Jackson's West still soars to pole vault title on sore foot

Monday, May 16, 2005

OAKVILLE, Mo. -- Jackson pole vaulter Amy West was not going to let something like a torn ligament in her foot keep her from competing and succeeding in her final high school track meets.

West was taking off the tape on her foot as she celebrated a district championship with Indians coach Bob Sink -- who had a brace on his knee -- after she equaled her career best of 10 feet, 6 inches Saturday at the Class 4 District 1 meet at Oakville High School.

"It hurts, and it did bother me a little, but there was never a question that this was going to prevent me from competing here," said West, who injured the foot two weeks ago. "The doctors said I would be OK as long as it was taped and wrapped in a brace. I was concerned coming in because it affects my speed. But I tried to ignore the pain and do the best I could."

Her best was good enough for a district title in the event.

"I don't know the plan yet for next week," said West, who finished sixth in the state last year. "I will have to talk with the HealthSouth people. I just want to continue on and keep on winning. I would like to win sectionals and state and continue to be undefeated."

West's first-place finish was one of the keys to a second place team finish by the Indians. They edged Cape Central by one point (120-119) when the 1,600-meter relay team of Jordan Cook, Rachel Lowes, Rebecca Martin and Rachel Kahle finished second in the final event of the meet.

Lindbergh won the district title with 130 points.

"There were three good track teams here in Lindbergh, Cape Central and ourselves," Sink said. "Lindbergh has a little more depth than the other two and that was the difference today. I was pleased overall. The girls that we expected to qualify got through and ran some good times. And we did real well in the throwing with the boys, which is the strength of a real young team."

Another highlight for the Jackson girls was the win in the 3,200-meter run by senior Rachel Schmidt who ran a 12:26.6. Schmidt had a disappointment with a fifth-place finish in the 1,600-meter run -- only the top four in each event qualified for sectional this Saturday at Parkway South High School -- but that was more than made up with her win in the 3,200.

"The two-mile is my favorite and the event I really focus on," said Schmidt, who is a two-time state qualifier in cross country but has not run at the state track meet. "I feel smoother and faster in the two mile and I felt real good out there today. It helps my confidence winning the district. I will definitely be satisfied if I can finish fourth next weekend. If I make it to state, it would probably be the best day of my life."

Central girls battle injuries

The Central girls finished third as a team in Class 4 District 1 meet Saturday despite injuries to standouts Jen Pancoast and Renee Moreland. Pancoast missed the meet with a stress fracture on her foot, while Moreland was out with a stress fracture on her shin.

"I am tickled to death with the effort by the girls," Central coach Lawrence Brookins said. "We lost two of our best girls, who probably would have scored significant points in five different events, and we were still fighting all day for first place."

Central was also hampered by a quad injury by Nicole Jackson. She competed in several events but was not at 100 percent.

Jackson still won the 200 and helped Central to a first-place finish in the 800 relay. She teamed with Meg Yates, Dani Gross and her sister, Roxanne Jackson, to run a 1:45.21, edging Jackson's 1:45.37. Roxanne Jackson also qualified in the 200 with a fourth-place finish.

Chasing a record

Central sophomore Allen Walker won the 100 in 11.2 seconds, shy of his personal-best time of 10.7 at Poplar Bluff earlier this season. That mark was just a tenth of a second off a 30-year school record set by Richard Wilson, who went on to be a standout at Southeast Missouri State.

"Allen is going to get it one of these days," Central coach Lawrence Brookins said of the record. "He needs a good warm day and a hand-held time. He is just very quick and explosive for his size. His form has improved a lot since he was a freshman, and he is doing a much better job on his starts."

Walker also was impressive in helping the 800-meter relay team capture the district, making up about a 10-meter deficit on his anchor leg and winning with a lean.

Fellow sophomore Tyler Terry was on the winning 400 and 800 relays with Walker and also qualified to this weekend's sectional meet at Parkway South High School by winning the triple jump (44-0.75) and finishing third in the long jump (21-6.25).

Pleasant Perryville surprise

The Perryville boys track team was edged by Potosi for the Class 3 District 1 title and had just one champion -- Matt Unterreiner in the 110 hurdles -- but the Pirates have several qualifiers for Saturday's sectional at Festus.

One of them was the runner-up 400-meter relay team of Kyle Lorenz, Zach Hanquist, Adam Westmoreland and Unterreiner, which finished in 44.46 seconds.

"The 4x100 relay was probably one of the surprising events," Perryville coach Lance Bell said. "I thought we'd get through in fourth, but we got second in by far our best time of the season."

-- Jeremy Joffray

Close calls

In addition to five state-qualifying entries in the Class 2 District 1 track meet, the Scott City track team had six third-place finishes. The top two finishers qualify for state.

Amanda Braun was third in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, while Angela Laxton was third in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.

For the Scott City boys, which had no state qualifiers, Derek Goodin was third in the 300 hurdles, Jarrod Pullen was third in the shot put.

-- Southeast Missourian

Track corrections

The names for Jackson athletes Amanda Peiffer and Anna Malone appeared incorrectly in Saturday's edition. The Southeast Missourian regrets the errors.

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