Branson freshman Cali Essick won the long jump competition at the Class 5 District 2 meet at Carthage on Saturday and qualified for sectionals in four events.

Branson High School freshman Cali Essick continued her memorable first season on the high school track and field scene, qualifying for the sectional meet in four events at the Class 5 District 2 meet in Carthage on Saturday.

Essick won the long jump, with a best distance of 17 feet, 10 inches, and she added a third-place finish in the 100 meters (12.84 seconds) and a fourth in the 200 (26.65).

She ran a leg on the fourth-place 4x100 relay team, where the foursome of Svea Pierson, Keaton Wilczynski, Essick and Kayli Thomas turned in a time of 51.98 seconds.

The top four individuals in each event at the district meet qualify for the sectional competition, scheduled for Saturday at Waynesville High School. The top four at sectionals advance to the state meet, May 24-25 in Jefferson City.

Branson will be represented at sectionals in five events.

Also moving on will be Adrianna Alvard, who took fourth in the 1,600 meters, with a time of 5:46.76.

The Branson boys finished fourth as a team at the district meet, led by the high-flying duo of senior Britt Pierce and junior Reagan Ulrich.

Pierce won the high jump, clearing 6 feet, 4 inches, while Ulrich won the pole vault, clearing 15 feet.

Payton McCormick will be busy at sectionals, participating in three events. He was second in the 300 hurdles (40.86), third in the 110 hurdles (15.95), and he was part of the fourth-place finishing 4x100 relay team.

The 4x100 foursome of Bradin Blackwell, McCormick, Ty Werling and Colsen Conway turned in a time of 45.30 seconds.

Also advancing from Branson was Severo Vargas, whose distance of 43 feet, 3 inches, was good for fourth place in the shot put.

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