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By Anthony Jones
This year’s edition of the Mississippi Valley boys track and field championship may have been the toughest in history.
The record books backed that fact, with six of the 12 track all-time best times being broken.
Mascoutah’s squad broke the league meet record in the 100 meter dash and the 110 meter hurdles. Civic Memorial provided a record-breaking performance in the 3200 meter and Waterloo broke the 1600 meter best mark.
The Triad Knights chipped in with two new records at the talent laden competition. This helped them to a second place overall finish at the meet with a total of 130 points, bested only by Mascoutah.
Their first performance on the broken record list was their 4×100 time of 42.22 from the lineup of Darby, Crockarell, Warren and Yohannes. This time bested Mascoutah by 0.08 seconds for the win and broke an eight-year old record.
The same lineup also broke the MVC meet record in the 4×200 meter relay. Clocking in at 1:29.57, they bested the second place finishers and the state qualifying mark by over two seconds.
Triad’s first place finishes did not finish there, however. Tashon Crockarell picked up another championship for the Knights with a winning height of 1.90 meters in the high jump.
Sophomore Ian Dempsey earned another first place finish for the team with a 12.00 meter triple jump. The jumping standout later took second in the long jump with a 5.90 meter mark.
The Knights also swept the throwing events, taking the top two spots in both events. Senior Jaylun Nelson won the discus with a 42.22 meter toss and took second in shot put with a 13.41 meter throw. Zach Van Tieghem, a junior, won the shot put with a 15.10 meter swing and took silver in the discus at 42.15 meters.
In the pole vault, Parker Friedrich earned runner-up honors for Triad with a height of 3.81 meters. Zack Rice took fifth in the same event with a 3.06 meter clearance.
Sophomore Louis Yohannes took second for the Knights in the 110 meter hurdles. His time of 15.30 seconds placed him behind Mascoutah’s Antonio Mack, who ran a new meet record 14.91.
Scoring the team’s only third place finish at the meet was Drew Twyman. The sophomore finished the 1600 meter in 4:37.42 and finished behind a pair of juniors.
Twyman later teamed with Venhaus, Mersinger and Pace for a time of 8:31.27 in the 4×800 meter relay. This time earned fourth place.
Triad’s 4×400 also took fourth place. The team of Warren, Darby, Yohannes and Venhaus all finished clocked in at 3:34.91 to add to their medal total.
Both hurdle races saw a Knight in fourth place as well. Trent Harmon did so in the 110 meter version with a 16.75 second time and Jalen LaFrance matched the result with a 48.23 second finish in the 300 meter edition.
In the 100 meter, sophomore Owen Lightner added to the team’s fourth place medal total with an 11.35 second time.
Fellow sophomore Braven Hard took fifth place for the Knights in the high jump. The second-year athlete finished with a clearance of 1.75 meters.
The only other top-six finish for the squad came from Damon Willis in the triple jump. His leap of 10.76 meters placed the senior sixth overall.