It was a stormy, cold day March 29 as the Maryville track team traveled 76 miles southeast to compete in the Smithville Invitational. But the Spoofhounds didn't seem to let that bother them.
The boys' team finished second with a total team score of 127 points, right behind the Lathrop Mules with a finishing score of 140.
"It would have been really easy to throw up excuses about not having school and routines being off or to whine about the weather," coach Nathan Powell said. "We didn't perform as well as I hoped in all areas, but we are trending in the right direction moving forward."
Although bringing home first in the 400-meter run, 3200-meter run, 4x800 relay, and the high jump, it just didn't tally up to be enough for the men of Maryville.
"Smithville was a long, cold meet that every track team needs at the beginning of the season to help develop and become tougher overall, as a team," senior Brady Atwell said. "We were short a few people, so a lot of us were in more events than we have gotten used to and this will definitely help us moving forward."
Atwell was part of a third place finishing 4x400-meter relay team, as well as a second place 300-meter hurdle solo run.
Standouts performances that were seen on the guys side included Junior Braidon Sells setting a personal record in the 400-meter run with a time of 54.25 seconds and finishing first in his category. Freshman Justin Staples finished first in the 3200 meter run with a time of 10:33.84, also setting a personal record. Sophomore Clayton Justice completed a 6-foot high jump, which solidified a first-place finish and setting a personal record for him, as well.
On the flip side, the Maryville girls also had a very strong showing at the invitational.
Freshman Serena Sundell brought a first place finish to the team with her high jump score. She jumped a 5-2 and claimed a new personal record in the stat book.
Senior Jessica Sheil also took home first place in the triple jump with a total score of 33-10½. This was also a personal record for Sheil.
Overall, the Spoofhound women finished with a final team score of 64 and that sat them at fourth place on the day. Lathrop came in third with a final of 86, West Platte in second with a score of 91, and finishing first was the home team, Smithville, with a score of 144.
"At the end of the day, our goal is to bring back the first place trophy every night," Atwell said. "Yes, we finished second and fourth, but this was a very good stepping stone in the process of finding the will to win.'
For the remainder of the season, the Spoofhounds' main goal is to stay healthy.
"First and foremost, we need to be smart and stay healthy, both mentally and physically," Powell said. "The cold weather has played havoc in some nagging injuries, so we are progressing slowly with those athletes to get them healed up and ready to compete later this month."
Looking ahead, the Spoofhounds look to rest and rejuvenate before heading back to Smithville for their next meet in the Warrior Relays April 17. This meet will be a big deciding factor for Coach Powell when putting together teams for competing deep into the postseason.