Multiple Teams · Friendly rivals (Leader Article)

Ron Rigdon photo

By Russell Korando

The talented twosome of De Soto senior Lamont Allen and Hillsboro junior Isaiah Martin will be front and center at this year’s Class 4 championships in Jefferson City Friday and Saturday.

Both qualified in all four events they competed in at the Class 4 Sectional 1 meet Saturday at Hillsboro.

They met head-to-head in one event, the long jump, with Allen placing third (21-7) and Martin seven inches behind him in fourth.

The friendly rivals, who don’t get to socialize much outside of meets, have a standing bet: the first to reach 23 feet in the long jump owes the other a sweet treat. For Martin, it’s an iced honey bun, while Allen is jumping for a brownie.

“Lamont is closer (to 23) than I am, but I’m going to do it before he does,” Martin said. “I do the high jump, (too), but I’m not anywhere as good as he is.”

Allen won the high jump at 6-8, was second in the triple jump in 45-4 and anchored the Dragons’ 4×100 relay team to first place in a school-record 43.63. JaDan Brown, Trevor Johnson, and Mayson DeRousse ran the first three legs. Johnson had the fastest split at 10.4 seconds.

Martin won championships in the javelin (155-2) and the 110 hurdles (14.44). He was third in a very fast field in the 300 hurdles in 39.18.

Allen, a three-time state medalist in the high jump, has a personal best of 6-10. He said he’s going to have to reach that height, or higher, on Saturday to win a state title.

“That’s the bare minimum,” he said.

At that height, Allen said, he has to remember to pick up his heels when he’s going over the bar.

“I can’t tell you what the difference is, but sometimes those two inches feels like three feet,” Allen said. “People think it’s just two inches, but when you jump four or five times and run all of the other events, two inches is a lot.”

Hillsboro senior Jacob McNees took second in the discus with a toss of 141-5 and missed qualifying in the shot put by two and one-quarter inches. Hawk junior Josef Marshuetz advanced in the boys 400, finishing third in 50.46.