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Lady Eagles Collect Medals At Track And Field State Championships

Mile Relay Medalists… The Lady Eagles 4x400m relay team of (left to right) Adalyn Campbell, Marah Klover, Gracie Carver, and K’Lea Westover placed seventh to earn all-state medalist honors at the Class 3 Track and Field Championships held in Jefferson City Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27. Photo by Steve Edwards

Holden Lady Eagles track and field team members in three individual events, and two relays captured all-state medals at the Class 3 Track and Field State Championships held in Jefferson City Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.

Individual top-eight all-state performances were turned in by both senior Marah Klover and sophomore Kia Harmon in the high jump, and Harmon in the long jump.

The Holden girls 4x200m relay team of junior Clara Hernan, freshman Adalyn Campbell, junior Rachel Wamsley, and freshman Jazzy Brown, and the Lady Eagles 4x400m relay team of Klover, Campbell, senior Gracie Carver, and freshman K’Lea Westover both placed seventh to gain a spot on the medal stand at Adkins Stadium on the campus of Jefferson City High School.

Pole vault qualifiers Izzy Guinn in her sophomore season and Addilyn Wooster in her freshman season, and Campbell in the open 400m dash all placed 11th or higher in their events with 16 state qualifiers competing in each event.

“I am very proud of our girls team this year,” said Holden track and field coach David Diener. “Our girls had very tough competition, and for our lowest girls place to be 11th, they all competed well in the biggest atmosphere and biggest stage.”

Guinn and Wooster kicked off action on Friday for the Holden girls team with Guinn placing ninth at a height of 2.99m (9’-09.75”), and Wooster placing 11th at 2.84m (9’-03.75”).

“Izzy’s pole vault season fell just short of the podium, but she vaulted so well all year,” said coach Diener. “Addilyn had a great freshman season. It is great having two girl pole vaulters that push each other like these girls do.”

Campbell placed ninth in the 400m dash preliminary race with a time of 1:00.69 on Friday.

“Adalyn had a great race, and fell just short from making the finals,” said coach Diener. “As a freshman, she was still able to help relays to two medals. She has so much to be proud of for this season. Campbell is finishing her freshman season with two state medals, and as a school record holder.”

In the 4x200m relay finals race on Saturday, Hernan, Campbell, Wamsley, and Brown timed out at 1:48.89 to capture the seventh-place medal.

“Honestly, I just wanted to get out there, and chase everybody down because we were in the first lane so it’s not the greatest,” said Hernan of her opening leg.

Campbell handled the baton on the second leg.

“The stagger is really far in the four-by-two so catching up was the main priority, and then just hand it off to Rachel in a good spot to let her go get it to Jazzy and have Jazzy finish the race,” said Campbell, as she added, “The crowd is amazing today. I love performing on the biggest stage of high school sports. I hope to be here next year with these wonderful three girls, and hopefully, not get seventh…maybe top-four, maybe first.”

Campbell’s leg ended with a baton exchange to Wamsley.

“Addy was getting us up there,” said Wamsley. “She was gaining a lot of ground. Just looking at it, we’re in lane one and it looks like a lot of ground, but really, it’s just a mindset. You’ve just got to think about you’re chasing all these people down.”
Brown finished the team’s run to the medal finish.

“Once I got the baton from Rachel, I just thought I had to give it my all there at the end, because we weren’t as far behind as I thought we were, but I had to use that curve to push off and get ahead of the eighth place,” said Brown who used the capacity crowd at Adkins Stadium to fuel her final 100 meters. “Most of the time, I can’t really hear much, but I definitely heard it. I think it gave me the motivation to try to go faster.”

Coach Diener noted, “This group of girls had to run a flawless race to be able to make it to the finals, and they showed up when they needed to the most.”

Holden’s next medal performance was scored by Harmon in the long jump with a seventh-place finish coming from a jump of 5.4m (17’-08.75”). Harmon moved into a medal spot after just missing a podium call last year.

“I’m just really happy that I made it in the finals for long jump since I didn’t even get that last year,” said Harmon.
Klover and Harmon both competed in the high jump with Klover placing fourth wat a height of 1.55m (5’-1”). Harmon finished in a tie for fifth, also with a height of 1.55m.

Klover competed in the high jump at the state meet during her sophomore season for a 15th-place finish as she worked through leg pain.

“The first time, it was hard for me to even run, so it was different this time knowing that I could come in with a better chance at getting on the podium…showing actually that I can high jump,” said Klover, who in regard to this year’s competition added, “I just wanted to go out there and trust the progress that I put in all season…it’s all I can do.”

Harmon’s high jump medal finish put her on the podium for the second time in the event after placing eighth last year.

“Just going through the jumps, it was just jump how I jump, and see what I can do,” said Harmon.

A mutual respect has been shared amidst the competition between teammates Klover and Harmon.

“It was good,” said Klover of competing against Harmon for two seasons. “I love Kia. She’s a great person to look up to, even though she’s younger than me, because she focuses and does other events too, just like I do. So I think we get along really well together, and it helps us push each other to be better since we are both really good.”

Harmon expressed a similar sentiment.

“I was so happy to know that I got to experience this with Marah,” said Harmon. “She’s one of my favorite seniors out of all of them so I was happy I could enjoy that experience, and keep that memory with me for a lifetime.”

Coach Diener noted the performances of the two high jumpers. “Kia competed so well this year. She is extremely talented in the jumps, and her growth this year was outstanding. For her to be a three-time state placer already shows how talented she is. Marah has battled in high jump all year. She then within 10 minutes of getting fourth in the high jump went out, and put a medal winning leg down in the 4x400m. She finished her Holden track career on a very high note.”

Klover ran the second leg on the 4×400 relay after Carver opened the first leg. Westover and Campbell completed the race as the group placed seventh with a time of 4:13.44.

“Our girls put their three best races together at the end of their season with sectionals, and prelims and finals at state,” said coach Diener. “Their goal was to get on the podium here at state.”

Carver took over the relay’s first leg duties in a late-season adjustment as Campbell moved from the first leg to the final leg.
“I actually like it, because I feel like I can start it, and no matter whatever position we’re in, I know everyone else behind me can take on the challenge,” said Carver. “It doesn’t matter if we’re in last, I know Addy has that drive to get us back up there, and all of us together, we all run well when we’re in competitions.”

Klover summed up her performance on the second leg.

“I just try to go out there, and do what I can do,” said Klover. “I can’t control the race. I just try to run my hardest when I am out there…just try to give it my all, and see what happens when I hand it off to K’Lea.”

Carver, Klover, and Westover, and Klover handled frantic exchange zones as the race developed in the state meet finals.
“The handoff was really stressful when I get it from her because everybody’s all over the place,” described Westover, and in regard to running her final race with seniors Carver and Klover, an emotional Westover added, “I wish I had more time on the team with them, and I hate that they’re going to go. It’s really sad.”

Campbell carried the baton on the final leg of Carver and Klover’s final high school relay race in the medal finish.

“I wanted to do my best for these two seniors on our team because they’ve worked their butts off to be on this stage, and in this moment,” said Campbell. “I really put my heart and soul into this race…and the 400. I am very thankful for this team and very disappointed that we couldn’t…that I couldn’t have finished better for these two seniors, but I’m just really proud of them because they were the leaders for us. Next year, me and K’Lea are going to have the experience, and we’re going to have to be the leaders. I’m ready to take on that role, but I’m really not ready to let these two seniors go…or this four-by-four group. It’s a good one. I don’t know if we can top this year. It’s going to be hard just because of not only our four-by-four, but the whole entire girls track…we were dominant.”

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