Zach Miller takes a deep breath as he prepares in the starting blocks for the 100-meter dash at the Class 2 Missouri state track championships in Jefferson City on May 18th. (Photo by Michele Miller.)

When it only take a little less than 11 seconds to cover the length of a football field, a slight misstep out of the gates can prove to be costly.

That was the case for Scotland County junior Zach Miller, whose trouble getting out of the gates cost the speedster any shot at advancing to day two of the Class 2 Missouri track championships at Dwight T. Reed Stadium on the campus of Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Miller, Scotland County’s lone track athlete to qualify for the state event, finished 14th overall in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.73 seconds. He was seventh in the first of two preliminary races, after struggling to get out of the starting blocks cleanly.

Christian Brune of Fatima won the first heat race in a time of 11.05 seconds. Terrance Winn of Carrolton was second in 11.11 seconds.

Michael Wells, a sophomore from Cleveland N.J.R.O.T.C. school in ST. Louis, tied the state record in heat #2, winning the race in 10.74 seconds.

The record time was set in 1992 by Eric Safford of Maplewood-Richmond Heights.

The top eight times from the 16 qualifiers, advanced to the finals on Saturday, May 19th.

Wells slowed down, by all of .01 seconds in the finals, winning the Class 2 state title in a time of 10.75 seconds.

Antonio Marcano, Jr., a senior from Metro was second in a time of 10.92 seconds. Winn finished in third in 10.95 seconds followed by Brune in fourth in 10.97 seconds.

Also taking the podium for the final medal awards were Isaiah Laster, a senior from Principia (5th in 10.98 seconds), Dalton Freeze, a senior from Principia (6th in 11.0 seconds), Logan Allred, a sophomore from Ash Grove (7th in a time of 11.12 seconds) and Ramon Jamerson, a sophomore from Cole Camp (8th in 11.32 seconds).

Wells’s win in the 100-meter dash capped off a big day for him and his N.J.R.O.T.C. teammates. Senior Dominic Ball won the 110-meter hurdles state title. The duo teamed up with  Devonta Kazee (junior) and Diamond Hodge (junior) to claim the state title in the 4×100-meter relay.

That same foursome finished second in the state in the 4×200-meter relay. Wells finished second in the 200-meter dash and Ball finished eighth in the 300-meter hurdles, as each athlete made four trips to the medals podium on Saturday. That was just enough to allow the Cleveland N.J.R.O.T.C. to claim the team title with 51 points, narrowly edging second place Lamar with 50 points.

Schuyler County’s Rhett Cook, a senior, claimed the state title in the 400-meter dash, winning the race in a time of 50.20 seconds.