Republic High School qualifies in 13 state track & field events

The 4x200m relay team of (left to right) Brooklyn Douglas, Jenna Belcher, Gracie Woods, and Reese Finley set a new school record Saturday. (Photos by David Brazeal)

Zion Allen won the high jump and finished second in the long jump.

Alaina Norman advanced to state in the shot put and discus after winning medals in those events last year. She also advanced as part of the 4x400m relay team.

Gracie Troester qualified for state in four events, and she broke her own school record in the 800-meter run.

Republic will be well-represented at the Class 5 state track & field meet in Jefferson City this weekend, with eight athletes competing in 13 events.
Jenna Belcher and Gracie Troester each qualified in four events to lead the Lady Tigers. Belcher finished second in the long jump, third in the triple jump, and fourth in the 200-meter dash. She also ran on the third-place 4x200m relay team. The whole day was in doubt when she injured her knee during warm-ups before her first event, the long jump.
“I just had a lot of determination, I guess,” Belcher said. “It’s my senior year, and I’ve had my fair share of injuries, and I wasn’t going to let this one stop me now. My goal for this whole season was to make it to state in at least long and triple jump, and when I knew I had the chance in all four events, that was my end goal.”
Troester was second in the 800, 1600 and 3200 runs. She also ran on the second-place 4x800m relay team that set a school record in 9:37.23. She sometimes makes it look easy, but Troester said that’s not the case. “I still have to work just as hard to qualify as I do every year,” Troester said.
Alaina Norman qualified in three events, finishing third in the shot put, fourth in the javelin and running on the 4x400m relay team. Reese Finley and Gracie Woods each qualified in three relays. Kristin Probst qualified in two relays, and Brooklyn Douglas advanced in one.
The girls 4x200m relay of Woods, Finley, Douglas and Belcher set a school record, finishing third in 1:44.76. Troester broke her own school record in the 800, finishing in 2:17.59.
On the boys side, Zion Allen won the high jump and finished second in the long jump to qualify in two events. He won a medal with a fourth-place finish in the high jump last year.
The state meet will be held at Jefferson City High School’s Adkins Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
State-ranked Nixa squad ends Republic’s standout soccer season with 17 victories
Adison Gibbs gave Republic a 1-0 lead over Nixa just 12 seconds into their soccer district semifinal on Wednesday, but the Lady Eagles scored four unanswered goals for a 4-1 victory, ending the Lady Tigers’ season one win shy of a Republic school record.
Gibbs scored on Republic’s first attack. Her goal is tied for the 7th-fastest in Missouri history. But Nixa, with only one loss this year, took control after that.
The Lady Eagles tied the match with 29:36 left in the first half and went in front to stay less than 12 minutes later. Nixa added two more goals in the second half, scoring in the first minute after the break and again with 31:32 to play.
Republic goalkeeper Awbree Berning made 16 saves as Nixa applied constant pressure. The Lady Eagles took eight corner kicks to Republic’s zero.
The Lady Tigers finished 17-7, tied for the second-most wins in program history. Republic posted 11 shutouts, one shy of the school mark. The team’s 17 victories matched its total from the last two seasons combined.
Coach Jesus Zuniga praised his team, especially the nine seniors who played their final game.
“We had challenged them at the beginning of the year to set the standard. That’s exactly what they’ve done,” Zuniga said. “It’s a very high bar, but now we know that’s what Republic soccer is fully capable of doing.”
“We would not have wanted to do it with any other group besides that group of seniors,” he added. “They poured in. I remember walking in on the first day, meeting them at the auditorium, and there was excitement, the same buzz and energy coming into this season. It’s a very special group of girls.”
The seniors are Callie Jaquess, Molly Blades, Liberty Redmon, Briley Place, Kendra Phiri, Brooklyn Claxton, Ava Brown, Cam Burton and Alivia Coleman.
Neosho stuns Republic in district baseball upset
Republic’s baseball season ended Wednesday night with a 2-1 loss to Neosho in eight innings at the Class 6 District 6 tournament at Springfield Kickapoo. The second-seeded Tigers had beaten seventh-seeded Neosho 14-0 just a week before, but Republic couldn’t break through against Neosho’s pitching in their second meeting.
Republic starting pitcher Trace Harrington struck out 11 batters and allowed two earned runs over eight innings. But the Tigers managed only four hits in the first seven innings against Neosho’s Bostyn Patterson.
“He left it all out there,” Republic coach Curt Plotner said of Harrington. “He was phenomenal, and he gave us everything he had, and it just wasn’t enough today.”
Neosho led 1-0 after scoring on an RBI groundout in the third inning, but Republic tied it in the bottom of the seventh. Senior Brett Hendrickson drove in the tying run, and the Tigers put the winning run in scoring position, but Patterson struck out Garrett Lester to force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Neosho’s Jaiden Fisher singled and scored on a two-out single by Noah Lawson. Republic put runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Neosho’s Quenton Hughes struck out Cooper Pilkington to end the game.
Republic finishes 18-15. The loss ends the high school careers of 10 seniors.
“I just told them I was proud of them and I love them all,” Plotner said. “You know, those 10 seniors have probably, you could argue, been the greatest four-year class to come through this program. And at that point, you just tell them how proud you are of them and that you love them and know that they’ve got bigger, better things ahead of them in life.”



Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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