OHS advances 16 athletes to state track

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 5/24/23

WEST PLAINS — Another top-four finish.

That was the goal Saturday for Matt Candrl’s Owensville High School (OHS) Track and Field athletes during the Missouri State High School …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

OHS advances 16 athletes to state track


WEST PLAINS — Another top-four finish.

That was the goal Saturday for Matt Candrl’s Owensville High School (OHS) Track and Field athletes during the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3, Sectional 3 Track Meet held at West Plains High School.

Out of 23 OHS athletes that entered sectionals, 16 of them emerged as state qualifiers in 15 events beginning Friday during the MSHSAA Class 3-5 State Track and Field Championships to be held at the Dennis and Roberta Licklider Track Complex inside Adkins Stadium on the campus of Jefferson City High School.

Nine hours after the team arrived in West Plains following the conclusion of graduation exercises Friday night at OHS, Owensville secured their first qualifier for this weekend’s state track meet.

Senior Josie Gerlemann posted a mark of 9.79 meters on her second throw of the Class 3 girls shot put.

That was good enough to put her in fourth place sending her to state.

“I did not expect to say that I’d be a state qualifier in track during my senior year,” Gerlemann said. “I came out for track on a whim and I’m really glad I did as I’ll get to finish my high school career at state.”

Owensville’s next state qualifier came just after the lunch hour in the boys 110m hurdles.

Senior Bryce Payne and St. James senior Kaiden Snyder were neck and neck from the starting gun to the finish line.

Payne broke his own school record in a time of 14.29 which was second to Snyder’s time of 14.25.

Those two times are the fastest entering Friday’s preliminaries in Jefferson City.

“Bryce ran a great 110 race as he was edged against a very good opponent in (Kaiden) Snyder,” Candrl said. “They will likely race for a state championship this weekend to cap their respective high school careers.”

Moving back to the field event side of the meet, Dutchgirl sophomore Cameron Nowack looked to add to her district title in the girls long jump with a top-four finish and a spot at state following Saturday’s sectional meet.

Able to post a mark of 5.00m, Nowack secured the fourth-and-final state qualifying spot in the Class 3 girls long jump.

“Cameron has come a long way in her jumping events,” Candrl said. “I look forward to see if she can jump her way on to the podium at state.”

Seeing the Dutchgirl 4x800m relay team miss out on state by 10 seconds with a fifth-place time of 10:25.16, their 4x200m relay counterparts looked to become the first OHS relay team to book passage to state.

Shattering their previous school record by two seconds, the Dutchgirl 4x200m relay team of Ella Gehlert, Emma-lee Wehmeyer, Saylor Richardson and Emma Daniels punched their state tickets with a second-place time of 1:47.51.

“Those girls just brought it Saturday,” Candrl said. “Normally you’d see that kind of time drop at state. However, they showed will and determination to advance their way to the state meet.”

Nearly 10 minutes later, the Dutchmen 4x200m relay team joined their Dutchgirl counterparts by qualifying for state with a second-place time of 1:32.75 from the team of Blake Elliott, Tanner Meyer, Whelan and Payne.

“Seeing Charlie (Whelan) able to compete in the relays again helped the guys this week qualify for state,” Candrl said.

Just missing a state berth as part of the girls 4x800m relay, Dutchgirl sophomore Ilene Limberg looked to punch her ticket to state individually in the girls 1600m run.

Placing fourth in a time of 5:28.77, Limberg will have one more chance to race Hermann senior Katy Menke on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., in Jefferson City.

“I’m looking forward to another chance to race Katy (Menke) before she moves on to college,” Limberg said. “Hopefully both of us can race our way on to the medal stand.”

With the Dutchgirl 4x200m relay through to state, their 4x100m relay counterparts joined them with a second-place time of 51.08 from the team of Cameron Nowack, Emma Daniels, Saylor Richardson and McKenzy Echols.

Already through to state in the 110m hurdles, Payne will also compete in the 300m hurdles this weekend following a second-place sectional time of 40.62.

Senior Derrick Marquez extended his OHS track career by another week placing fourth in the boys pole vault clearing 3.67m.

Emma Daniels and Whelan will represent the orange and black in their respective 200m dash races following top-four finishes at sectionals.

Whelan placed fourth in 22.68 after battling back from next to last at the halfway mark of the race.

Daniels took third in a time of 26.71 and will compete in four events this weekend.

Coming in with the fastest time in the boys 4x400m relay, Owensville punched their ticket to state in the event with a second-place time of 3:28.26 from the team of Gabe Soest, Payne, Whelan and Meyer just behind Fair Grove (3:27.76).

Two more OHS athletes punched their tickets to state during the final set of field events Saturday.

Qualifying as part of the girls 4x200m relay, Gehlert earned an individual ticket to state clearing 1.51m to place third.

Winning Four Rivers Conference (FRC) and district titles, Candrl’s Dutchgirls topped 24 other Class 3 girls teams claiming a sectional title with 80 points.

Owensville’s Dutchmen placed fourth as a team during sectional competition with 67 points finishing behind Fair Grove (69), East Newton (72.5) and Lamar (109).