Jordan Warner had a dazed look on his face Saturday afternoon at the Missouri State Track and Field Championships.

Jordan Warner had a dazed look on his face Saturday afternoon at the Missouri State Track and Field Championships.

And for good reason.

The William Chrisman High School senior had just walked up to the top step of the podium, at Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Memorial Stadium, to receive his first-place medal in the Class 4 high jump.

“I really don’t know what to say or how to act,” said Warner, who follows a long legacy of Chrisman high jumpers who have received first-place medals. “I came to state hoping to finish in the top three – and I would have been happy to have gone back home with any kind of medal.

“But to win state the first time I came down here is unbelievable. I feel so good, but I can’t even begin to describe how I feel. I’m just kind of speechless.”

With a light drizzle falling in Jefferson City, Warner topped a field that could not match his third jump of 6 feet, 7 inches.

“I’ve gone 6-8, so it wasn’t a PR (personal record),” Warner said. “But I’ll take it. I started at 5-10 and was hoping to clear 6-9. But that gives me something to shoot for next year.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to be a state champion for a year, and then have the chance to come back and defend it next year.”

This was his first trip to the state championship event as a competitor or a fan, and he soaked it all in.

“I went unattached to a big national AAU meet in Norfolk, Va., last summer, but there weren’t as many people at that meet as there were here (Saturday),” Warner said. “It was cool to get to jump where the people in the stands could watch you.

“A lot of times, the jumping pit is away from the fans, and they don’t really know what you’re doing.”

But everyone knew what Warner was doing as his family and friends were on hand for the special moment.

“I’ve been jumping since I was in the eighth grade, and this is the best feeling I’ve ever had,” Warner said. “I don’t know how it could get any better than this.”

Then he might want to ask Oak Grove’s Tyler Banks what it was like to successfully defend his Class 3 800-meter title.

“I didn’t think it could get any better than winning my first 800,” said Banks, who topped the field with a 1:54.62 time, “but this feels better. I can’t even tell you what it’s like to defend the title. It’s amazing – it’s the best, just the best.”

And for a brief moment, he wasn’t sure if he had successfully defended the title as he needed his kick and an extra lunge at the finish line to edge his opponent 1:54.62 to 1:54.82.

“When I crossed the finish line, I was pretty sure I’d won, but I wasn’t totally sure,” said Banks, who will run track and cross county at Oral Roberts University. “I’ve had a whole year to build up to today. I wanted to win my final (individual) race at Oak Grove.

“I’ve been thinking about this race for a year – and it just feels so good. It’s amazing.”

Blue Springs South’s Ben Harvel said he felt amazing, too, even though he finished second in the 300 hurdles for the first time this season.

“It’s the first time I didn’t win,” said Harvel, who lost 37.44 to 37.55, “but I am proud of my performance. I ran a PR and did what I came here to do – give it my best effort. If you give it everything you have and don’t quite win, you can’t be disappointed. I have to do my best to come back next year when I’m a senior and win it all.”