Bales, Constable hoping for all-state performances.

A pair of athletes from the Newburg High School boys’ track team will be trying to make an all-state statement at the Missouri Class 1 Track and Field Championships this weekend.

Seniors Kylon Bales in the pole vault and Trevor Constable in the 300-meter hurdles are set to compete in Class 1 State action Friday.

The Class 1 and Class 2 Track and Field Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Dwight Reed Stadium on the campus of Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Bales is slated to compete in the pole vault starting at 2 p.m. Friday. Constable is to compete in the 300-hurdle preliminaries, which are to begin at 3:55 p.m. Friday. The Class 1 boys’ 300-meter hurdle finals (top eight finishers from prelims) is scheduled for 2:25 p.m. Saturday.

Pole Vault Star
Bales is coming off a 2013 where he earned all-state honors and flirted with a state title in the pole vault. He finished fourth in the Class 1 Meet last year with a vault of 12-0.

This season Bales has soared past his all-state mark of a year ago, setting a personal-record of 13-0. And he’s been extremely close a few times in meets at 13-6.

“A couple of times I was on top at 13-6 but caught it on the way down,” Bales said. “Being more consistent this year, I think I can hit 13-6.”

Bales finished third at sectionals this year to qualify for state. And he feels the two vaulters who beat him at sectionals - Liberal’s Jake Jungmann (13-6) and Jasper’s Matt Stump (12-6) - are the two to beat Friday.

“The two guys I ran into at the sectional field are 1-2,” Bales said. “They’re the best competition I have in Class 1.”

First-year Newburg track head coach Joe Herdade is impressed with Bales’ vaulting. However, he says the senior has been even more valuable as a team leader.

“For him his improvement is not in vaulting; it’s just his progression,” Herdade said. “He just works very hard. The biggest thing for us has been his team leadership. He’s the captain of the team. I look for that in those guys. He’s a team player with the big picture - I’ve been really impressed with him this year.”

If rain and wind are not factors Friday, Herdade feels Bales can soar way past his current P.R.

“If he gets his 13 feet, I think he’ll be in the top eight,” Herdade said. “But he’s not satisfied with that. He’d like to get 13-6 - he knows he can get that. I wouldn’t be shocked if he went 14-0.”

In recent weeks Bales has been experimenting with longer poles and says he will probably use one of them at the state competition.

“I’ve got a bigger pole than last year and I’m trying to get on a couple of (even) bigger poles (for state),” Bales said. “I just want to set a new P.R. and hopefully that will put me on top.”

Settles For One
At one time this season there was hope that Constable could get to the state meet in as many as four open events.

In addition to being solid in the 300-meter hurdles, Constable was a standout in the 100-meters hurdles and is the school-record holder in the triple jump (39-2) and the high jump (6-2).

It didn’t turn out that way, however. Constable fell during the 110-meter hurdles race in the district meet, dashing his chances there. Saying he might have still been shaken by the 110-meter hurdle fall, he didn’t get past district in the triple jump as well. And in the high jump at the sectional meet Constable tied for fourth place (the top four advance to state). A jump-off was required to break the sectional tie, and Constable ended up in fifth place.

He had a fourth-place sectional finish in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of :44.06.

“I was a little disappointed,” Constable said. “Coming into districts I felt really confident in the 110 hurdles, but then I fell. And I think that also messed with my triple jump. At least I made it in one event.”

“He came real close to being a multi-event guy,” Herdade said of Constable. “He’s probably as gifted a natural athlete as we’ve got on the team. When he’s having a good day, he’s a great athlete. He could have been in three, maybe four events.”

Constable says the 300 hurdles is a difficult event, but one he’s exciting about attempting to get to the state finals in.

“You’ve definitely got to have good endurance,” he said. “It’s a tough race. It’s going to take a lot of mental strength. Whenever you get tired, you’ve just got to push it out of your mind.

“If I got this far nothing is going to stop me the rest of the way - except for myself.”

“The competition will be fierce,” Herdade said of the 300 hurdles. “He’s got to have a good day (in the prelims); but he’s capable of that.”