Brentwood’s Rivera breaks own record at Marion Freeman; Eureka relay, Giger put up new area …



Brentwood’s sophomore throwing sensation has etched her name into a record book here and there, but she doesn’t put much stock in it.


“I don’t really think about that too much,” Rivera said. “I just think about trying to beat myself and my own records. I don’t really think about meet records.”


Saturday at Clayton, she put her name into an exclusive record book. Rivera threw the shot put 44 feet, 2.5 inches to break her own record at the Marion Freeman Invitational. The meet, which added a girls division three years ago, has been among the most hotly contested meets in the area. Marion Freeman is where many area athletes push their training hardest before tapering off for the postseason series of district, sectional and state.


Rivera, who broke her own record set last year as a freshman, won the shot. She was the runner-up in the discus (126-7) behind Lutheran South’s Cecilya Johnson (138).


Her performance in the discus left Rivera unsatisfied. She said the event is one she’s still in the process of working on her technique and form.


“It was OK,” she said. “There’s some things I could have worked on technique-wise.”


The shot put, however, has been clicking.


“More so than the disc,” she said. “In the shot put, I’m really excited.”


Rivera and the rest of Classes 1 and 2 will begin district competition on Saturday. The top four qualifiers at each district meet then advance to sectionals the following Saturday.


The defending Class 2 champion in both the discus and shot put, Rivera’s best event is the javelin.


Next year, she will get to show off her talents in the event as the Missouri State High School Activities Association has cleared the way for the event to be added experimentally and if the member schools approve, it will be added as a regular event.


Rivera was the runner-up in the javelin at the Kansas Relays with a throw of 147-05. She was also the runner-up in her division last summer at the USATF Youth Outdoor Track and Field Championship (110-3) and the AAU Club Nationals (117-4).


How did she get acquainted with the javelin?


“I went to school in New Jersey five or six years ago. The track team I was on needed a javelin thrower, so I volunteered,” she said. “My high school is nice enough to let me practice on the football field. So I just practice two or three times a week there.”




Eureka put on a powerhouse display in the 3,200 relay Friday at its Kimball/Wintermeyer Invitational. Hannah Long, Eilish Overby, Andra Staicu and Lauren von Seelen raced to a new area and state-best time of 9 minutes, 29.06 seconds.


Long then went out and won the 3,200 in 10:57.87. She was 18 seconds ahead of Francis Howell’s Maddi Leigh, who was the runner up. It was the first time Long had raced in the area since Festus’ Early Bird Meet at the end of March.


Hazelwood Central won the meet by scoring 96 points. Kirkwood was second with 91 and Lindbergh was third with 85. Eureka finished sixth with 65 points.


Hazelwood Central’s Alliah McClendon won the 100s (15.2). The Hawks’ relay teams took home the top spot in the 800- and 1,600-relays.


Oakville had a double-winner in Blessing Oparaji. Oparaji won the 100 (13.11) and 200 (26.27). Lexi Pommer won the 400 (1:00.16).


Nerinx Hall’s Sophia Racette won the 800 (2:19.9) and 1,600 (5:07.91)


Kirkwood’s Jocelyn Payne won the 300s (44.91) and the Pioneers won the 400-relay.


Hazelwood West’s Ebony Bee won the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches).


Lindbergh’s Hannah Roberts won the pole vault by clearing 10-06. She slipped past Fox’s Taylor Gross, who needed an extra jump to clear the height.


Parkway Central’s Tashsa Frazier won the long jump with a leap of 17-01.25. Rumbi Majee won the discus (106-01) and Taylor Thompson won the shot put (33-01.5).


MICDS’s maestro Ravon Lingard won the triple jump (34).





Lena Giger had herself a day.


Highland’s outstanding thrower put herself atop the area leaderboard in both the shot put and discus with her efforts at last week’s Madison County Invitational at Alton.


Giger, a senior, heaved the discus 151 feet, 10 inches. It was more than 25 feet ahead of Edwardsville’s Aaliyah Covington’s throw of 126-06, which placed her second. To put Giger’s heave in perspective, she would have finished fourth in the boys’ meet that day.


Giger also threw the shot put 48-03, nearly seven feet further than runner-up Covington. Giger would have finished fourth in the boys’ shot put, too.





Belleville West’s Kelsey Shannon got way up at Thursday’s St. Clair County Girls Championships.


Shannon high jumped her way to a new area best of 5 feet, 8 inches. It broke the mark of 5-6 that Seckman’s Alyssa Carlton and Parkway West’s Rowan Goldie shared this spring.


Shannon was six inches higher than runner-up Kenesha Taylor of East St. Louis.


It’s the second straight season Shannon has cleared 5-8. She did it on May 1 of last year at the Southwestern Conference Girls Championships.


The Belleville West senior followed up her high leap by clearing 5-4 to win the Collinsville Girls Invitational on Friday.





District meets get underway for Missouri Class 1 and 2 teams. Lutheran St. Charles hosts the Class 2 District 2 meet, which features Barat, Brentwood, Cleveland NJROTC, Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Metro, Principia and Whitfield.


Charleston hosts the District 1 meet, which features Grandview, Crystal City, Jefferson and Herculaneum.


Festus hosts the McCullough-Douglas Invitational on Tuesday. It’s the second meet of the season at Festus after its Early Bird Meet in March. It would be a good chance to see Festus distance dynamo Jamie Kempfer.


McCluer North hosts the Suburban North Conference Championship on Thursday.


Lutheran South hosts the Lutheran South Invitational on Saturday.





After losing to O’Fallon in the team portion of the rain-shortened Alton Invitational on April 24, East St. Louis bounced back Wednesday to take the St. Clair Invitational on its home track at Clyde C. Jordan Stadium.


The Flyers edged second-place O’Fallon 146-139 and put themselves squarely in contention at the Southwest Conference meet this week, which will be run Thursday at O’Fallon.


Cahokia finished third with 129 points.


O’Fallon ran without middle distances standout Tami Cardenas, who could have made the difference between first and second.


For East Side, Jamella McGraw (800), Jada Marshall (1,600) and Aaliah Herron (shot put) won county titles.


The best individual day was turned in by junior Raynesha Lewis of Cahokia. She won the 100-hurdles, triple jump (38-0) and long jump (17-9).





At the Madison County large-schools meet, Edwardsville rolled to the team title amassing 186 points.


In second place was Highland (106.50) and Triad (97) was third. Both schools are in the Mississippi Valley Conference.


Runners who won county titles for the Tigers included Deborrah Blackburn in the high jump (5-2), Kristen Dowell in the 100-hurdles (15.65) and 300s (46.75), Elizabeth Lynn in the 3,200 (11:35.93) and the 1,600-relay team (4:20.77) of Gabriella Romano, Tatiania Perry, Ameila Williams and Victorya Perkins.


A pair of dual winners were Alton’s LaJarvia Brown in the long jump (17-8.5) and triple jump (37-11). Robyn Pointer of Granite City claimed the 100-meters (12.91) and the 200-meters (25.84). She also anchored the Warriors’ winning 800-meter relay team and the second place 400-meter relay team.



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