JEFFERSON CITY — Going into the state meet, Smithville’s Junior Fairbanks was confident that his struggles were behind him.
The junior pole vaulter had cleared the 14-foot mark multiple times and entered the Class 3 State Track and Field Championships in strong position to earn a medal.
Unfortunately, Fairbanks couldn’t recapture his record-setting form and slipped to a 12th-place finish in the pole vault on Saturday, May 25, at Dwight T. Reed Stadium.
He cleared the opening height of 12-6 and appeared primed to earn an all-state medal. Instead, he fell out of the competition after missing all three of his attempts at 13 feet.
Fairbanks’ best try came on his final attempt, but he couldn’t quite make the necessary adjustments in time to keep on moving up.
“It was all off,” Fairbanks said. “Apparently, on the last one, I did everything good. It just sucks that your last jump is your good one, and by that time, it’s too late to adjust everything.”
Jumping into the wind, several competitors struggled in the early going, as three vaulters no-heighted.
Fairbanks struggled in his first trip to state as a sophomore and hoped to put his stumbles in the rear-view mirror this time around.
Frustrated by his effort after the event, Fairbanks was already talking about how hard he would work in the offseason to improve next season in hopes of ending his senior season with a more positive showing.
“I will not embarrass myself next year like I have the past two years,” Fairbanks said. “I’m going to be ready because I don’t want to come back here and do the same thing.
“I want to have a great year at state.”
Boydston comes up just short of medal
Initially, Senior Drew Boydston was thrilled just to make it to state in his first year on the team, but once he arrived, the Smithville hurdler wanted more.
He wanted a state medal.
Boydston narrowly missed out on making the finals in the 300-meter hurdles on Friday, May 24, finishing 11th in the preliminaries with a time of 41.65 seconds.
As a first-time state qualifiers, Boydston battled his nerves at times and said they had an impact on his race.
“I kind of psyched myself out,” Boydston said. “I just wish I could have done a little better.”
Going in, the senior had reasons to believe he could make the finals. His sectional seed time of 40.38 — a new personal best — put him right on the edge of making it out of prelims.
Even with a great start, he lost his momentum on one of the hurdles in the middle of the race and couldn’t make up enough ground down the final stretch.
He would have needed to cut a full second off his time to have qualified for the finals.
Still, Boydston was thrilled to compete at the meet and be able to wrap up his senior year by competing against some of the top athletes in the state.
“I never believed I could come down here,” Boydston said. “It was pretty cool.”
Migletz competes in triple jump for 1st time
Competing in the state meet was nothing new for Miranda Migletz, but until now, she’d never taken part in two events before.
A three-time all-state higher jumper, Migletz added to her repertoire this year and made it to the state meet in the triple jump for the first time this year.
Despite finishing 16th, she was excited to make so much progress in the event this year and become a more dynamic competitor in the process.
“I was just glad to make it, honestly, because I’d never even made it out of districts before,” Migletz said. “Maybe next year I’ll make it again.”
At sectionals, Migletz set a personal best by more than two meet with a leap of 34 feet, 1½ inches. Her best state jump was 32-5, and she scratched on her final attempt.
But simply getting to take part in two events was a sign that she was continuing to make strides, even in her secondary events.
“It was a really good feeling because I had worked on it multiple times that week,” Migletz said of her sectional performance. “And to actually PR by two feet to make it was really exciting.
“At least I made it. That’s what matters.”