Both Tiger track and field squads take second in team points while some usual suspects dominate in their respective events

WAYNESVILLE — In the inaugural varsity Invitational at the new Tiger Stadium in Waynesville, the Tiger girls and boys both took second place in team points.

Camdenton won the girls side of the Invitational with 143.5 points (WHS had 137) while West Plains took the boys gold with 152 points. Waynesville and Camdenton tied for second with 120 points.

The meet featured several impressive marks for both Tiger squads.

For the girls, Ariel Okorie cleared 18'1” in the long jump, which is the longest in southwest Missouri this year and only 2 inches off the best reported in the state this year. She also, of course, took first in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles with times of 15.60 and 48.17 seconds respectively.

The 4 x 200 team of Nya Dorsey, Kaprina Stewart, Jynessa Thomas and Hannah Bland continue their dominance, posting a blazing 1:48.80.

It's become commonplace now to see Waynesville's 4x200 team at the top of the results' page and it's practically a given that they will be state qualifiers.

At the beginning of the season though, that team was a question mark for Waynesville coach Mike Rawlings.

“I thought we would be OK, but they've improved by leaps and bounds,” Rawlings said. “Today was their best run by far. I think they're coming together as a team.”

He can say that again.

Crazily enough, the team has been put together like patchwork so far this season.

“We kind of had to find people,” Stewart said. “I think we have found a pretty solid one today.”

Stewart, the relay team's senior leader, is the only one left from the state qualifying team from previous years.

Hannah Bland, the fourth leg on the relay, is running track for the first time in her four year's of high school.

“She's fourth leg because she's not very good at giving the baton,” Stewart said, smiling.

Nya Dorey has been to state, but in the 4x100 team last year.

Jynessa ran with the relay team's last year, but wasn't on the 4x200 team that went to state.

“We were really iffy on our third leg,” Stewart said. “We've changed it out three times. I guess third time is the charm.”

Stewart has been the cheerleader for the team, pushing them to limits not thought possible. Anything other than a trip to state would be a complete failure to her.

“We have been to state every one of my four years in high school,” Stewart said. “So I'm pretty determined to go to state for the 4x200 once again.”

So far, it looks like she'll get that parting wish.

On the boys' side Christian Barnes and Varon Martinez posted a 41' and 40'4" in the triple jump, both personal bests.

Trey Eaddy won the 100 meter dash with an 11.38 while teammate Varon Martinez took second (11.60).

David Hawk also had a season best, skying 12' in the pole vault to take second place.

On Tuesday, both the boys and girls will go to the first Southwest Baptist High School Invitational.

It's going to be a monster-sized meet. As of Friday there were 39 teams from all across Missouri committed to attend.