The South Central Association Track and Field Championships were held in extremely wet conditions on Tuesday, May 3, at the new facility at Mountain Grove. 

The Houston High School girls squad placed fourth in the 8-team field, while the boys finished sixth. Salem won the boys conference championship, while Mountain Grove took the girls crown.

The HHS boys were without senior sprint star Nate Garnica, who was ill.

“Even without the usual excitement that his runs bring, we had some great performances,” said head coach Mike Tottingham. 

HHS junior Olivia Crites set a new school record on her way to winning the girls high jump in the SCA Championships Tuesday at Mountain Grove. She also took second in the 100-meter hurdles, third in the 300 hurdles and sixth in long jump.

One of those came in the girls high jump. After being named HHS Female Athlete of the Year two days earlier, junior Olivia Crites set a new school record in the event with a leap of 5-feet, 1 inch. Crites had the same mark as the winner – Ava senior Hannah Evans – but finished second due to having more misses.

Houston had another fine result in boys javelin, as junior Harold Lassiter won the SCA crown with a throw of 138-feet, 1 inch. 

“He decided that he liked throwing javelin in the mud and won his first meet of the year,” Tottingham said.

The top-2 in each event earned medals and third-place finishers received a certificate of recognition. Many Houston athletes scored team points by placing in the top 8 in given events.


•Harold Lassiter: First place in javelin.

•Patrick Mister: Third in long jump and triple jump, fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.

•Noah Gulick: Fourth in the 400-meter dash.

•Hunter Mckinney: Fourth in the 1,600-meter run fifth in the 800.

•Davontae Mister: Fourth in the 3,200-meter run.

•Jordan Arthur: Fifth in the 110-meter hurdles.

•4x100m relay: Fourth place (Layne Seago, Harold Lassiter, Dmitrii Zveniatckovskii, Noah Gulick).

•Dmitrii Zveniatckovskii: Fifth in triple jump, sixth in javelin, eighth in discus.

•Riley Talbott: Eighth in the 3,200.


•Olivia Crites: Second place in high jump, second in the 100-meter hurdles, third in the 300 hurdles, sixth in long jump.

•Kristen Ely: Second in the 800-meter run, fifth in the 1,600.

Houston freshman Kristen Ely (4) took second in the 800-meter run in last week’s SCA Championships at Mountain Grove. She also placed fifth in the 1,600.

•Makenzi Arthur: Second in javelin, fifth in discus.

•Allie Benoist: Fifth in the 3,200-meter run.

•Summer Bittle: Sixth in the 3,200, seventh in the 1,600.

•Miah Bressie: Sixth in triple jump, eighth in long jump.

•Morgan McKinney: Fifth in javelin.

•Sarah Purcell: Sixth in shot put.

•Addison Cook: Seventh in shot put.

•4×400 relay: Second place (Gracie Tottingham, Morgan McKinney, Makenzi Arthur, Kristen Ely).

•4×200 relay: Third place (Jordyn Lay, Gracie Tottingham, Morgan McKinney, Makenzi Arthur)

•4×800 relay: Third place (Morgan McKinney, Miah Bressie, Summer Bittle, Allie Benoist).

•4x100m Relay: Fourth place (Addison Cook, Miah Bressie, Allie Benoist, Jordyn Lay). 

Houston’s track teams will compete in the Missouri State High School Class 3 District 5 meet this Saturday (May 14) at West Plains. Field events begin at 10 a.m.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at

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