Veteran leadership shines through with Sikeston girl’s track and field team at state

Sikeston state finalists pose with head coach Betsy Colwick and assistant coaches Josh Freeman and Austin Hailey. (Submitted)

SIKESTON — Led by seniors Kirsten Fairhurst and Reese Steward, the Sikeston girl’s track and field team had substantial success at the recent Class 4 state championships held on May 26 and 27 in Jefferson City, laying claim to a seventh-best time in the 4x100-meter relay and had several team members rank in the top 10 in individual events.

“We had a great year,” Sikeston coach Betsy Colwick said. “This is the third consecutive year we’ve had girls qualify for state competition. Our girls consistently placed in the top four in most events we entered this year and I couldn’t be more proud of each of them.”

The quartet of Don Quarua Metty, Lanaiyah Shabazz, Steward and Fairhurst finished the 4x100 preliminary relay with a time of 49.87 seconds, which was .03 seconds faster than the group’s state qualifying run at Hillsboro High School the weekend prior, then ran a 50.02 in the finals to place them seventh in the event.

Sikeston senior Kirsten Fairhurst makes an attempt at the long jump at the Class 4 Missouri State Championships on May 26 in Jefferson City. (Submitted)

Fairhurst also came home in sixth place in the long jump event, recording a jump of 5.38 meters (17 feet, 8 inches).

“This was my second time going to state,” Fairhurst said. “ I wasn’t as nervous this time because I experienced the nerves last season. I tried hard to alleviate my nerves the best I could this year so I could compete at my best. My main goal was to improve from my 10th-place jump last year and I was proud of myself for doing that. I’m also proud of my teammates and coaches for helping me in any way they could.”

Steward also competed in the long jump and brought home ninth place with a jump of 5.29 meters (17 feet, 4.25 inches) to boost the Lady Bulldogs with two teammates finishing in the Top 10.

Junior Brionna Williams posted a jump of 4 foot 11 inches in the girl’s high jump, tying for ninth place with three other competitors.

While several returning athletes will be back next season, Fairhurst and Reese graduated as well as fellow seniors Morgan Fitzgerald and Sarah Crawford, leaving a hole to fill as far as leadership goes for Colwick.

“Losing both Kirsten and Reese is going to be tough for the team,” Colwick said. “We do have several coming back next season but that leadership from our seniors will be hard to replace. Brionna (Williams) has a good outlook for next year and Don Quaria (Metty) will also be returning as well as Janaye Moore who just missed the mark for qualifying for state in the 300-meter hurdles. Freshman Taylor Moore had a great year in the high jump and I think she is more than capable of making it to sectionals or even further next year. The cupboard is still full but you can’t replace leaders like the ones we had. ”

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