TAHLEQUAH – In an unusual scene Monday in Tahlequah, the Grove track teams qualified three more athletes for Friday’s 5A state track championships.
While the rest of the regional meet at Tahlequah was finished on Saturday, rainy, cold weather forced the pole vault, discus and shot put to be moved to Monday. The result was a competition with a strangely quiet feel to it, as athletes, coaches and parents gathered in two small clusters around the pole vault and throwing areas.
The unusual scene didn’t bother Grove pole vaulters Braleigh Bechtol and Lily Jeffries, who finished first and second in the girls’ competition, comfortably qualifying for state.
Bechtol cleared 10-6, just short of her personal and school best of 11-0, while Jeffries cleared 9-6. Coweta’s Haley Kimball was a distant third at 8-6.
All of the drama was reserved for the boys’ competition, where Grove’s John Tune and Matt Jeffries were locked in a four-man competition with Coweta’s Trent Lawrence and Pryor’s Scott Hill.
Tune finished fourth with a height of 12-0, while Jeffries needed his third and final attempt to clear 13-0 and finish in the third and final automatic qualifying spot.
Lawrence, Scott and Jeffries failed to clear 13-6, but Lawrence was first and Scott second based on the number of missed attempts throughout the competition.