Will Fife was looking to break his Helias shot put record Friday at the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 Track and Field Championships.
He didn't. But Fife did pick up a nice consolation prize - the state championship medal hanging around his neck.
"I didn't quite get as far as I wanted, but it was good enough to win," Fife said.
Fife set the school record this season at 58-feet, 1 inch. His goal Friday?
"I wanted to do 60 feet or better," Fife said.
But his toss of 57-feet, 73â„4 inches captured the state title by nearly 5 inches.
The winning effort came on his third throw of the competition at Dwight T. Reed Stadium
"I wanted to get a good mark, relax and then see what I could after that," Fife said.
The junior, who was third in the shot put and second in the discus as a sophomore, wasn't able to better that toss in his final three attempts. But it didn't matter.
Caleb Mather, a senior from Maryville, was second at 57-3, while Chillicothe senior Alec Whiteside was third at 55-91â„4.
"For Will to put up that type of performance, the way he competed, I'm so happy for him," Helias coach Chip Malmstrom said.
Fife is also a standout lineman on the Helias football team. Throughout the track season, he battled a knee injury he suffered in the Class 4 semifinal win against Harrisonville.
Fife said the decision has already been made if it came down to playing football or competing in the shot put and discus when it comes to college.
"I just know I want to throw," Fife said. "It's a lot less stress on the body than in football."
The Helias Lady Crusaders also scored points in the shot put as senior Bre Zanders finished seventh with a toss of 38-91â„4.
"It was probably a little disappointing for her, she just wasn't able to get her best throw in," Malmstrom said.
That mark came on her final of six throws and was just 1â„4-inch behind sixth-place Catherine Herd of Hollister. Sarah Weidner, a sophomore from Festus, took the title by more than a foot with a throw of 42-13â„4.
Friday was Zanders' birthday, but her present may come Saturday when she is the No. 1 seed in the discus starting at 11 a.m.
"She won't worry about what happened (Friday) she's the type of person who will let it go," Malmstrom said. "She has goals and a lot of them revolve around the discus."
Helias was in one other girls event Friday as Kaitlyn Shea finished 12th in the 3,200-meter run in 12:03.71. The sophomore, making her state championship debut, will compete in the 1,600-meter run today.
On the boys side, the Crusaders advanced from Friday's preliminaries into Saturday's finals in three events.
Griff McCurren cruised into the finals of the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.80, good enough for third among the eight qualifiers for the finals.
"He's got probably the most competitive heart I've seen in track and field," Maelstrom said. "He's in position to win it, it's not where you finish in the prelims, it's where you finish in the finals."
McCurren teamed with Josh Woodruff, Jordan Walker and J.C. Szumigala to advance in both the 4x200- and 4x400-meter relay finals, The Crusaders' time of 1.31.28 is sixth-best in the 4x200, while the 4x400 squad's time of 3:24.55 is third among the qualifiers and is a Helias school record.
Helias senior Michael McCoy was 11th in the 1,600-meter run final Friday and did not advance to today's final in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:00.56.
Woodruff, the lone freshman in the 200-meter dash, did not advance to the event final with a time of 23.08.
Action resumes at 11 a.m. Saturday.
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