Another second-place finish at state for Rush

Tyler Rush thought he had it.

Another state title, and his first track title.

But the Linn senior was caught on the final lap of the 1,600-meter run by College Heights Christian’s Ryan Beaver, instead taking second place in the Class 2 event at the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 1-2 Track and Field Championships on Friday at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.

“Coming on to the straight stretch here (going) to the final lap, I knew they were coming up behind me, but I thought I had it,” Rush said. “I kept pushing but Ryan Beaver ran a great last lap.

“That definitely surprised me. He’s been running good times all season long, but I definitely did not see that coming from him today.”

Rush took second in 4:22.09, which was nine seconds better than his qualifying time of 4:31.10, a time that topped the field heading into Friday. Beaver just made an unbelievable push on the final lap and finished in 4:20.19 to take the state title.

“It wasn’t what I was wanting,” Rush said of the second-place finish, “but it was still all-state, so I’ll take it.”

It was the second straight second-place finish in the 1,600-meter run, as Rush was the runner-up in 2012 with a time of 4:29.88. Barstow’s Deko Ricketts won last season in 4:27.45.

Passing Barstow near the end of the second lap, it looked like Rush was on his way to a second state title this school year, as he won the Class 1 state cross country title in November. Beaver then pulled the surprise.

“I’ve been running the fastest times in the state of Missouri all season long,” Rush said, “so I just felt like when I took over I had it, and then he made that last push. There is a little disappointment there, but I’m still happy overall.”

Rush didn’t qualify in the 800-meter dash Friday, finishing 12th. Still, he’ll run in what may be his best event today — the 3,200-meter run. Rush enters with the best qualifying time (9:56.74), as the next-closest time comes from Crane’s Thomas Chabrecek (10:01.68).

After his close call Friday, Rush is ready to use that for motivation today.

“Getting second place definitely lit a fire underneath me to push for that two-mile,” he said.


Also on the boys side, Russellville’s Austin Smith took third place in the Class 2 pole vault Friday with a vault of 13-0. Vienna’s Justin Hollis finished seventh with a vault of 12-0. Principia’s Austin Cooling won with a height of 13-9.

Fatima’s Zach Woods took eighth in the Class 2 discus with a toss of 127-3. Lamar’s Sam Bailey won the event with a throw of 170-2.

On the girls side, South Callaway’s Hannah Oberdiek took third place in the Class 2 long jump with a leap of 17-2. Monroe City’s Carly Spalding won the event with a distance of 18-11 1/4.

Russellville’s Taylor Young took fourth in the Class 2 pole vault with a vault of 9-3. Brookfield’s Alesa Frey won with a height of 11-0.

Fatima’s 4x800-meter relay team, which consisted of Morgan Berhorst, Brianna Kempker, Alexis Peters and Michelle Barnhart, finished seventh with a time of 10:03.31. Lutheran: St. Peters won the event in 9:41.73.

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Friday's results

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News Tribune sports reporters on Twitter at: @NTsports | @adamstillman87 | @tony_hawley | @Brent_Foster | @tjrackers


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