Shamrocks Bring Home Three State Track Championships In Unforgettable Performances

The 4x400 meter relay team of Hannah Pruessner, Molly Munsinger, Taylor Covington, and Rachel Steinhoff stand on top of the podium hold a Missouri State Championship Plaque.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -  The saying that “things come in threes", great things in this case, could not have been more true for New Haven at last Saturday’s State Track Meet after the boys and girls’ teams combined for three State Titles in three different events.

Seth Schenck ends his brilliant career winning the 800 meter run for the second straight year to capture his third State Championship after helping the boys 4x800 meter relay team take first on Friday.  Including both of these events, Schenck finished second in the 1600 meter run, making him All-State in three different events for the second straight year.

Seth Schenck crosses the finish line with a big smile in Friday's 4x800 relay.  Afterwards saying, "I wanted to be apart of a State Championship team more than anything. (Referring to the 4x800 relay team)  Being able to share something like this means more than winning an individual State Title."

The same three boys on the 4x800 relay team (Zach Grater, Seth Schenck, and Keven McDowell) who finished seventh last year were on this year’s State Champion team along with Jon Stone, shattering their own school record that they set during sectionals by ten seconds with a time of 4:20.76.

The girls 4x400 meter relay, Hannah Pruessner, Molly Munsinger, Rachel Steinhoff, and Taylor Covington, State Title was probably the sweetest of the three, running their best time of the year (4:09.31) while winning by over six seconds.

Pictured left: Molly Munsinger moves New Haven into first place in the 4x400 relay.

Coach Tucker said, “Molly Munsinger probably ran the best 400 meters in her life.  What she did in the last 100 meters… picking off runners… She made it possible for our team (4x400) to win and it doesn’t take away from anyone else but she had the race of her life.”

Munsinger’s split was a career best of 60 seconds flat.  Afterwards Munsinger who runs the second leg in the 4x400 took New Haven from sixth to first place said, “I saw the girls in front of me and Mr. Tucker said “you gotta go”…so I was like well I’ll pass her and then I’ll keep passing them.”

First, it was Taylor’s mom, Amy Covington's birthday.  Her birthday wish was to see the girls on top of the podium.  Next, three of the girls (Pruessner, Munsinger, and Covington) finished seventh as freshman, then last year broke the state record only to finish second, and now as juniors are State Champions.

Then there is senior Rachel Steinhoff who in countless interviews throughout her basketball career told QNN “I want to be a part of a State Championship team and have our names up on the wall”.

The boys 4x800 relay team big group hug after become State Champions.

With Steinhoff a part of the State Champion 4x400 meter relay team, she becomes one of the first if not the first in school history to be All-State in three different sports within the same school year.

If there have not been enough “3’s” already associated to this year’s State Track Meet, Rachel becomes the third Steinhoff to be a part of a State Championship Team, joining her dad, Ray Steinhoff who coached three State Basketball teams, and her brother Ryan who was a part of the 2002 boys basketball State Championship Team.

An excited Coach Tucker said, “My memories from this year will be watching the boys 4x800 meter team walking towards to the podium, seeing the smile on Keven [McDowell] and Jon’s [Stone] faces, to see Molly [Munsinger] trying to tell stories about the race (4x400 meter relay) and she so excited you can’t even understand her.  This is the benefit of coaching.  You get to see the kids at the state level achieve… your just so happy for them.”

The girls 4x800 meter, Hannah Pruessner, Hannah Kruse, Kayla Borcherding and Taylor Covington, relay team finished third for the second straight year.  For three of the girls who are juniors (Pruessner, Kruse, and Covington) this was the third straight year that they were All-State after finishing fifth as freshman.

To top it off the only three seniors, Zach Grater, Schenck, and Steinhoff, to run at state all won a State Championship.

Lastly, adding to the irony of “3’s”, Saturday was the 24th day of May, which is divisible by three.

It was an emotional sight after the 4x400 relay team won State.