Semoball

SENIOR RECOGNITION: Sikeston boys and girls' track and fielders reflect on careers with Bulldogs

Sikeston boys' track and field seniors pose for a picture at Sikeston Public Schools Stadium, on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Pictured (from left to right): Ashton Sims, Craig Ware, Keon Graham, Aeneas Moore, J'Marlon Moore.
Provided Photo

SIKESTON — With the cancellation of spring athletics for the 2020 season, seniors in the Standard-Democrat coverage are not able to have final moments with their teammates.

Below is the fifth part of a series of stories on recognizing senior athletes, where they are going next, what they loved most about playing their respective sport at their school, and more.

The series continues with the Sikeston boys and girls’ track and field team. The Bulldogs had 12 seniors on the roster, with 10 available to interview.

J’Marlon Moore

J'Marlon Moore

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the football team and the boys’ basketball team

Plans after high school… Planning on going into the Army Reserves

Advice for underclassmen… “Do your work on time, make sure you turn it in and try to keep your grades up throughout school.”

Favorite track memory… “My brother, Ashton Sims.”

What got you interested in track… “Pretty much Ashton, because when I first moved down here, I wasn’t too much into sports at all, and my brother showed me the way.”

Ashton Sims

Ashton Sims

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the football team and the boys’ basketball team

Plans after high school… Planning to go to college and run track or go into the military

Advice for underclassmen… “Keep working and stay on your classwork. Just keep pushing.”

Favorite track memory… “I was at Notre Dame, and I didn’t hear the gun go off, so I just stood there until I looked and saw everybody run.”

What got you interested in track… “My brother got me interested in track. He told me to join to see how he liked it.”

Craig Ware

Craig Ware

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Choir

Plans after high school… Planning to go into the military

Advice for underclassmen… “Stick with it, because it will get hard.”

Favorite track memory… “The Jackson meet.”

What got you interested in track… “I just wanted to be active in a sport that I didn’t know, and I got advised to try out track, and I did, and I liked it.”

Keon Graham

Keon Graham

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the football team; FBLA, Link Crew, Sikeston Bleacher Bums

Plans after high school… Attending the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., and majoring in business administration.

Advice for underclassmen… “Do as much as you can before it’s your senior year, because you might not have one, and always try your best at every event. Especially in your younger years, so coaches get to look at you, and sooner or later, college coaches get to look at you and get to see how well developed you are as an athlete.”

What got you interested in track… “I like running. My first year running track was seventh grade, and I just said that I wanted to master hurdles, and I did my best at that. I tried every single practice, and I stayed about an hour after practice every day, just working on it. Then, by the end of my eighth-grade year, I was undefeated. Then, by my sophomore year, I went to state, and then, by my junior year, I placed at state.”

Favorite track memory… “Standing up on the podium in my junior year, getting a state track medal.”

Aeneas Moore

Aeneas Moore

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the football team

Plans after high school… Attending Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and majoring in digital media. 

Advice for underclassmen… “Stay strong, make a lot of friends and enjoy the time you have because it doesn’t last forever, it’s temporary.”

What got you interested in track… “My brother Elgin used to do track. He did the hurdles. I saw him and wanted to see what I got.”

Favorite track memory… “Practices, I don’t have a favorite, just every day and being out there.”

Brian Jasper

Brian Jasper

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the football team

Plans after high school… Going to college, and is probably majoring in business

Advice for underclassmen… “High school went by super quick. It went by in the blink of an eye, so take it while you still got it."

Favorite track memory… “It happened in Cape, and it was my last rep — my last go — and I had a PR.”

What got you interested in track… “My friends did. They pushed me to track, and I’ve just been here ever since."

Sikeston girls' track and field seniors pose for a picture at Sikeston Public Schools Stadium, on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Pictured (from left to right): Layan Alkilani, Miranda Bartlett, Taydrianna Barnett, and Blaire Gordon
Provided Photo

Miranda Bartlett

Miranda Bartlett

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the softball team and participated in the marching band; Red Peppers, FTA, A+

Plans after high school… Attending Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., and majoring in exercise science with plans to go into physical therapy.

Advice for underclassmen… “If you’re scared to do something by yourself, pick an upperclassman or a friend to do it with you, and it’ll push you to do better.”

Favorite track memory… “Probably the bus rides — it kind of sounds stupid — or PRing at one of our meets. I threw like 94 something, and it was really exciting for me.”

What got you interested in track… “Coach Heaton, my freshman year pushed me. He kept asking me, ‘Miranda, are you going to do track?' and I was like, ’No, I don’t think I’m going to this year.’ And, then sophomore year, he was like, ‘Miranda, you got to do track,’ so I did track my sophomore year."

Blaire Gordon

Blaire Gordon

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Participated on the cheerleading team; FBLA, FCA, Foreign Language Club, National Honor Society, Bulldog Leadership Team, Link Crew

Plans after high school… Attending Murray State University, in Murray, Ken., and majoring in education.

Advice for underclassmen… “Don’t wish your time away. It goes by way faster than you think and be nice to people because you never know what they’re going through in their own lives.”

What got you interested in track… “I’ve loved to run since I was a little kid. I love to race people, and so, in junior high, I decided why not do it as a sport.”

Favorite track memory… “I went to go get the cooler that had all the Gatorade in it at one meet, and we went to go by ourselves, and my hand slipped, and we dumped the whole cooler of Gatorade out into the street, so no one had Gatorade for that meet.”

Layan Alkilani

Layan Alkilani

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Student Council, ASTRA, National Honor Society, FBLA, Key Club, Model UN, Red Peppers

Plans after high school… Attending Washington University, in St. Louis, Mo., and majoring in biology on a pre-med track, and then hope to attend medical school.

Advice for underclassmen… “Don’t take every day for granted, because we didn’t realize it was going to be our last day. We should have treated it like it would have been.”

What got you interested in track… “I was in P.E. in ninth grade, and my coach told me that I was super fast, and I should try out for track.”

Favorite track memory… “We were at a track meet, and Blaire was trying to spray IcyHot on her leg, but somehow she had the cap on backward and sprayed it straight into her face.”

Taydrianna Barnett

Taydrianna Barnett

Other sports, activities, and clubs… Played on the volleyball and girls’ basketball team; Red Peppers, Link Crew

Plans after high school… Attending Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill., and majoring in biochemistry. She is also playing on the girls’ basketball team.

Advice for underclassmen… “Don’t procrastinate and wait until the last minute.”

Favorite track memory… “I had a bag of hot chips right before my meet, and I was about to run. I was running, and my chest was on fire, so I just walked off."

What got you interested in track… “It keeps me in shape, and I have friends doing it, so that made it more fun.”

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