A returning state qualifier helped the Warrenton boys track team nearly win its second straight Crusader Invitational title Friday at St. Dominic. Ruben Varnado won the shot put and discus as the …
A returning state qualifier helped the Warrenton boys track team nearly win its second straight Crusader Invitational title Friday at St. Dominic.
Ruben Varnado won the shot put and discus as the Warriors finished two points behind the host school atop the standings.
“We wanted to go back and win it one more time, but I couldn’t be more proud of the boys’ efforts Friday night,” Warrenton boys Head Coach Steve McDowell said. “It was a lot of fun to watch them run and compete. I’m very proud with how they performed.”
Varnado’s final shot put toss of 46 feet, 1.5 inches was nearly four feet further than his mark at the Class 3 state meet last May.
Varnado beat out Winfield’s Dalton Lefholz in both events Friday.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work so I wasn’t surprised,” Varnado said. “I was pretty consistent.”
He wasn’t as pleased with his discus effort, but his final mark of 132-3 was over 12 feet further than anyone else in the field.
“It wasn’t my best, but it was decent. I want to place at state, so that’s my biggest goal for sure,” he said. “I would probably need to be in the 140s or 150s for discus and 46 feet for shot.”
JR Jones and a pair of relay teams joined Varnado on top of the podium.
Jones finished third in the 200-meter (24.15 seconds) and won the 100 in 11.79.
“Some of these guys are still figuring out how to run right now,” McDowell said. “It’s a different feeling sometimes when you realize other guys are as fast as you are. But we’re figuring out what it takes to compete and to win.”
The 800 and 1,600 relay teams won their races in 1:35.17 and 3:40.37, respectively.
Dylan Chandler and Brandon Molinari teamed up in both events.
Jones and Logan Dowd rounded out the 800 relay, while Paul Sanders and Christopher Williams completed the 1,600 relay team.
“Our 4X4 team won an exciting race,” McDowell said. “Paul Sanders and Dylan Chandler ran a heck of a race. We just had a lot of guys that did great jobs all around.”
Andrew Smith picked up points for the Warriors in the long jump, finishing second with a final distance of 19-5.
In the 800, Matthew Hackmann (2:16.30) and Andrew Hodgson (2:16.66) finished third and fourth, respectively.
The Warriors will head to the Wright City Invitational Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
“We haven’t peaked yet, and that’s what I’ve told them,” McDowell said. “We want to perform well early on, but we don’t want to peak yet. We’ve got some great young talent, so as long as we can stay healthy we’re going to have a great season.”.TRIPLE JUMPING — Warrenton's Paul Lanigan makes his first attempt in the triple jump Friday at the St. Dominic Crusader Invitational. Kory Carpenter photo.