Five freshmen, two relays, one goal – All State

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Photos by Kyle Quick
The "Freshmen Flash of Five" pictured left to right, Beth Schenck,Taylor Convington, Molly Munsinger, Hannah Kruse, and Hannah Pruessner.

Jefferson City, Mo – Three months ago no one would have believed that five freshmen girls would be running at The Missouri State Track Meet, yet alone walk away with two state medals.

Saturday, the Shamrocks’ 4x800m relay and 4x400m relay teams both finished in the top eight among Class 1 schools from across the State of Missouri and the only relay teams made up of all freshmen.

Hannah Pruessner said, “Hannah [Kruse] said to one team after the 4x400m “we’ll see you next year” and two girls said they were graduating…we told them we were all freshmen and they were shocked.”

Beth Schenck takes off in the 4x800 after receiving the handoff from Kruse.

The 4x800m relay was the first event of Saturday’s state finals.  Coach John Tucker said, “Unlike the 4x400m, there was not a pre-limin race yesterday [Friday]…they were running against all 16 teams…something they have not done all year.”

Hannah Pruessner, Hannah Kruse, Beth Schenck, and Taylor Covington, (pictured below) finished fifth out of 16 teams in the 4x800m, running their best time of the year, 10:29.76.

Kruse said, “It’s an amazing feeling to be All-State and knowing that we are just freshmen…just awesome.”

The 4x400m relay, one of the most grueling events, a dead out sprint for 400m, and a race where anything can happen.

Molly Munsigner, Kruse, Pruessner, and Covington were seeded eighth based off of times from Friday’s 4x400 pre-limins.  The team was guaranteed a state medal but their goal was to do better than what they were seeded.

The 4x400m relay team finished seventh, to give the “Freshmen Flash of Five” state medals and among the top two relay teams in the state.

Coach Tucker said, “I couldn’t be more pleased for a group of freshmen to perform in this type of atmosphere…they have the experience now and as long as they continue working hard, they should continue to improve.”

Munsinger runs the third leg in the 4x400m, she said, “Going into the first turn I was just trying to catch the girl in front me…around the final turn we were cutting each other off…it was like a dog fight to the end.”

Pictured right is the 4x400m relay team.

Covington, the anchor for both relay teams, said after the 4x400m relay and winning her second state medal of the day, “It feels amazing and were all freshmen…it’s our first year…now we have some experience and know what to expect next year.”

It’s obvious these five girls have developed a strong bond among each other. Pruessner and Monsinger commented when we asked them about being such close teammates.

Munsinger said, “We all learned to bond together if we want that goal at the end.”

Pruessner said, “We couldn’t all be separate and get that same goal…we’ve learned to love each other for what each got.”

There is no doubt Coach Tucker has a special group of girls who share the same goals and understanding what it will take to stand on top and hold a state championship plaque.

Click here to visit our Facebook Fan page to view more photos from Saturday's state meet. (Photos will be on our page later Sunday evening.)