Mason and Sweezor looking to punch ticket to state

A pair of Camdenton runners are coming home.

The Lakers competed at Nixa in a Class 4 District 5 race on Saturday looking to dart past the competition and advance as many runners as possible to sectionals this upcoming Saturday on the home course at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. To do that, Camdenton runners had to finish in the top 30 in both the boys’ race and girls’ races and two Lakers made the cut. Camdenton’s Garrett Mason finished 14th with a time of 17 minutes and eight seconds while Skyler Sweezor finished 19th with a time of 21:32.

“Both Garrett and Skyler ran similar races. They both got out to a fairly strong start and worked their way up to a good position after about a half mile or so,” Camdenton coach David Weber pointed out. “Both kids will be great representatives for our school next week as they are more than just good athletes. Garrett and Skyler are excellent students and well-mannered kids that represent our sport so well as do most of our runners.”

The Camdenton boys finished eighth out of 12 schools. Camdenton’s Jake Thoenen narrowly missed the cut finishing 33rd at 17:54, Andrew DiBello was not too far behind him in 37th at 18:15, Sam Gray earned 56th at 19:47 and Riley Head rounded things out in 69th at 20:30.

“I thought our boys team as a whole ran pretty well,” Weber noted. “Both Jake and Andrew came up just a little short. Andrew has improved a great deal this year and will continue to get better. Jake is an extremely dedicated runner, but just did not get in enough distance due to being a two-sport athlete. These boys along with Sam and Riley will all be back next year and it could be one of the better teams we will have in years.”

The girls ended the day 10th out of 12 schools in the final team standings. Erika Nevens was the next fastest Laker behind Sweezor in 55th at 24:53, Abbey Bellew took 68th at 27:09, Autumn Davis came in 71st at 27:46 and Alicia Smythe earned 72nd at 28:02.

“The girls’ team had a few individuals that ran well including Erika and Autumn,” Weber said. “Both had their best races of the year for the Lady Lakers. Abbey and Alicia were battling sickness and injury, but showed guts in just finishing the race. As with the boys’ team, all the girls are underclassmen and will be much improved next season.”

STATE SECTIONAL INFO

-Boys race at 11 a.m.

-Girls race at 11:35 a.m.

-The course is at Ha Ha Tonka State Park located two miles down Dry Hollow Road

-If attending, the cost is $7 per person and you need to arrive at least 30 minutes before race time in order to get a parking spot