SLPS’ Metro Academic and Classical High School Starts New Sports season with Medal Winning Track & Field Performance

St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) track & field teams had a successful state meet in Jefferson City with Leah Macon-Ford (4 medals) and Jaydon Marley and Amari Foluke (3 medals) leading the way.

Metro’s Amari Foluke engaged in the triple jump competition, where he would finish sixth. (Metro)

As the St. Louis Public Schools start a new school year this week, amidst an oppressive heatwave, it also commences a new sports year. In case you missed late last spring, the Metro Panthers boys and girls track and field teams showed their mettle, and then won medals at the state meets in Jefferson City.

Here is a recap: 

    Metro squads emerged with medals in Class 3 at last month’s Missouri state track and field championships in Jefferson City. While, Leah Macon-Ford emerged with the most medals, four, by virtue of finishing third place in the open 100 meters, seventh in the open 200 meters and earning two other consolation medals with members of the club’s 4×200 and 4×100 meter relay squads. In addition, capturing third place in the 100 meters, Ford was clocked in 12.28 seconds, behind the winner Alexis Summers of Marion (12.25 seconds) and Brianna Howard (12.26) of Normandy in the area. But interestingly enough, Ford produced the best time of all the contestants in the preliminaries of 12.16 seconds.

    “I strongly believe that had she not been in the relays that she would have won at least one state championship (in an individual race),” noted Metro coach Keith Custis. 

   Joining Ford as an individual medal winner for the Lady Panthers was Lucy Luetkemeyer, who took fourth in the 3,200 meters in just over 11 minutes and 31 seconds, which Custis said was a dramatic improvement     “Lucy  improved her personal best by almost 30 seconds,” said the coach. “Working closely for the majority of the race with teammate Yuri Malone (who didn’t place), Lucy ran a gutsy and brilliant race. We anticipate great things from both Lucy and Yuri to continue long into their running futures.”

       Meanwhile, in the Class 3 boys division for Metro, Jaydon Marley placed third in the 400 meters in 49.15 seconds  and Amari Foluke placed sixth in the  triple jump with a leap just over 43-feet. Both athletes also  teamed up to run legs on the club’s  4×200 meter relay unit, which grabbed fifth place to secure a medal.

Metro’s Amari Foluke engaged in the triple jump competition, where he would finish sixth. (Metro)

    Moreover, for those not familiar with Foluke as an overall athlete, he has led the entire region in scoring for the Panthers basketball team, including over 30 points per game this past season. The coach said Foluke, a senior, showed in his first and only season what he’s capable of doing.

         “(This is) indicative of what a fantastic athlete that he is and how hard work in one sport can actually translate into success in another,” explained Custis . “Amari has put in countless hours on the basketball court, honing his skills. His willingness to focus on improvement and his own bodily movement makes him easily coachable. It allows him to utilize his athleticism in ways he hadn’t considered before.”

         Outside of Metro’s teams, Vashon’s Madison Boyd made a big splash in the girls 300-meter hurdles, by claiming second place with a time of 45.66, just behind Zoe Martonfi of Eldon, in 44.61. But Ford was the PHL’s most rewarded performer from the state meet.

        “Her selflessness and resolve made the meet an all-around team success for Metro and we couldn’t be prouder of any single athlete,” added Custis.

Sprinter Leach Macon-Ford and Amari Foluke show off their medals (Metro)


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