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story.lead_photo.caption In this 2019 file photo, Dijonay Dawson of Jefferson City sprints down the front straightaway during a relay at the Class 5 state track and field championships at Battle High School in Columbia. Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.

There's some mystery involved with the start of the track and field season.

A canceled 2020 season and limited summer events means the first couple meets of the season are for finding out what pieces each team has, even more so than usual.

"Just kind of getting some results, letting them get out there and kind of get their feet wet," Jefferson City coach Melvin Myers said as the Jays and Lady Jays get set to open the season today against Helias and Rolla at Adkins Stadium.

Rhakala Blackmon was in line to make her mark last season as a junior.

"After (the season was canceled) she came back, wanted to work out and went ahead and ran in the summer meets, and came in and worked with me a little bit," Myers said.

Blackmon will run in the hurdle events as well as relays.

Blackmon and fellow senior Dijonay Dawson were pieces of the Lady Jays' state-qualifying sprint relay teams two years ago.

Dawson earned two state medals then, taking seventh in the 4x200-meter relay and seventh in the 100-meter run.

"She ran in the meet this summer over there at Russellville and she's done some speed and power days," Myers said. "We're excited about her."

Junior Bryla Taplin and sophomore Elicia Theroff are also in line to contribute to the sprint relay teams, while also competing in jumping events.

"She's one that we'll probably move her around and probably figure out where is going to be best for her," Myers said of Theroff.

Among the top middle distance runners for the Lady Jays are senior Haille Smith and freshman Adelaide Jones.

"She's going to do a great job for us," Myers said of Smith. "She's worked really hard in the middle distance group, one of our leaders in that group, so hopefully she's gonna have a good season."

Leading the Lady Jay throwers is sophomore Anna York.

"I think she'll be one that would come up and surprise people,"Myers said.

The Jays have a newcomer entering in the throwing events this season in senior Brysan Briggs.

"I think he'll be one of our shining stars in the throws," Myers said. "He seems to be catching on. He's a fast learner."

There will be a plethora of Jays expecting to have success in the middle distance races, including junior Tommy Roehl, senior Andrew Nield, sophomore Jimmy Knoll and senior Trevon Myers.

David Bethune, a junior, could be a points gatherer for the Jays in the sprints and long jump.

"We're lucky to have him back," Myers said. "He'll probably score some points in everything he does."

Logan Barger, a senior, is expected to compete in the 200, possibly the 400, and in relays.

Junior Parker Gourley is eager for the season to begin. He'll compete in the hurdles, pole vault and high jump.

"As soon as basketball was over he was here the next day, kind of hungry," Myers said. "He'll be all over the place."

A couple highlights on the schedule are the Jefferson City Relays on April 17 and the Central Missouri Activities Conference meet April 27 at Sedalia Smith-Cotton.

"Our conference is pretty tough," Myers said. "There's some good track athletes in that conference."

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