It was one of the closest competitions in recent years as Shelbyville, Tuscola, and Pana battled for the Shelbyville Sectional Championship on Friday. Tuscola nipped the Rams, 88 to 87, and pulled away from Pana (71 points) atop the field.
"It was a great meet for us with a ton of personal bests," said Ram track coach Kevin Kramer. "We just came up a little short in the end. I'm really proud of the team effort in the meet. I thought everyone competed hard, even the kids that did not place."
Shelbyville qualified all four relays for the state meet. They won the 4x8, and 3rd place had qualifying times in the 4x1, 4x2, and 4x4 relays.
The Rams also finished 1st and 2nd in the 800 run, 1st and 3rd in the 1600, and 2nd in the 2-mile. They also broke school records.
Besides the Ram success and state qualifiers from the meet, there were other Shelby Area athletes who advanced to state.
Jason Fry of Stew-Stras swept the weights. He won the sectional shot put title (52-8.5) by almost three feet and won the sectional discus championship (165-1) by almost 20 feet.
Jason Pokalsey of Central A&M qualified in the 100 (11.0), placing 2nd, qualified in the 200 (22.24), placing 2nd, and won the quarter (51.52).
Corey Kersey of Neoga won the sectional long jump title (21-6.5) by five inches and the sectional triple jump crown (47-0.25) by 3.5 feet.
Brock Beeson of Pana qualified for state in all three jumps. He finished 2nd behind Kersey in the long jump (21-1.5) and the triple jump (43-6.5) and was 2nd in the high jump, clearing 6 foot, 3 inches.
Shelbyville's strength came in the running events, but came up short in the field events.
"We just destroyed the other teams on the track," Coach Kramer said. "We scored almost 80 of our points in the running events."