HHS senior Abby Casper sprints past the competition to win the 100 meters at districts.

A knee injury has slowed senior Abby Casper her final season with the Houston High School track team. But it didn’t get in the way of her speeding to a district title.

Casper – looking her physical and mental best all season her coach said – sped past the field in 12.57 seconds to win the 100 meters at Saturday’s Class 3 District 5 championship in Owensville.

Although she has twice qualified for state in the event, it’s the first time Casper won the district title in the 100 meters. She was the runner-up the previous three seasons.

“This is the meet I was most looking forward to for Abby,” HHS track coach Tori Richardson said. “She has had many obstacles to overcome this season, and she has done just that.”

Casper was one of six HHS athletes that advanced through districts to Saturday’s sectional round in Eldon. She’ll be joined by senior Trenton Best, who finished third in the 110 hurdles, and the fourth-place girls’ 4×200 relay team.

Casper will look to qualify for state for the third time in her career. She finished sixth in the 100 meters as a sophomore and 11th last year. She also made state appearances the last two years in the 200 meters.

Best will also look to return to state after finishing sixth last year to earn all-state honors. He ran the district event in 15.1 seconds.

“The amount of work he has put in this season has not only been inspiring for his teammates, but for me as his coach,” Richardson said. “There are some incredible hurdlers in our district and Trenton’s dedication has made him one of them.”

Houston senior Trenton Best finished third in the 110 hurdles at districts to qualify for sectionals.

Richardson said her 4×200 relay team – consisting of freshmen Kameron Hall and Kelly Hubbs, sophomore Melody Buse and senior Emily Shea – was an underdog at districts. But with a time of 1:55.56, the foursome finished fourth to advance to sectionals.

“The girls were placed in a heat that did not have high hopes of any team making it in the top four,” Richardson said. “The girls had to race against the clock and set a personal record in order to make it out of districts. They did just that. I am incredibly proud of this relay team. It takes a lot of guts for a team consistently of two freshmen, a sophomore and a senior, to go out there and compete so well against upperclassmen.”

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