Three members of the Salem High School boys’ track team have all-state aspirations heading into this week’s Missouri Class 3 Track and Field Championships.
Tigers advancing to the state meet are senior Logan Ousley, junior Kolson Seay and sophomore Caden Camden.
The three qualified through the windy Sectional 3 Meet Saturday at Waynesville High School, which was completed just in time before the rain downpour came.
The top four finishers in each event move on from sectionals to the Class 3 State Championships, to be held at the Licklider Track Complex in Jefferson City Friday and Saturday, May 24-25.
Ousley placed second at sectionals in the long jump at 20-0; Seay was third in the shot put at 47-3 ½, and Camden finished fourth in the pole vault at 12-0. Those results were personal-bests for both Ousley and Seay.
Barring weather-related changes, Ousley is slated to compete in the Class 3 boys’ long jump at 1 p.m. Friday; Seay in the boys’ shot put at 4 p.m. Friday, and Caden in the boys’ pole vault at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
“All three of these guys performed very well at sectionals,” said Salem head coach Brian McNamee. “Kolson came up big with another big throw, getting a PR. He did a lot of work on his injured hand. Caden takes pole vaulting very seriously and he’s one of the most coachable kids I’ve ever coached. He’s in the right direction. He had a pretty decent day at sectionals except for the wind, which was brutal. We’re looking for another consistent performance from him.
“Logan had a great week of jumping and had his best jump of his season (at sectionals). He’s worked really hard his senior year. He’s still got his biggest jump in him, and there is no better place to get it than the state meet.”
Ousley has enjoyed this state run.
“I figured I could go pretty far but I didn’t know I’d go all the way to state,” Ousley said. “It’s exciting; there will be a lot of competition at state. I’m ready for it.”
Ousley feels he has continued to improve on both his technique and speed.
“I think it’s all-around,” he said. “I’ve been working on my technique and I feel like my speed has been better. I have been on two relays and half the season I ran the open 100. At the very beginning of the season I jumped really good and ran pretty fast. Hard work pays off.
“At state I’d love to get on the podium. My main thing is PR and placement. I’ll try to hit 21 (feet). That would be a real good meet for me. I had a 21 and a half jump at district but scratched, so I can do it.”
Seay seems back on track after strained ligaments in his throwing hand several weeks ago. He’s worked his way all the way back heading into the state meet.
“I first threw 47 feet at the second meet of the season in St. James,” Seay said. “About a month and a half ago I injured my hand. Last week I was receiving acupuncture and that has really helped. There is still pain in the wrist, but the acupuncture is working some of it out. It has affected practices. I used to throw 30-to-40 shots per practice and now it’s just 5-to-10.”
His big throw at sectionals has Seay in a good place mentally heading to Jefferson City.
“It’s definitely a confidence-booster going into state,” he said. “Since I’m only a junior, I’m looking at this as a more experience aspect for my senior year. Being all-state would be great, but knowing I missed so much practice, that may tough.”
Despite just jumping 12-0 in the wind at sectionals, Camden may be a dark horse in the pole vault field. His official PR is 12-6 this season, but he has cleared 13 in practice, and feels that can happen this weekend.
“I’m really excited,” Camden said. “I was glad to get out of (sectionals). Now I feel I have a chance to place. I think I’ve gotten a lot better since last year. Last year my best was 9-6. Every meet this year I’ve gone up about six inches.
“I’ve got a larger pole that I use in practice. If I can get up on that one, I have a good shot to get to 13. I have a shorter pole until I get to 12-6, then it depends on how I feel if I go up to the larger one. I’d be happy just to clear 13, but placing would be nice.”
Class 3 Sectional 3
May 18 at Waynesville
Team Standings: 1. Springfield Catholic 101, 2. Fair Grove 79, 3. St. James 63, 4. Buffalo 52, 5. Osage 49, 6. Versailles 45, 7. East Newton 43, 8. Owensville 35, 9. Reeds Spring 29, 10. Hollister 28, 11. Mt. Vernon 27, 12. Ava 26, 13. Salem 23, 13. Strafford 23, 15. Aurora 20, 16. Willow Springs 17, 17. Eldon 13, 17. Houston 13, 19. Cassville 11, 19. Mtn. View Liberty 11, 21. Clever 10, 21. Mtn. Grove 10, 23. Seneca 7, 24. Cuba 3.
Pole vault: 4. Caden Camden 12-0*.
Long jump: 2. Konner Ousley 20-0*.
Discus: 7. Nathan Pyle 117-3.
Shot put: 3. Kolson Seay 47-3 ½*.
400-meter dash: 7. Bryan Marlin :54.05.
Team Standings: 1. Osage 98, 2. Eldon 89, 3. Owensville 60, 4. Reeds Spring 57, 5. Cassville 53, 5. Versailles 53, 7. Mt. Vernon 48, 8. Hollister 45, 9. East Newton 29, 9. Seneca 29, 11. Willow Springs 25, 12. Fair Grove 22, 13. Aurora 20, 14. Mtn. Grove 18, 15. St. James 17, 15. Ava 17, 17. Liberty 14, 18. Buffalo 13, 19. Catholic 10, 20. Cuba 9, 21. Strafford 6, 22. Salem 3, 23. Clever 2.
Pole vault: 6. Kirsten Golden 8-6.