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Wright leads Ozark 4 x 200 relay to first in another dramatic finish with Republic


Ozark’s Bria Wright has briefly chatted with Republic’s Jenna Belcher prior to the start of the 4 x 200 relay at the three meets thus far they have both competed.

“She’s sweet,” Wright said of her impression of Belcher.

With Wright and Belcher both running the anchor leg, and as often as they will see each other this spring, they are likely to become friendly rivals.

Wright and Ozark finished first in the 4 x 200 relay at the Nixa Invitational on Tuesday, with Wright just edging Belcher at the finish. Ozark’s winning time was 1:46.65 , while Republic posted a 1:46.66.

“We pulled it out,” Wright said “Whenever you're in the final yards like that, you just really want to win — no friends. I think it feels better when you win by a good amount and not just who got the better lean at the end. We were both leaning.”

Wright and Belcher nearly ran stride for stride over the final 100 yards. At the Girls Nite Out Meet a week earlier, Wright lost a late lead to Belcher.

“It's hard when you're in front and the girl has the momentum coming up on you,” Wright said. “It’s hard to keep with her.”

Wright is looking forward to Ozark’s foursome of herself, Shelby Middleton, Jeneba Pyle and Ileana Naihe cutting time as they improve their baton exahnges.

“We've got to improve our hand-offs,” Wright said. “They will get better. We haven't had time to practice them because we've had meet after meet.”

Wright went on to also finish first in the 300 hurdles (47.62), along with taking second in the 100 hurdles (15.73).

Ozark’s Izabella Rickard captured first in the discus (106-2), while Lauren Carson finishefd in a three-way tie for first in the high jump (4-11).

The Lady Tigers were second in the 4 x 100 relay (51.18), 4 x 400 relay (4:05) and 4 x 800 relay (10:13). Mallory Beets was second in the pole vault (10-0).

Finishing third for Ozark were Skylar Hilton in the high jump (4-11) and Sydney Lister in the 800 (2:29).

Nixa’s Eva Williams placed first in the pole vault (12-0) and third in the 100 hurdles (15.81). She won the pole vault by two feet. Amelia White was first in the javelin (121-0).

The Lady Eagles' Rylee Eng was second in the triple jump (35-10 1/2).

Taking third were Nixa’s Meliah Copley in the 300 hurdles (49.03), Eng in the long jump (16-6), Maddilyn Gray in the triple jump (34-10 1/4) and the Lady Eagles’ 4 x 800 relay (10:22).

On the boys side, Nixa’s Jackson Cantwell and Afton Hopkins were both winners.

Cantwell took first in both the shot put (66-0 1/2) and discus (188-10), while Hopkins was first in the pole vault (13-6 1/4).

The Eagles’ Hayden Mayes was second in the shot put (48-2 1/2) and discus (163-1), as was Jaren Davis in the long jump (21-0) and Aidan Ward in the javelin (152-8).

Nixa had four of the top six finisher in the shot put.

Ozark’s Napela Naihe finished in a three-way tie for second in the high jump by clearing 6-2 1/4. Teammate Grant Ogle was fifth while also clearing 6-2 1/4.

Ozark’s 4 x 100 relay (43.97) and 4 x 200 relay (1:30.67) both finished second.

Third went to Nixa's Randy Flint in the 200 (22.45).