Rams to send four to state

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Essner won the 200 and 400, and was third in the 100.

ST. LOUIS -- Bright orange and lime green are not the official colors of the Scott City High School athletic teams.

But they were the colors of the day Saturday for Melanie Lacey and Libby Miles.

The Rams distance runners finished second and third respectively in the 1,600-meter run at Saturday's Class 2 sectional meet at Principia High School.

Those finishes were good enough to qualify them for the Class 2 state meet, which will be held next weekend in Jefferson City as the top four finishers in each event from sectionals qualify for state.

"It was the nail polish," said first-place finisher Anneke Reed of Principia as she shook hands with Lacey after the run.

Both runners had bright orange nail polish. Miles, on the other hand, had the lime green nail polish.

The second-place finish for Lacey, a sophomore, was a big step up as she had finished fourth in the district meet last week.

"I get another week of practice," Lacey said as she celebrated with Miles, a junior. "I had a hard week of practice last week to prepare and I am sure it will be the same this week. I think the key today was that I ran scared. I ran like I was going to lose and I didn't want anybody to pass me. I was not ready for my season to end."

Lacey and Miles will get to make the trip to Jefferson City next weekend with Rams standout Stephanie Essner.

The defending Class 2 400 champion won that event Saturday with a time of 58.2 seconds. She also won the 200 (25.63) and came in third in the 100, finishing ahead of Latrilla McCoy of Malden. McCoy had beaten her at districts. Essner's time in the 100 was 12.74.

"My 100 was good today and I got first in the 200 as well," Essner said. "I don't want to jinx myself, but I feel good right now about the 400. I ran a good time today and I am ready for next weekend."

Essner won state last year in the 400 with a time of 57.38.

Alex Eichhorn was the lone Scott City boys athlete to qualify for the state meet. He was second in the shot put, throwing 48 feet, 10 inches.

Saxony Lutheran, which made the jump from Class 1 to Class 2 this season, was able to qualify a girl in two events and also get a pair of boys relay teams to state.

Cassie Simpher finished third in both the 400 (1:00.06) and 800 (2:24.20).

"It is an incredible jump," Saxony coach Larry Cleair said of moving from Class 1 to Class 2 said. "What she ran the 800 in today just to qualify would have won the Class 1 meet last year."

But Cleair was pleased with the way his athletes handled the challenge.

"The kids responded well," he said.

The Saxony boys qualified in the 1,600 relay and 3,200 relay with impressive second-place finishes.

Joe Buerck, Andrew Etzold, Ross Gage and Rhett Obermann ran the 3,200 in 8:12.79, while Etzold, Gage, Trevor Mabuce and Mark Buerck ran a 3:28.76 in the 1,600.

Kelly had a pair of distance runners qualify in the 3,200. Tara Johnson was third (12:17.96), while Cody Kern was fourth (10:14.19).

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