MSHSAA Track & Field Championships moved to Saturday, Jackson athletes reflect on tornado

Tornado impacts Mo. state track & field championships

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) -The Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3, 4 and 5 Track & Field Championships will be held on Saturday, May 25 only.

Originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Jefferson City, the championships will now be held at three different sites.

Jackson High School athletes planned on leaving for the capitol on Thursday, May 23. MSHSSA officials advised people not to travel to Jefferson City on the 23. Now, they’re leaving the 24th.

“That could have been us. We could have been someone who got really badly injured," said Jack Rinehart, a Jackson High School Senior on Track and Field.

When he heard the news about tornado, Rinehart said he immediately checked on his friends who live in Jefferson City. Luckily, they’re okay.

“They told me that the track was pretty much torn apart and the pole-vaulting pit was thrown two blocks away. And it was pretty devastating," he said.

Although practice continued at home in Jackson, Jimmy Stoverink, the team’s head coach, said it’s hard not to think about the people in Jefferson City.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Right now the state track meet’s kind of secondary to that," said Stoverink.

“I know that’s more important up there that families and friends up there need to be together rather than a track meet," said Kaylee Wilson, a Jackson High School Senior on Track and Field.

Even though their championship weekend isn’t going as planned, they said they prepare to take on challenges like this one.

“We always go through the season saying that we gotta go through each meet with adversity, and this is definitely a prime example of adversity that we need to push through," said Kennedy Bauer, a Jackson High School Senior on Track and Field.

So, they’re trying to keep their minds on track.

“We have practiced dealing with adversity. This is adversity. We’re still gonna go up and compete hard. We’re gonna have our minds right and ready to go," said Stoverink.

“We should approach it like any other track meet, and that’s what we’re gonna have to do," said Rinehart.

Coach Stoverink also thanked the schools that will host the championship now.

The Class 3 Championships will be held at Audrey J. Walton Track and Field facility on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The Class 4 Championships will be held at Washington High School in Washington, Mo.

The Class 5 Championships will be held at Battle High School in Columbia, Mo.

Gates will open at 8 a.m. Saturday and all field events begin at 9 a.m. The running events will begin at 10 a.m. Admission for the day will be $8 for anyone over the age of 5.

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