CHESTERFIELD – Caleb Cody-Jackson promised his teammates if there was someone ahead of him on the track he was going to hawk them down.
A junior sprinter for the Marquette boys track and field team, Cody-Jackson caught and passed De Smet standout Brian Taylor in the final steps to eke out a dramatic win the 1,600-meter relay in the Class 5 District 2 meet Saturday at Marquette High.
Marquette finished in 3 minutes and 24.13 seconds. De Smet crossed in 3:24.27.
“We all know as anchor leg I’m going to get whoever is in front of me,” Cody-Jackson said. “That’s exactly what happened.”
Cody-Jackson crossed the finish line and immediately collapsed onto the artificial grass field exhausted and exhilarated.
“If I fall out, that means I gave it all I’ve got,” he said.
It was a busy day for Cody-Jackson, who won an individual district championship in the 400-meter race as he finished in 49.24 seconds. He was just ahead of teammate Derrick Brown, who was second in 50.15.
People are also reading…
Brown along with Robert Williams and Drew Ellis were also part of the 1,600-relay and Cody-Jackson couldn’t praise his teammates enough for giving him the opportunity to chase down De Smet.
“Brown started us off real good,” Cody-Jackson said. “Williams did what we wanted him to do. Ellis came through. The 4×4, I really don’t like, but let’s go. When I’m anchor and I’ve got people to go get, I go get. I do what I need to do.”
Kirkwood won the district meet team title with 144 points. De Smet was second with 126.5 points followed by Marquette (93), John Burroughs (83), Parkway West (81), Ladue (66), Ritenour (54), CBC (53.5) and Parkway South (47).
The top four finishers in each event at the district meet advance to next week’s sectional meet at Kirkwood.
Kirkwood did its scoring damage in bulk as the Pioneers claimed just two district titles. Junior Kameron Richardson won the high jump by clearing 6 feet, 1 inch and beat teammate Ga’Darr Burks on a tie-breaker in the process. Richardson needed fewer attempts and was awarded the win.
Senior runner Sebastian Baker won the 800 in 2:02 while teammate Damon Patterson was third in 2:04.
De Smet got a monster day from its field events. Junior Sherrod Tate won the discus (143-11) and javelin (136-9) and was the runner up in the shot put (44-9). Teammate Michael Phillips, a sophomore, won the shot put with a toss of 46-1 and was the runner up in the discus (131-11).
Taylor, who has signed to play basketball at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, won the long jump with a leap of 22-10.
The 400-meter relay team was victorious in 42.46 seconds while freshman Justin Thurman was the runner up in the 100 in 10.87 and junior Christian Gray was second in the 200 in 22.64.
Thurman and Gray were edged at the finish line by John Burroughs senior Cooper Hyken. The fastest man at the meet, Hyken won the 100 in 10.7 seconds and the 200 in 22.43. The double district victories were a year in the making for Hyken.
“Last year I was focused on squeaking through in third place, fourth place,” Hyken said. “This year I’m winning, it’s crazy.”
The 5-foot-8 and 150-pound Hyken loves the competition he finds on the track. He’s spent the spring chasing down some of the best sprinters in the area.
“My teammates know when I have somebody by me or I’m chasing somebody, that’s when I run fastest,” he said. “I keep a list of names in my head.”
One of those names was CBC junior standout and reigning Class 5 champion Jeremiyah Love, but Hyken didn’t get the chance to run against him as Love scratched his preliminary 100 due to injury.
A Bucknell recruit, Hyken is expecting to sprint and run short distance races when he gets to college. He’ll run whatever the coaches need him to but he’s hoping to get a crack at the 100. Hyken gets an immense amount of joy from the race in part because it requires so much work to make an impact on your time.
“It’s so technical and I just love that. Perfecting my technique and seeing improvement is the most satisfying for me,” Hyken said. “I love dropping time in the 200, but seeing my time drop in the 100 is just the most satisfying thing.”
Burroughs picked up another district title as its 3,200-meter relay team won in 8:15. Parkway South was second in 8:16.
Ritenour’s relay teams continue to be a revelation this spring. Under the guidance of assistant coach Phil Wollbrinck, the Huskies won the 800-meter relay in 1:28 and took second in the 400-meter relay in 42.5. The 1,600-meter relay team was third in 3:25.
Things got interesting in the 800-relay as Parkway West was second in 1:29.41, Marquette was third in 1:29.48, Kirkwood was fourth in 1:30.17 and De Smet was the hard-luck fifth-place finisher in 1:30.5.
Ladue had three district champions as senior pole vaulter Daniel Byer took top honors by clearing 12-11. Senior Charlie Krasnoff doubled up with wins in the 1,600 (4:34.3) and 3,200 (9:59). Teammate Andrew Smock was second in both events as he finished the 1,600 in 4:34.8 and the 3,200 in 10:00.
Parkway West junior Donteaus Moore swept the hurdles as he won the 110s (14.97) and 300s (41.47).
Parkway West senior and Missouri football recruit Ja’Marion Wayne won the triple jump with a leap of 43-11, but had to scratch out of the long jump and was unable to run in all of his expected relays due to an injury.