Kelly senior Adam Daughhetee and Scott City sophomore Loren Groves lead a strong group of local athletes who will compete in the Missouri Class 2A State Track & Field Championships today and Saturday in Jefferson City.
Daughhetee will shoot for his third consecutive title in the 1,600-meters.
Groves, who qualified in four events, will look for her first state titles after finishing second in the 100 hurdles and discus and fifth in the 300 hurdles last year.
Groves won both hurdles, as well as the discus and shot put, during Saturday's district meet in Cape Girardeau.
"I've been looking at times across the state and I have only seen a handful of times that have been as good or better than Loren's," Scott City coach Tyson Moyers said. "She's got a good chance in both hurdles, and in the discus I haven't seen a throw further than her best."
Other state qualifiers for Kelly, along with their district finish, are Nathan Lewer (high jump, first); Christy Kluesner (high jump, first); the boys' 3,200 relay team (Adam Lofton, Ashley Hahn, Lance Ferrell, Daughhetee, first); Tyson Glaser (pole vault, second); and Julia Vetter (pole vault, second).
Lewer, a sophomore, jumped a personal-best 6-feet-7 at districts to rank among the state's top performers going into this weekend.
Joining Groves in the state field from Scott City is the girls' 3,200 relay (Makenzie Cartwright, Kacie Cartwright, Jenny Pinkston, Alisha Obermann, second).
Notre Dame has a solid contingent of state qualifiers in its re-entry into the sport. This is the first girls' team in school history and the first boys' team since 1982.
Leading Notre Dame is junior Adam Prasanphanich, who won both the 100 and 200 in districts.
Other first-place district finishers for Notre Dame were Bryce Willen (pole vault), Megan Rosenquist (3,200) and the girls' 3,200 relay (Katie Daniel, Kasie Essner, Sarah Unterreiner, Lauren Beussink). Second were Beussink (800) and the boys' 800 relay (Andy Arnzen, Austin Critchlow, Garrett Holzum, Prasanphanich).
"We had 10 kids get through and I'm pleased with that for our first year," Notre Dame coach Bill Davis said. "I think we have some events that we can make the finals in, but the competition is always so tough. We just want to go up there, run real well and have fun."
Chaffee has two state qualifiers. Jennifer Vandeven was first in the 400 and second in the 200 at districts while Lindsey Everett was second in the 3,200.
In the Class 1A meet, also today and Saturday in Jefferson City, Oran's Holly Dirnberger is the lone area qualifier after her second-place district finish in the 300 hurdles.
Track athletes in 3A and 4A will have their state meets next weekend as they compete in sectionals Saturday.
Swimmers head to state
Central and Notre Dame will have representatives in the State Swimming & Diving Championships today and Saturday in St. Peters, Mo.
Terra Herzberger is Central's lone individual qualifier and will compete in the 100-meter butterfly, the same event she qualified in last year.
Herzberger will also be on the Tigers' 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams. Others on the 200 squad are Cassie Kipper, Brett Ford and Katie Maginel while Lauren Sulser, Kipper and Maginel round out the 400 group.
"We made our relay cuts late in the year but I feel like we can still go a little bit faster," Central coach Dayna Powell said. "We can probably get our best times this weekend and we'll just see how those places fall."
Notre Dame's lone qualifier is senior Lindsay Kuper, who made the state cut in a whopping six events but is only allowed to compete in two. She has chosen the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle.
Kuper competed in state in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle last year during Notre Dame's inaugural swimming season. She failed to reach the finals in either event last year but that's her goal in today's preliminaries.
"I was 17th in both events last year and I want to make the top 16 and get to swim Saturday this year," she said. "I think I have a good chance."