COLUMBIA – When Hollister High School freshman Emily Young started the track and field season a few months back, she had some expectations.
You could say she exceeded those expectations several times over.
Young ended her season on the big stage on Saturday at the Class 3 track and field championships at Walton Stadium on the University of Missouri campus, competing against the best in the state in three events.
She even took a place on the podium in the triple jump, earning all-state honors with an eighth-place finish. Her best distance was 34 feet, 3.5 inches.
So yeah, her expectations for her first varsity season – and only her third season competing in an organized track and field setting – were exceeded long ago.
“I’m extremely happy, it’s really insane,” Young said after her final event on Saturday. “I had no idea I would be able to do any of this. I just did what I was told to do, and it ended up paying off.
“I have some great coaches and a lot of great athletes to compete against, so that helps a lot.”
In addition to the triple jump, which Young said is her best event, she placed 13th overall in the 400 meters, turning in a time of 1:03.02, and ran on the 4x200 relay team, a foursome that included Katie Chinn, Julian Narvaez, Taylor Sellers and Young.
That relay was disqualified for an exchange outside of the zone, but that didn’t do much to spoil the state experience for Young.
Young said qualifying for the 400 meters was a surprise, as she believes her best events are the 100 and 200 meters, plus the jumping competition.
“Honestly, (the 400) wasn’t one of my first picks to run,” Young said.
“But I made it to state in the 400, so there’s not much to complain about there.”
Her postseason run also figures to be a big motivator to work in the offseason and make it back to the big meet.
“It motivates me a lot,” she said. “I’m planning to work hard all summer so I can get better and hopefully get back to state.”
Young was just one of a big group of Hollister girls in action at the Class 3 state meet.
Individually, Craigon Bradley was 10th in the 1,600 meters, finishing in 5:38.66, and Sellers was 14th in the 300 hurdles, turning in a time of 49.32 seconds.
Hollister’s 4x800 relay team of Kylee Winkert, Kyla McClintic, Alexia Hackman and Bradley finished just shy of a podium showing, taking ninth place, with a time of 10:23.75.
SHOOK LEADS HOLLISTER BOYS
As the afternoon grew old at Walton Stadium on Saturday, Hollister High School senior Cam Shook turned reflective as he looked back on his time with the Tigers.
Shook just wrapped up a three-sport, four-year standout career with the school by competing at the state meet in a pair of events.
He earned a medal with a seventh-place finish in the 800 meters, finishing in 2:01.60. He finished just out of an all-state spot in the 1,600 meters, with a time of 4:37.18.
Shook is headed to Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, to join the track and field program there. But first, he thought back to coaches he has had at Hollister through the years, including Scott Wenger and current track and field coach Austin Wenger.
“They have trained me as well as they could have,” Shook said. “I’ve been around Scott Wenger and Austin my entire life. Not only do I have confidence in them, but they are like family.
“I always listened to what they said, no matter how hard it was. I just nodded my head and said, ‘Yes sir.’ “
Shook said he is looking forward to testing himself in college, but it will never be the same as it has been in Hollister.
“I’m going to miss having Coach Wenger and everyone with me to help push me to my maximum potential,” he said. “I will be pushing myself in college, but it won’t be the same because it won’t be with my family.”
Shook was joined at the state meet for Hollister boys by freshman Tristan Parker, whose jump of 18 feet, 11.5 inches was good for 15th place in the long jump.