Blair Oaks has four all-staters in first season in Class 3

Blair Oaks’ John Karsten hurls the discus Saturday at Dwight T. Reed Stadium. The junior took third place in the Class 3 state championship.

Blair Oaks’ John Karsten hurls the discus Saturday at Dwight T. Reed Stadium. The junior took third place in the Class 3 state championship. Photo by Kris Wilson.

Blair Oaks’ inaugural track season in Class 3 turned out to be a success.

The Falcons and Lady Falcons combined to produce four all-state athletes Satudray at the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3-4 Track and Field Championships at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.

“I think we did what was expected of us,” Blair Oaks boys coach Nathan Holtmeyer said. “Coming in we knew it was going to be tough being all-state. You always have those dreams, but overall we came did what we came here to do.”

Leading the pack was John Karsten, a junior who came up big with a second-place finish in the boys discus.

Karsten used a throw of 157-5 to become the Class 3 runner-up, finishing behind Chillicothe’s Alec Whiteside, who threw 158-11.

“I wasn’t really expecting second,” Karsten said. “I was expecting to be on the podium. Anything can happen out there. Second is pretty good.

“I don’t know if it’s really sunk in all the way yet, but I’m pretty happy with it.”

Karsten came in as the fourth seed with a qualifying throw of 162-6, which also happens to be his personal record.

“I was hoping to get close (to the personal record),” Karsten said. “At the beginning of the season I was throwing 151 and I was afraid I was peaking at the wrong time. So I was really happy when I started throwing in the 160s in districts and sectionals.

“I think I could have thrown a little bit farther but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.”

With Whiteside set to graduate, Karsten has a legitimate chance to win a state title next season.

“Next year will be pretty close,” Karsten said. “There’s some other guys that didn’t quite make it this year and they’ll be coming back next year, but I think next year I’ll be doing pretty good.”

III

Jessica Clark topped the list for the Lady Falcons with a third-place finish in the pole vault.

The junior’s vault of 10-9 left her behind St. Clair’s Emily Presley (11-0) and state champion Kathryn Ambrose of Warrensburg (11-3).

After two straight second-place finishes in Class 2, Clark got another top-three finish.

“(I feel) horrible,” Clark said, “because I didn’t win.”

Said Blair Oaks girls coach Marc Keys: “Didn’t quite get the state championship she wanted, but third place is always good. Nice to be consistent three years in a row.”

Clark was seeded third entering Saturday’s competition with a vault of 11-3. She had jumped 11-6 during the 2012 season, but wasn’t able to replicate that.

“I’m not really upset with the way I jumped, because I was jumping well,” she said. “I’m just upset that I didn’t win.

“I just blew through my pole on my last attempt. I probably should have got on a bigger pole and I would have been fine. I was having a good day though.”

With one more year left to try to grab the elusive state title, Clark is determined to get it done.

“Start practicing tomorrow,” she said.

III

Chase Duren added four points for the Falcons with a fifth-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles.

The sophomore completed the race in 40.61. John Burroughs’ Ezekiel Elliott, an Ohio State football recruit, won the event in 39.01.

Duren entered Saturday’s final as the seventh seed, thus exceeding expectations.

“He’s been battling some minor injuries and stuff, but he was able to come back and persevere,” Holtmeyer said. “He really took it to it and was able to pass two people there at the end.”

Amy Dorge rounded out the quartet of all-state finishers for Blair Oaks, taking eighth in the discus.

The senior’s toss of 120-5 gave the Lady Falcons a point. O’Hara’s Cydnee Reese won the event for the third straight season with a throw of 151-10.

“Amy got all-state again. That’s another great accomplishment,” Keys said.

The Falcons took eighth in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:32.18. The team consisted of Duren, Dominic Jamerson, Ashton Maasen and Cole Bisges. Sikeston won the event in 1:29.11.

The Falcons also took 11th in the 4x800-meter relay in a time of 8:23.30. The team consisted of Jacob Prenger, Maasen, Zach Barlow and Brett Voss. Cardinal Ritter won in 7:54.67.

III

The Falcons tied for 18th with 13 points, as Grandview won with 58.

The Lady Falcons tied for 35th in the team standings with seven points. Ste. Genevieve won with 48.

Additional coverage:

Saturday's MSHSAA Track & Field Championship Results

Helias’ McCurren wins state title in Class 3 400-meter dash

California’s Deeken wins long jump

Jefferson City combines for just nine points Saturday

Earlier coverage:

Friday's MSHSAA Track & Field Championship Results

Burkett, Martin take second for Jefferson City

Rhine makes it 2-for-2 in the high jump

Blair Oaks has several key events Saturday

Southern Boone’s Bartel wins Class 3 high jump

Helias’ Will Fife wins shot put state title

California's Deeken wins triple jump

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