JEFFERSON CITY — The Maplewood Richmond Heights boys track and field team earned their three-peat. The Blue Devils broke two state records on their way to winning the state meet in a big way for the third year in a row on Saturday at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
From the start of the season, coach Brandon Gregory said the team planned to not only win state, but to do it in a way that really made its mark.
"We wanted to break the points record (for all classes)," he said. "So that was our goal, to put two guys in certain events, and max out our talent, and that way we could try to reach that goal. We came six points short, but at the same time, I believe it was a success."
The team broke the record for team points scored for Class 2, with 104, breaking the old record of 85 set by the 2009 MRH team. The overall record they were shooting for was 110.
If it wasn't for the hot sunny day, they might have done it. Senior Eric Liska scratched from the 800-meter run because he was dehydrated.
"If Eric wasn't dehydrated and would have run his 800," Gregory said. "I don't know if he would have got first, second, third, fourth. That probably would have been what we needed, (but) his health is way more important than reaching goals."
The other state record broken by the Blue Devils was 42.64 seconds in the 4x100-meter relay, breaking another record set by the 2009 MRH team.
Senior Marcus Taylor anchored that relay as well as winning the 4x400-meter relay. He also won the 200- and 400-meter dashes to board the bus home jingling with four gold medals around his neck. He said he was looking forward to a tall Dr. Pepper and thinking about playing college football.
MRH boys also won the 4x200-meter relay. Senior Bobby Norful took second in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash. Liska took second in the 400-meter dash and senior Nick Coulter grabbed third in the 300-meter hurdles. Coulter also won the long jump and took fourth in the triple jump. Senior Cortez Cooper earned third in the long jump. Senior Marcus Daily took third in shot put.
Following the field events, up to the 1600-meter run, MRH trailed Principia 26-23 in team points. After 11 events, including the 4x100-meter relay and the 400-meter dash, MRH had 51 to Principia's 31. Through 16 events MRH was up to 94, and winning the final 4x400 relay gave them the 10 points for their 104 total.
The MRH girls surprised coach Cheryl Carmon, who didn't think they'd see the podium. The top eight scorers from each event contributes to overall team points and is recognized on the podium. The girls 4x100-meter relay took seventh, senior Brandi Allen took seventh in shot put, and freshman Essence Brewer took eighth in the 200-meter dash. The girls 4x200-meter relay had their best time of the year, but took 10th.
Gregory and Taylor were thinking alike after the meet. Coach Gregory said they were going to hit a Dairy Queen and head for home.