Of the seven Houston High School track and field athletes who competed at the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 Sectionals 3 meet May 21 at Hollister, two advanced to compete at the Class 3 State Championships last Saturday in Jefferson City.
HHS senior Nathan Garnica ran in the boys 400-meter dash, posting the 16th-fastest time in the preliminary heats at 52.60. Garnica earned a berth at state by finishing third at sectionals with a time of 51.09.
“Nathan has been one of the top sprinters in the area all season,” said HHS head coach Mike Tottingham. “I have been blessed with several talented sprinters – Daniel Hutcheson, Chance Mitchell, Dakota Burchett and Evan Fisher-Koch to name a few. Nate has put up the best times of them all. He put a lot of pressure on himself to be my first athlete to stand on the podium at state with a top-8 finish. That and the big crowd got the best of him and he went out of the blocks way to fast covering the stagger in the first corner. When he came to the final straight stretch, he didn’t have anything left. His time was still a good time, it was just a really talented field of 400-meter runners this year.”
Garnica will run next year for Evangel University in Springfield.
“Nate is going to do great things next year at Evangel,” Tottingham said, “and probably have a pretty long run in the Houston track record books.”
HHS junior Makenzi Arthur threw the javelin at state, placing 14th in the 16-girl field with a toss of 98-feet-1-inch. The throw was Arthur’s third of three attempts after she fouled on the first and was several feet shorter on the second.
She qualified for state by taking third at sectionals with a toss of just under 110 feet.
Makenzi has thrown great for us all season,” Tottingham said. “Unfortunately, she didn’t throw quite as well as normal at state. Fortunately, she still has one more season to put some good throws together at Jeff City and stand on the podium as a top-8 finisher.”
OTHER HHS RESULTS FROM SECTIONALS
•Garnica finished fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.49.
•Senior Patrick Mister placed sixth in the triple jump with a leap of 39 feet 9 inches.
•Senior Dmitrii Zveniatckovskii placed eighth in javelin with a throw of 133 feet.
•The all-senior 4×400 relay team (Nate Garnica, P.J. Mister, Hunter McKinney and Noah Gulick) took sixth.
•Junior Olivia Crites took sixth in high jump with a leap of 4-feet 9-inches.
“We set numerous new school records this season and also had one of our most successful campaigns in recent years with several high finishes in team standings,” he said. “Overall, this was a great season that we can hopefully build upon in the future.”
Complete results from all classes at the state meet can be viewed on the MSHSAA website.