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Returnees, newcomers optimistic they can carry on Ozark 4 x 200 relay success


Ozark will be looking to capture its third straight COC championship in the 4 x 200 relay with a pair of newcomers who have emerged to be the Tigers’ most pleasant surprises.

Kannon Williams and Seth Peeples have made exceptional strides to establish themselves among Ozark’s top sprinters. They’ll join returnees Sam Clark and August McComas in the 4 x 200 relay.

Williams was an alternate on the relay last year. This year, he’s the fastest of the four. His personal record in the 100 a year ago was 11.9. He’s been timed in practices this year at 10.9.

“That boy has put on some speed since last year,” Clark said.

“I put in the work last summer,” Williams said of his improvement. “(Track) is now my main goal. I'm focused and determined to keep getting better.”

Peeples didn’t go out for track as a freshman last year and wasn’t necessarily planning on doing so this year. That changed when he joined Clark in Ozark’s 21 mph club encompassing a 10-yard sprint as part of weights class.

“I had a good time, coach (Justin Emmerton) saw that and wanted me to give (track) a try,” Peeples said. “(Coaches) announce if you get a good time and when they said mine I thought, ‘Wow, I wasn't expecting that at all.’”

“Seth has stepped up,” McComas said. “We’re excited to see what he can do.”

McComas reports handoffs between himself and Peeples are progressing well.

“I'm actually shocked,” McComas said. “I was a little worried since Seth hadn't run track since junior high. But he's acclimated well. (The handoffs) have gone very well, compared to what I thought they might be.”

The 4 x 200 relay’s running order will see McComas assume the lead leg, followed by Peeples, Williams and Clark will handle the anchor leg.

Clark has been a part of the Tigers’ 4 x 200 relay since his freshman year two years ago.

A year ago, the 4 x 200 relay included Clark, McComas, Chase Kirkland and Mamady Embola. Two years ago, Clark was joined by Ben Miller, Will Scheer and Hunter Johnson.

The Tigers posted a 1:31.4 two years ago and ran a 1:30.48 last year.

“I’ve been on a great 4 x 200 relay every year,” Clark said.

Clark is looking forward to seeing how the Tigers’ newest foursome responds to being in the favorite’s role at most meets.

“I think we'll respond big," Clark said. "There is some pressure because we won (at the COC Meet) last year. But we're faster this year, so we should win it again, no doubt about it.”