With as many athletes as the Spoofhound track and field teams are bringing to Saturday's Class 3 Sectional 4 Meet in Blue Springs, a 100 percent state qualifying success rate would be pretty remarkable.
But ambitious first-year coach Lori Klaus can envision a dreamy scenario in which the Hounds advance all of their sectional qualifiers to state.
"There is no one going that couldn't make it to state," said Klaus. "Even the one's who aren't in the top four, we've PR'd higher than that, so I feel like there's a chance for them go in those. I don't see any kids out there that don't have a chance to go, so that's exciting."
A top four finish at sectionals is needed to reach the Class 3 State Track & Field Championships in Jefferson City May 24-25, and the Hounds are projected to send at least one athlete there in 13 of their 20 remaining events.
The District 8 and MEC champion girls have a top four-ranked athlete in six of their 11 sectional events.
For the boys, it's seven out of nine. And there are two top four seeds in the pole vault and long jump.
Senior boys Treyton Burch, Peyton Mizera and Caleb Mather are seeded fourth or higher in two or more events. They hold the key to Maryville’s chances of competing for a team trophy at state.
Mizera is the top seed in the long jump (21-11.25) and triple jump (45-8) after winning both events last weekend at the Class 3 District 8 Meet. He has qualified for state in the triple jump each of the last two years and medaled as a junior.
Klaus said it would be "devastating" if he didn't get back to state.
A defending state champion, Mather sits atop the eight-man field in the shot put with a distance of 59-1. He has gone as far as 59-6.5 this year, a throw that ranks No. 1 in the entire state.
Career-long MEC rival Alec Whiteside from Chillicothe is ranked second with a throw of 56-3.
In the discus, Mather ranks fourth after throwing well short of his season-best at districts.
His top throw on the year of 167-8 would rank first in the field by over 19 feet.
"I know he'll step up and compete," said Klaus. "I think he wants to make it in both and I think he will."
Burch is the only Hound athlete that qualified for sectionals in three individual events and is favored to get to state in all three.
He ranks second in the 300M hurdles, third in the 110M hurdles and third in the long jump.
Burch set a new personal best in the long jump at districts, giving Maryville two of the top three seeds.
Page 2 of 2 - He is seeded behind District 8 champion Andrew Madison of Liberty North in the 300M hurdles.
Grandview's Harvey Kendall and Madison are the top seeds in the 110's.
Two other Maryville senior boys team members—Derek Stiens and Troy Sherry—are among the top three seeds in the pole vault. A two-time state medalist, Stiens ranks second with a height of 13-6. Sherry is third at 13-0.
Maryville's only two non-state qualifying boys events are supposed to be the 4 x 200M and 4 x 400M relays.
Both are ranked seventh, although the 4 x 400M relay team's season-best time would rank second.
The girls have the No. 1 seeded shot putter—Baylee Scarbrough—the top-seeded 4 x 200M relay team and four other top four seeds.
Scarbrough, who threw 39-6.50 in the shot to win districts, also made it to sectionals in the discus. She's ranked fifth with a throw of 109-2.
The district champion 4 x 200M relay team of Mikaila Wallace, Jessa Stiens, Jennifer Gullion and Abby Hayes ranks more than a second ahead of its nearest competitor, Lincoln College Prep, with a time of 1:48.22.
Maryville's state medal-winning 4 x 400M relay of Stiens, Mikaila Wallace, McKenzie Wallace and Sydney Rogers ran second at districts behind Chillicothe and those remain the top two teams at sectionals.
Jessa Stiens is ranked third in the pole vault after clearing a season-best 9-6 at districts and seventh in the 400M dash.
She has never qualified for state before in either event.
Junior McKenzie Wallace holds the No. 2 seed in the 300M hurdles, trailing only Erin Gilliland of Chillicothe.
She's seeded sixth in the 100M hurdles, requiring a two-spot jump to go to state.
"Even though she's seeded sixth, she's a competitor," said Klaus. "I think she'll surprise people there. In the 300's, she's been running so strong all year. I think she could win that at sectionals."
Gullion, one of two freshman sectional qualifiers, is positioned to go to state in the long jump, seeded third.
Ranking just outside the top four as the No. 5 seed is senior Mikaila Wallace in the 100M dash.
First-time sectional qualifier Dominique Wiedmaier is ranked sixth in the high jump, while senior Jessica Pfost is eighth in the discus.
The sectional meet gets underway with field events at 10 a.m., and Maryville is active in all six.