Branson High School freshman Cali Essick continued her strong first season on the varsity track and field scene on Saturday, qualifying for the Class 5 state meet in two events in sectional competition at Waynesville High School.
Essick will run at state in the 100 meters and 200 meters, after finishing third in each event at the sectional meet.
The top four finishers in each event at sectionals move on to state.
Essick finished the 100 meters in 12.65 seconds, just .20 seconds off the pace of sectional champion Ashley Childers of Ozark.
In the 200 meters, Essick turned in a time of 26.27 seconds to finish third behind the Ozark duo of Sydney Johnson and Childers.
On the boys’ side, Branson will be represented at the state meet, Friday and Saturday at Adkins Stadium on the Jefferson City High School campus, by three individuals – Payton McCormick, Reagan Ulrich and Britt Pierce.
McCormick will run in both of the hurdle events.
In the 110 hurdles, McCormick finished in a time of 15.44 seconds, good for second place. He finished fourth in the 300 hurdles, putting up a time of 42.12 seconds.
Ulrich, who has rewritten the school’s record books in the pole vault, continued his domination on Saturday at sectionals.
He cleared 16 feet, 6 inches, well clear of the second-place finisher’s 14 feet.
Pierce will end his high school career at state after clearing 6 feet, 2 inches in the high jump, second to the 6 feet, 4 inches from sectional champion Donya Marx of Jackson.
The Branson boys finished ninth in the sectional team standings, with 37 points.