Paris has been a force to be reckoned with during the 2015-2016 Track & Field season and this didn’t change at the MSHSAA Class 1 Track & Field State Competition held this past weekend in Jefferson City. Paris came away with several wins, including a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in the 4×200 meter relay ran by Brett Miller, Tucker Gruber, Laine Forrest, and Dylan Painter.
The team made it across the finish line with a time of 1:32.88, breaking the school record of 1:33.7.
“At the beginning of this year we knew we had a good relay team, but it took a lot of hard work and practice to get to that point,” said Miller.
Miller, Gruber, Forrest, and Painter are also members of the 4×100 meter relay team. The team received 5th place at State, but broke the school record earlier in the season with a time of 45.31. The previous record was set and has been unbroken since 1995 at 45.90, a few years before the oldest on the team was even born.
The team held the District championship in both the 4×100 and 4×200. Gruber also ran in the 400-meter dash at State and finished in 8th place.
“It has been a great year for our track team as a whole. [It] couldn’t have been done without everyone working hard,” said Painter. Both Miller and Painter thanked their parents, supportive fans, and Coaches Crusha and Billington.
Earlier in May, Miller was named “Ledgerland Male Athlete of the Week” by the Mexico Ledger. He is also the district champion in Boys Long Jump and earned 3rd place in State. In that same article, Hannah Mitchell was chosen as Honorable Mention. She is the district champion in Girls Discus, placed first in sectionals (third in shot put), and placed 4th at State.
Mitchell also broke the shot put school record in April with a toss of 34’3, beating Coach Kayla Redmon’s record by half an inch.
Other team members that advanced to State and competed included Aly Francis, Carmyn Holmes, Delaney Miller, Allison Moore, Grace Peak, Maariko Williams, Brant Ensor, Michael Ensor, Jacob Green, Briar Hancock, Dakota Howard, and Tyler Staples.
“They have accomplished so much this year…I am so proud of each and everyone of them. Thanks for all the time and effort this season,” said Coach Gary Crusha in a Facebook post.
It is fair to say that the community is overjoyed with the successes of these athletes and the Paris High School Athletic Department — Broken records, photo finishes, and top talent.
*All photos contributed by Paris R-II.