NORWALK — The Perry boys thinclads qualified four events with first or second-place finishes at their Class 3A state qualifying meet Thursday, then learned today that a fifth event earned an at-large invitational to compete at Drake Stadium May 21-23.
Also receiving happy news was the Perry girls 4×800 team of Sidney Vancil, Breanna Penenger, Mariah Duffy and Emma Olejniczak, who secured at at-large spot with a time of 10 minutes, 15.85 seconds. Maggie Lowe and Haileigh Kenyon will serve as alternates.
Olejniczak just missed qualifying in the 800. She had a fast enough time, at 2:30.74, but was bumped by the requirement that each district send their top two finishers, even if one of those times were slower than an at-large clocking, as was the case for the Perry sophomore.
For the Bluejays it was the 4×400 team of Marcus Meri, Scott James, Adan Medina and Keegan Pfau that had to wait to learn their fate after placing fourth in 3:31.41, which turned out to be plenty fast enough for an at-large invitation. Reece Dunlap and Jacob Thompson are the alternates.
James made sure his ticket was punched early by winning the high jump at 6 feet, one inch. He later joined Nic Wilhelmi, Pfau and Dunlap in winning the 1600 medley in 3:40.98. Meri and Alex Long will step in, if necessary, as an alternate.
Pfau turned a pair of runner-up finishes into two spots on the blue oval. He was second in the 3200 in 10;17.64 and later posted a second-place clocking of 4:39.89 in the 1600.
“I thought that if we went out and ran to our abilities that we would send four events, including Scott (James) in the high jump,” Bluejay head coach Ben Coy said. “Then the 4×400 went out and ran almost four seconds faster than they have all year and suddenly we were in place for a fifth spot. The real key in the 4×400 was Marcus (Meri); we needed him to step up and he did, running a 53.8 split.”
While not moving on to state, Coy said the efforts from his squad in several other events had made him proud.
“We had a 2:09 split from Alex (Long) and a 2:12 split from Jacob (Thompson) in the 4×800, and both of those were their best splits,” the coach noted. “Dane McCarty and Devin Archer ran with them and they finished fifth in 9:09.42.”
Coy also singled out the sixth-place effort of 121’3 in the discus by Bryce Bucklew (who topped his personal best by four feet) and the sixth-place time of 1:01.81 from freshman Alexis Garrido in the 400 hurdles, a race in which Keegan Wolfe also scored by crossing eighth in 1:03.18.
Dunlap was sixth in the 100 (11.98) and Daniel Cole eighth in the 110 hurdles (17.8), with Wilhelmi, Cole, Wolfe and Blake Jans fifth in the shuttle hurdle in 1:05.99.
Perry also earned points for seventh-place finishes in the 4×100 (47.17) and 4×200 (1:39.2), with Wilhelmi, Dunlap, Nic Fellom and Eli Saemisch running the former and Meri, Fellom, Medina and Saemisch the latter.
Carlisle won the boys team competition with 147 points, with DC-G second at 120 and Saydel third at 93. Norwalk was fourth with 86 points, with Bondurant-Farrar (76), Perry (64), Chariton (55) and ADM (44) completing the field.
3A BOYS STATE QUALIFYING MEET
at Norwalk, May 14
Team Standings – 1. Carlisle, 147; 2. DC-G, 120; 3. Saydel, 93; 4. Norwalk, 86; 5. Bondurant-Farrar, 76; 6. Perry, 64; 7. Chariton, 55; 8. ADM, 44.
Individual Results (Perry placers only; *qualifies for state meet)
DISCUS – 6. Bucklew, 121’3.
HIGH JUMP – 1. James, 6’1.*
4×800 – 5. PRY (J. Thompson, Long, McCarty, Archer), 9:09.42.
3200 – 2. Pfau, 10:17.64.*
SHUTTLE HURDLE – 5. PRY (Wilhelmi, Cole, Jans, Wolfe), 1:05.99.
100 DASH – 6. Dunlap, 11.98.
4×200 – 7. PRY (Meri, Fellom, Medina, Saemisch), 1:39.2.
110 HURDLES – 8. Cole, 17.8.
1600 RUN – 2. Pfau, 4:39.89.*
400 HURDLES – 6. Garrido, 1:01.81; 8. Wolfe, 1:03.18.
1600 MEDLEY – 1. PRY (Wilhelmi, Dunlap, James, Pfau), 3:40.98.*
4×100 – 7. PRY (Wilhelmi, Dunlap, Fellom, Saemisch), 47.17.
4×400 – 4. PRY (Meri, James, Medina, Pfau), 3:31.41.*