Ava Lady Bears Capture SCA Conference Title

It’s been 11 long years since the Lady Bears were successful in a top bid for the conference title. But In a demonstration of dominance, the Lady Bears won the South Central Association conference by 66 points on Monday.
Liberty was next best, scoring 106 points to the Ava lady trackers’ top score of 172. Salem was 3rd with 91 points, in 4th was Houston with 84. Taking 5th was Willow Springs, Mountain Grove had 54 points for 6th place and Cabool finished with 53 for 7th place.
Ava girls had six first place finishes including:
• The 4×800-meter relay team of seniors Megan Cooper and Kim Copeland and juniors Bailey Ray and Kayla Cooper ran a combined of 11:43.
• Bailey Ray also claimed 1st team SCA honors in the mile run at 6:04; and
• Bailey Ray in the 2 mile of 12:50 minutes. Bailey had a personal best in the mile by 6 seconds and tied her personal record in the 2 mile.
• Junior Jordyn Wilson claimed a new PR in the discus and won an SCA title by placing first with a throw 91’11”.  (Jordyn was missed in the results of the Ava meet on the April 23 where she placed 1st in the discus also.)
• Senior Maranda Yost threw  34’4” in the shot put to also take 1st place honors.  This is the 2nd year in a row that Maranda has been conference champ in the shot put.
• Freshman Cleo Stafford won the triple jump with her best jump of the season with a 31’11”.
Earning 2nd Team all conference honors by placing 2nd in events for the Lady Bears were:
• The 4×200 team with a new season PR of 2:01.62. The team consists of junior Hailey Herrell, sophomore Sandra Buff, and freshmen Kathrin Buff and Makayla Diel.
• Kim Copeland with a time of 6:26 in the 1600;
• Junior Kayla Cooper in the 3200 with a time of 14:15;
• Maranda Yost took 2nd in the discus with a throw of 88’11”; and
• Jordyn Wilson finished 2nd in the shot with a career PR of 31’0.
Honorable Mention
Earning honorable mention by placing 3rd was freshman Kathrin Buff with a new school record in the pole vault at  7’6”.  Kathrin has continued to vault consistently, making her the best pole vaulter since the pole vault was begun in Ava for girls in 2002.
Megan Cooper placed 3rd in the high jump with a 4’4″ clearing, and   Kim Copeland also earned all-conference honorable mention in the 800 with a time of 2:49, her best of the season.
Points were awarded for 8 places.  These Lady Bears earned points to help their team win the championship:  Freshman Jessica Yost finished 4th in the 100 and 300 hurdles posting times of 21.41 and 1:01.00 which was a new 300 hurdles career PR for her.  Also in 4th was the 4×100 team of Hailey Herrell,  Junior Keeley Deal, and Kathrin and Sandra Buff who ran a time of 58.18.
The 4×400 team placed 4th with a time of 4:53.5. Megan Cooper, Kim Copeland, Makayla Diel and Kathrin Buff make up that team.
Cleo Stafford finished 4th in the long jump with a 13’5”, she also finished 4th in the open 100 with a time of 14.34.
In 5th place for the Lady Bears:  Megan Cooper in the open 400 with a time of 1:10.49. Stafford finished 5th also in the 300 meter hurdles running a 1:01.21.
Earning points by placing 6th was freshman Darci Ray with a time of 3:02, a personal best for her in the open 800. Hailey Herrell had a 6th spot in the long jump with a 13”2” leap and in the open 100 with a time of 14.38. Sandra Buff vaulted 6’0” in the pole vault for 6th  place.
6th place was the lowest spot for points earned by the Ava Lady Bear tracksters.
The Class 3 District Track Championships will be held at Fair Grove on May 16.  The top four competitors in each event will advance on to the sectional meet the following Saturday.
The Ava Bears boys team also had an outstanding day finishing second by gathering 132 points.  Mountain Grove, unfortunately for the Bears, brought their A game and bested the field of seven conference schools by scoring 179.5 points to win the SCA by decisive margin.
Only junior Bryan Withers earned 1st team all-conference honors by finishing first in an event for the Bears.  Bryan ran a 16.85 in the 110 meter hurdles. Bryan also earned 2nd team in the 300 hurdles with a 44.31. Withers also placed 3rd in the long jump and 5th in the triple jump with leaps of 17’11 and 38’8″, a new PR for him in the triple.
Senior Kane Thompson placed 2nd in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.63 and earned points by placing 3rd in the open 100 with a 11.65. Kane also finished 7th in the discus with a throw of 104’9”.
Kane is a member of the 4×100-meter relay team with Colton Overcast, Paul Porter, and Kaid Sizemore. They placed 2nd in a time of 46.79 an improvement of 1.28 seconds over their previous  fastest time of the season.
Junior Caleb Stillings ran for 2nd place in the 2 mile with a time of 11:09. Caleb also placed 3rd with a time of 4:50 in the mile.
His 4×800 team of junior Logan Sicilia, freshman Drew Adams and Paul Porter earned 2nd team honors by running a 8:56.09.
The 4×400 team of Logan, Paul, Drew and freshman Josh Gillies ran a new PR and finished in 2nd place with a time of 3:43.38.
Logan Sicilia had a big new personal best in the mile run, breaking the 5 minute mark by running a 4:57.37. Logan placed 4th overall. He also earned points in the open 800 with a 7th place finish in 2:18.00.
In the pole vault, freshman Connor Moran had a 10’6”vault to place 3rd and to earn honorable mention all conference honors.  His pole vault teammate, sophomore Blake Litwiller, had a 10’0” vault  for a new personal record and placed 5th.
Junior Cody Johnson threw 41’8” to place 4th for the Ava Bears in the shot put.
In the high jump, freshman Braden Swofford cleared 5’2” to place 4th. Classmate Britain Tetrick placed 5th with the same height.
Paul Porter placed 5th in the open 400 with a personal best time of 55.28.
Cole Atnip had a 5th place finish in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 18.41.  Cole also earned 7th place points in the 300 hurdles running a 46.70.
Drew Adams placed 6th in the open 800 just edging Logan by .70 of a second with a time of 2:17.30.
The boys’ 4×200 team placed 6th with a time of 1:44.22. Colton Overcast, Cody Johnson, freshman Quincy McDonald  and Josh Gilles comprise that team.
In the discus Ethan Gunter threw for 105’1” to place 6th .
The coaching staff of Daniel Swofford, Liz Kyger and Joe Shantz would like to recognize and compliment the hard work and competitiveness of all the 2015 trackers, both boys and girls, of this season. Without the athletes’ continued work ethic, placing so high in the conference championships would not have been possible.