Qualifying for the state track meet isn’t the only thing seniors David Desmond, Jacob Lamb and Luke Rosendale did last Saturday. They also graduated, but it was a close call.
Not because of grades, but because of time. After they finished running at the sectional track meet in Ozark, they had to sprint to the airport.
“We ran over to the van, and we drove to the airport,” Lamb said. “We got on the plane and ran from the plane to the van to drive us over to graduation, and then ran into graduation.”
They didn’t quite make the 7 p.m. start for the ceremony, but came closer than they thought.
“The wheels left the ground at 6:25 p.m. in Springfield,” head coach Brad Hagedorn said. “David Desmond’s mom called me at 7:12 p.m. and said, ‘I have them in the car and we’re headed out.’ They were in the Mathewson (Exhibition) Center before the valedictorian was done with his speech.”
The trio didn’t have time to change clothes.
“I like being in the socks, and we had our uniform under the gown,” Rosendale said. “For pictures, we unzipped and showed a little bit so we’d remember.”
Lamb said they made the right choice by going instead of skipping it.
“Graduation was such a good experience,” he said. “I’m so glad we got there. Everybody was looking at us because we had those matching yellow socks on. It didn’t look like we had shirts on because of the track uniform. Everyone was looking at us funny.”
Rosendale said there was some talk about not going to graduation, but in the end they decided they needed to go.
“You can’t just not graduate, I guess,” he said.
This was Rosendale’s second experience in a plane.
“It was kind of scary at first, because it was pretty windy,” Rosendale said. “So it got kind of shaky on takeoff and landing. Missouri is kind of boring to watch from a plane.”
The runners were also recognized for their track accomplishments when they walked across the stage.
“When we started walking up there, he stopped announcing the names and he said that we just came back from sectionals, and that we had just qualified,” Lamb said. “And that whole place cheered, and it was awesome.”