The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

The Student News Site of Hickman High School

Purple and Gold News

Run the race or walk the stage

Hickman track seniors make the tough decision to either run at sectionals or walk at graduation

Track and field at Hickman this year has been fun track and field to watch. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams have good opportunities to perform well in the state championship in a few weeks. On both teams, there have been countless school records broken and rebroken, for example, the only sprint school record that remains on the boys’ side is the 4x400m relay.


Sophie Leigh (12) runs down home stretch during the 4x400m relay, at Hickman’s conference meet. Picture taken by Ben Drury

However, there is one issue that could hinder the team’s performance. Due to unfortunate scheduling, Hickman’s graduation is on the same day as the track and field team’s sectional meet. The sectional meet is the last meet before the state championship, and the only way to qualify for the state championship. This pinned a tough decision on Hickman’s seniors, Whether they go to graduation or to sectionals, and the chance to go to the state championship.


“I am skipping graduation…. I feel like I have worked this whole offseason and my whole track career to get where I am right now and I just don’t want to throw that away by skipping sectionals,” Travis McCarty (12) said.


Travis is a pole vaulter, and over his time on theteam, he has gained a PR in the pole vault of 4.42 meters or 14 and a half feet. Along with this, Travis has also been able to compete against the best in the state time in and time out. For example, just this Saturday at the district meet Travis placed second to advance to sectionals. In weeks prior, Travis won the Dale Collier Invitational, which was a meet with athletes from 33 teams. Looking ahead, Travis will continue his pole vaulting career at Missouri Southern University. 


However, other Hickman seniors are going the other route and will be present at graduation next Saturday. 


“I chose Graduation…I definitely thought first semester that I was going to go to sectionals…my love for the sport is still here obviously it’s not like I just fell out of love with it,” Sophie Leigh (12) said.


Sophie, like Travis, has been a huge contributor to the Hickman girls’ track team’s success this year. Sophie has been a member of both the 4x200m and 4x400m relays, which both qualified for state on Saturday at districts. Sophie will be missed on the relay team, but luckily for Hickman, there is enough depth to fill in for her.


When choosing whether or not to go to graduation one key factor a lot of seniors took into consideration was the alternate ceremony for seniors at the Senior Awards ceremony tomorrow. 


“Graduation is not a very individual thing, you’re going to be up there with 500 other people…you’re only going to have one chance to go to state, so why not take that advantage…we’re still going to graduate, at a smaller ceremony, it’s almost better in some senses, it’s going to be [better] for our family, I don’t really see the negatives of skipping graduation,” Zach Wright (12) said.


Zach Wright (12) sprints out of his blocks at the CMAC Conference Meet, he started off the the 4x100m relay. Picture taken by Ben Drury

Zach, like the two mentioned before him, has been a massive contributor to Hickman’s success this season. Zach has participated in three school record relay teams this year, such as the 4x100m, 4x200m, and the Sprint Medley Relay (200m-200m-400m-800m). Among these records, the 4x100m relay team broke their school record for the third time this year, breaking it by almost half a second, and putting it as the sixth fastest time in state history. After this year, Zach has signed to run at the University of Missouri.


Even though competing at state plays a big part in making this decision, some are considering other things.


“I love being a leader but I think graduation is also really important to me…the friendships I’ve built over the years makes me want to go to graduation more,” Morgyn Smith (12) said.


Morgyn, as she said, is a huge leader on the Hickman track team. Her whole career at Hickman she has been a contributor to the team’s success by being a leader and performing well. She will not be going to sectionals, and the team will miss her. 


This was a tough decision to make for this year’s senior class and every single one of them put thought into making their decision.

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