champ

Sunday, May 23, 2004

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- An elite athlete usually has a good idea he or she has done something special.

Saturday, on the second day of the Class 1 and Class 2 state track and field championships at Dwight T. Reed Stadium, Scott City senior Loren Groves knew she had something special right away after her second throw in the Class 2 discus event.

After throwing 139 feet, 3 inches on her first attempt, Groves let one loose on her second try. Almost immediately after letting it fly Groves cracked a big smile, which was confirmed when the distance of 151 feet, 7 inches was called out by the officials. Groves had once again set the Class 2 state mark, besting her throw of 143-11 from last year.

"Any time I throw in the 150s I'm excited," Groves said. "That was my goal. I've tried to be consistently in the 150s."

All six of Groves' throws on Saturday would have been good enough to win the competition, but only her second throw was good enough for the state record.

"I really wanted to beat my state record," Groves said. "It's always fun breaking your own record."

It was once again a busy day for the Scott City discus record holder. Groves' day started with an attempt at a second straight state title in the 100 hurdles. A repeat was not in the cards for Groves, as she placed second to Lathrop's Audrey Bailey.

Bailey, who's preliminary time on Friday was just hundredths of a second behind Groves, jumped out ahead right from the start. Groves gained some steam down the stretch, but her final time of 15.57 was well off Bailey's winning time of 15.21.

"She was really fast," Groves said of Bailey. "She got out ahead of me, and I tried to lean more and I hit a lot of hurdles. She's a great hurdler, and she deserved it."

With the temperatures once again soaring into the high 80s, Groves did not have much gas left once the 300 hurdle finals came around later in the day. Groves had to rush from her record-breaking discus throw just to make it to the check-in on time.

From the start, it was once again Bailey of Lathrop who stole the show. Bailey bested the rest of the competitors by more than two seconds, as Groves had to work hard to claim fifth.

Groves said she was by no means disappointed with her effort on Saturday.

"I gave it all that I had and that's all I can ask for," she said.

Of course, after being a 15-time all-state track athlete and one of the most decorated female track athletes in Southeast Missouri there is little to be disappointed about. Over her career, Groves never finished below fifth in an event at the state meet.

Groves competed in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and discus at state all four years, and she competed in the shot put three years. All in all, Groves brought home two fifth-place finishes, three fourth-place finishes, one third, six seconds and three state titles.

Groves said she always just tried to do her best, and tried not too get to far ahead of herself.

"I was always just going year to year, I never look ahead," she said.

Now with her high school career behind her, a track scholarship at Kansas State awaits. Groves will focus on the throwing events at Kansas State, a move which sits well with her.

"Now I can focus on lifting and throwing, no more hurdles," Groves said with a smile. "I'm really excited. I think I'll do well in college. My college coach is awesome, he really believes in me."

While Groves is excited about her leap to the Big 12 and working with the Wildcats' throwing coaches, it will bring an end to quite a successful father-daughter coaching relationship.

"I just want to thank my mom and dad and my brother for always helping me and being there," Groves said.

Groves' 27 points put Scott City in the top 10 in the team standings once again. Scott City finished 10th overall.

Groves was not the only local athlete to fair well on day two, as Kelly and Chaffee each had all-state performances.

Chaffee senior Amy Holmes finished third in the Class 1 high jump. Holmes matched her seed jump of 5-foot, which fell three inches short of the state-title jump.

Kelly junior Michael Glastetter put up a performance to remember in the Class 2 800, besting his seed time by more than five seconds to finish fourth. Glastetter, who ran 2:00.96, looked strong throughout the race, and only finished slightly more than a second off of the winner's time.

Area results

Class 1

Boys

High jump -- 14. Sid Burk (Chaffe) 5-6, 16. Trey Maevers (Saxony Lutheran) 5-6

1,600 -- 13. Brandon Etzold (Saxony Lutheran) 4:56.81

Girls

High jump -- 3. Amy Holmes (Chaffee) 5-0

Class 2

Boys

Pole vault -- 15. Tyson Glaser (Kelly) 10-0

800 -- 4. Michael Glastetter (Kelly) 2:00.96

Girls

Discus -- 1. Loren Groves (Scott City) 151-7

100 hurdles -- 2. Groves (Scott City) 15.57

300 hurdles -- 5. Groves (Scott City) 48.63

3,200 relay -- 12. Scott City 10:37.73

3,200 -- 15. Angie Laxton 14:09.09

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