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Despite being 'face-planted' during 4 x 200 relay, Tigers' McComas PRs in 200

OZARK'S AUGUST MCCOMAS AND SETH PEEPLES complete an exchange in the 4 x 200 relay.
OZARK'S AUGUST MCCOMAS AND SETH PEEPLES complete an exchange in the 4 x 200 relay.

Ozark’s August McComas scored one for all of his unheralded soccer brothers by out-sprinting two of SWMO’s biggest football stars at the Branson Relays on Thursday.

McComas finished runner-up in the 200 while posting a personal record time of 23.1. He beat teammate Sam Clark (23.40), of Ozark, and Nixa's Spencer Ward (23.49).

“Football is what our school cares about. Soccer, a lot of people don't think about it,” McComas said. “You see Friday nights, the football stands are filled. We had a great soccer season and our stands are not even a third of the way filled. It's definitely not a very appreciated sport in the area. But it has been cool to get recognition from a lot of the football guys and mix with them (as track teammates) and get to know them.”

McComas PR’d even while still feeling the effects of a spill he took during the 4 x 200 relay. After running the opening leg of the relay, the timing of his baton handoff was a bit off to Seth Peeples. McComas only completed the exchange by falling forward and making the handoff with his right arm completely outstretched. Then, he fell to the track.

“I ate it,” McComas said. “I was running up on him and he was a lot farther away than I thought he was going to be. I couldn't yell, ‘Slow down,' because my mouth was so dry. I didn't even think, I just dove and put (the baton) in his hand and then I full-on face planted. My hands, stomach and knees are (scraped up) pretty bad.”

The handoffs from Peeples to Kannon Williams and from Williams to Clark also weren’t smooth. Still, the Tigers won the relay in 1:32.07.

“We were expecting the handoffs to be not so great, but not as bad as they were,” McComas said. “The 4 x 200 handoffs are hard to practice unless you go all-out and no one wants to do that in practices. You have to gauge how fast you will be coming in, which you're never going to be able to gauge right at a practice.”

McComas was proud to bounce back with a strong performance in the 200.

“I was definitely a little shaken up. I was shaking after the 4 x 200,” he said. “I was nervous going into the 200. But I told myself all off-season I wanted to beat whatever (time) I ran last year. I want to keep getting better. I think I can get (to the 22s). I'm excited to see how good I can do.”

McComas ran in lane one.

“I like the inside lanes, with the faster kids to my right,” he said. “I try to catch them on the curve and give them all I can on the straightaway.”

Williams was second in the 100 (11.14). The Tigers’ Grant Ogle and Napela Naihe were 2-3 in the high jump, with both clearing 6-0 3/4.

Ozark’s 4 x 400 relay finished third (3:39), as did its 4 x 800 relay (8:51).

Lady Tigers' Garner, Wright and two relays finish first

On the girls side, Laine Garner led a 1-2-3 Ozark finish in the 800. Garner was first (2:31), Sydney Lister second (2:32) and Addison Lewis third (2:33).

The Lady Tigers also received firsts from their 4 x 100 relay (51.18) and 4 x 200 relay (1:47), Bria Wright was first in the 300 hurdles (47.66) and second in the 100 hurdles (16.77)

Elsie Estes was second in the 3,200 (12:02), as was Macy Humble in the high jump (4-11), Mallory Beets in the pole vault (9-0 1/4) and Ozark’s 4 x 800 relay (10:32).

Thirds went to Jeneba Pyle in the 100 (13.23), Shelby Middleton in the 200 (27.39), Olivia Carpenter in the 400 (1:02), Estes in the 1,600 (5:34), Lauren Carson in the high jump (4-11), Allie Muggenburg in the javelin (115-9 3/4) and Ozark’s 4 x 400 relay (4:24).