CLINTON — It’s hard to be understated when you are 6-foot-9, but Albert Nash pulls it off.
At the West Central Conference track meet here Friday, Nash won the triple jump and the 300-meter hurdles, and finished third in the long jump as Smith-Cotton High captured the conference title for the second consecutive year. Nash racked up a lot of points for the Tigers, but took it in stride.
“I think I was pretty good today,” said the senior, who is participating in track for the first time.
“I wish I would have tried it sooner, like when I was a freshman. I probably would have been better,” he said.
No team was better than the Tigers on Friday, who scored 154 points compared with 116 by second place Warrensburg. S-C head coach Brad Hagedorn stressed that team depth was the key to the championship.
“We tell our kids, ‘The best will win medals, but our No. 2s will win us the meet,” he said.
A look at the results bears that out. Along with Nash, Zac Volk won the pole vault and Marquez Raye won the 110-meter hurdles. But the Tigers’ scoring was bolstered by a slew of second and third place finishes. Taking second were Chance Johnson in high jump, Michael Chernookiy in the triple jump, Luke Guier in the 400 meter run, the 4x100 meter relay (Blaine Sarabia, Austin LaBoube, Henry Contreres, Alex Diaz) and the 4x400 meter relay (Chernookiy, Taylor Gilliam, Johnson and Guier). Third place finishes were logged by Chernookiy in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles events, LJ Marsh in shot put, Bailey Hendricks in pole vault, Gilliam in the 1,600- and 800-meter runs, Guier in the 200 meters and Martin Zalpa in the 3,200-meter run.
Also taking third was the 4x800 relay team (Troy Lauer, Christian Sarabia, Ryan Perkins, Nathan White).
The Lady Tigers finished third in the girls meet, with Marionna Ward setting the school record in winning the 300-meter hurdles. Her time of 46.89 seconds was 2.5 seconds better than the previous mark.
Ward also was second in the long jump and Abby Perkins was second in shot put. The girls 4x100 meter relay team (Ward, Mekeba Nash, Sarah Hughes, Drae Marcum) also finished second.
Clinton won the girls title with 163 points. Smith-Cotton scored 81.