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Cantwell’s first-place finish in shot put, second in discus tops area medal-winners


Jackson Cantwell became the first shot put state champion in Nixa history by winning the gold medal with a throw of 64-3 3/4 at the Class 5 State Track Meet over the weekend.

Cantwell would have finished first with any of his six throws. His worst throw of 60-9 was still better by seven inches than the rest of the field.

The COC was well represented in the shot put, with three throwers from the conference earning medals. Willard’s Karon Johnson was second (60-3 1/4) and Carthage’s Micah Lindsey was fifth (57-9).

Cantwell was runner-up in the discus with a heave of 190-8. He was beaten by Seckman’s Noa Isaia, who unleashed a throw of 194-4.

Cantwell’s best throw came on his third attempt. He was leading through five rounds, before Isaia broke through with his winning heave in his final attempt. His winning throw was 18 feet longer than his previous best on the day.

The Eagles’ Afton Hopkins soared to a vault of 14-2 3/4 to take third in the pole vault. The winning mark was 14-8 1/4 by Branson’s Kyshin Isringhausen.

Ozark’s Peyton Ligion earned his first medal at State by finishing in a tie for sixth in the high jump. Ligion matched his effort from Sectionals by clearing 6-5 1/2. The winning leap was 6-10 1/4.

Ozark’s Mamady Embola missed out on a medal by one place, as he finished ninth in the 110 hurdles (14.76). The eighth qualifying time for the final was 14.64. The winning time was 14.12.

Nixa’s Gideon Carter finished 10th in the 300 hurdles (40.29). The winning time was 37.64.

Ozark placed 13th in the 4 x 200 relay (1:30.48). The winning time was 1:26.15.

Nixa’s Spencer Ward was 14th in the 400 (50.60). The winning time was 48.29.

Nixa’s Aaron Ashley was 16th in the 3,200 (10:18). The wining time was 9:13.

On the girls side, Ozark’s Abby Beets capped her career with a sixth-place finish in the pole vault (10-10 1/4). Her younger sister, Mallory, placed 11th (9-7 3/4).

Nixa’s Faith Chepkondol was sixth in the long jump (18-1 3/4), Ava Owens finished eighth in the discus (119-9) and Rylee Eng was ninth in the triple jump (34-11 1/4).

The Lady Tigers’ Bria Wright finished 15th in the 300 hurdles (48.56).

The Lady Tigers’ 4 x 400 relay was 14th (4:12.49).