Lake area runners punch tickets to state meet

Osage girls win district title, Eldon’s Martonfi wins individual title, Versailles qualifies two runners in district race at Hermitage

Runners from School of the Osage, Eldon and Versailles are state bound.

Some not only qualified for the final race of the year, but decided to bring home some hardware, too.

The Osage girls, one of five teams in the Class 3 District 5 race at Hermitage on Saturday, captured the team title with 32 points which bested the rest of the field by at least 23 points. Meanwhile, Eldon freshman Zoe Martonfi bested a field of 44 runners to become an individual district champion.

Now, it comes down to taking on some of the best runners in the state.

The Osage girls were paced by Sara Wolf who finished fifth in the field with a time of 21:38.07. Bayley Johnson captured seventh at 21:50, Juliana Bryant earned ninth at 22:10.03, Isabella Lopez earned 13th at 23:12.23, Abby Maschhoff was 15th at 24:20.07, Katherine Wolf came in 16th at 24:20.07 and Grace Martin was 30th at 27:36.87.

To qualify for state, an individual has to place in the top 15 of a race, but the top two teams get to send all their runners and that is precisely what the Indians did after winning a district championship.

“It was great seeing our girls capture that district title. What was even more exciting was looking at our times from Saturday compared to where we were four weeks ago on that course,” Osage coach Miriam Hill said. “There were huge improvements by all of the girls.”

And that is not the only bit of good news for Osage as the entire boys team will be joining the girls at state as well. The Indian boys finished second overall among seven schools with 69 points, trailing only Strafford (51).

John Markovitz paced Osage with a third place finish of 17:55.46 among the 54 runners in the field. Dylan Barnett earned 18th at 19:05.48, Jaysen Groll was 18th at 19:30.39, Caden Wyrick was 25th at 20:15.32, Colin Misenheimer captured 28th at 20:35.74, Caleb Klaus was 34th at 21:27.48 and Jaxsen Gamm finished 48th at 24:30.09.

Hill is expecting those impressive time improvements to be on full display once again on Thursday for the Class 3 state race in on a fast course in Columbia.

“It has been a great year, especially when early in the season we were not sure if we would even get a full season completed,” the coach said. “Taking both boys and girls to state will be a great experience for all.”

Eldon will be taking a freshman duo to state as Nathan Reynolds joined Martonfi as a state qualifier. Martonfi won her race and became a district champion with a time of 20:19.22 while Reynolds nearly did the same, finishing second overall with a time of 17:47.31. That time was only bested by Buffalo sophomore Sean Walker who crossed the finish line at 17:25.13.

Meanwhile, Adysson Gerber finished 33rd overall with a time of 28:31.1 as the only other girl to represent the Mustangs. The Eldon boys finished sixth as a team, earning 121 points in the race. Garrett Greenwalt captured 33rd for the boys at 21:27.4, Jacob Arnold was 36th at 21:42.16, Zackery Brown placed 39th at 22:01.41, Luke Graham placed 49th at 25:18.59 and Matthew Pollett finished 51st at 26:33.16.

Versailles is also going to state as a pair of Tigers in Seth Newton and Zachary Radefeld made the cut. Newton finished ninth for the boys with a time of 18:51.67 while Radefeld turned in a time of 18:52.06 to finish right behind him in 10th place.

“Each runner turned in strong performances and most were able to run faster at districts than they ran at Hermitage earlier in the season,” Versailles coach Laura Piercy said.

Carmen Lemell was the lone girl to represent the Tigers and she finished the final race of her high school career in 24th place with a time of 25:48.98

"She is planning on attending Missouri Western after graduation and I have no doubt she will go on to accomplish great things while she is there," Piercy said of the senior.

The Versailles boys finished fifth as a team with 99 points. Dagan Haggerman captured 27th for the boys at 20:28.44, Matthew Radefeld placed 38th at 21:59.5 and Ryley Pryor finished 44th at 22:36.3.

"Dagan ran his season's best at districts and I look forward to next year when he is a senior and we have Noah Dykzuel and Jacob Schrock back," Piercy noted. "They both had injuries that prevented them from competing this year. Then add to that our two freshmen in Matthew and Ryley. These two gained confidence with every race they ran this year. We also anticipate Ryan Haggerman to run next year as a freshman. His middle school season came to an unfortunate end when he had to have surgery, but he was able to put up impressive times during his middle school career. 

"I suspect he will push his older brother Dagan to work hard because, let's face it, nobody wants to be beaten by their younger sibling," the coach added with a smile.

Camdenton, Macks Creek and Climax Springs send runners to state

The Class 3 girls will be racing on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. on the course at Gans Creek in Columbia. The boys are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Camdenton, Macks Creek and Climax Springs send runners to state

Runners from Camdenton, Macks Creek and Climax Springs showed they had what it took to reach the final race of the season and take on some of the best runners in the state.

CAMDENTON

The Lakers were in Jefferson City on Saturday for the Class 4 District 5 meet and a pair of girls punched their tickets to state by finishing in the top 15.

Amongst a pack of 46 runners in the field, Madelyn Coffelt finished 13th overall with a time of 22:31.1 while Cambrie Kowal crossed the finish line in 14th at 22:35.2.

Overall, the Camdenton girls finished fourth in the team standings with 103 points while West Plains took the district title with 17, followed by Warrensburg (59) and Bolivar (78). Kylie Doyle finished just outside the top 15 for Camdenton with a 22nd place finish at 24:13.3 and Alexis Stroup was right behind her in 23rd at 24:40.9. Georgi Carolus was 32nd at 26:03.4, McKenna Demark finished 37th at 27:22.2 and Ava Canales captured 39th at 27:51.5.

"Heading into the girls race, there were a lot of nerves. We've talked about this race since early September and how we should be right up in the mix with everyone else," Camdenton coach Lauren Moriearty said. "I reminded the girls in the huddle that confidence in their training was key today. They needed to know they've done the work and to kick out any negativity that popped into their heads in the race.

"We are so proud of this team" the coach continued. "Fourth place after West Plains, Warrensburg and Bolivar is no small feat from a group with one veteran varsity cross country runner."

The Camdenton boys were one of eight schools who fielded teams and the Lakers finished fifth in the standings with 163 points. West Plains captured the title with 31, Bolivar finished second at 54, Warrensburg totaled 80 to finish third and Willard had 81 points to earn fourth place.

Benjamin Hauck was the first Laker to cross the finish line in 26th place amongst a field of 52 runners with a time of 20:42.1. Aidan Dowdney was 28th at 20:50, Blake Roettgen placed 31st at 21:01.1, Kam Durnin came in 33rd at 21:12.4 and Wesley Lahay finished 45th at 23:47.3.

"On the boys side no state qualifiers, but still some impressive races," Moriearty said.

Coffelt and Kowal will represent the girls in the Class 4 race at 8:30 a.m. on Friday from Gans Creek in Columbia. 

"Though a season-ender for most of our team, it was a great day of racing and a testament to the strength of our team. With some development, some recruiting and some solid base miles through to next season, we are in a great spot to be competitive for years to come," Moriearty said.

"As coaches, the best part of cross country is watching the bond form between the kids. This team is tight, you see them support and love one another every day, every workout and every race. They share in the joy of others and help pick their teammates up when they are feeling bad. This team has a special bond and cross country is such a cultivating space for that type of bond. We're so glad these kids came out this year and cannot wait for offseason running to spend some more time with them."

MACKS CREEK AND CLIMAX SPRINGS

Macks Creek and Climax Springs runners are back amongst the best after taking care of business at Hermitage on Saturday in the Class 1 District 5 race.

The Macks Creek boys and girls nearly sent their entire teams to state by finishing as one of the top two teams, capturing third overall on Saturday. The boys posted 68 team points among six schools while Dadeville captured the district title with 62 and Fair Play finished second with 67. The girls accumulated 53 points behind Marion C. Early’s 25 and Niangua’s 49.

Amongst a field of 23 runners, Macks Creek’s Molly Phillips earned a trip to state by finishing in the top 15 with a fifth place time of 24:48.59. Phillips will be joined by Adriana Mayer who finished eighth overall at 24:55.56. Taylor Rich nearly joined them with a 17th place finish at 28:42.49, Alyssa Gabriel finished 20th at 29:18.07 and Chelsey Brown came in 22nd at 32:31.6.

Climax Springs did not have any girls running, but a pair of Cougar boys in Cole Smith and Gesse Smith earned a trip to state. Cole placed sixth amongst a field of 48 runners with a time of 19:10.89 while Gesse earned 11th at 19:33.49. Johny McCartney finished 25th at 21:35.32, Hunter Hertzog was 26th at 21:35.54 and Junior Bellamy was 47th at 26:33.67.

The Macks Creek boys are also sending a pair of runners as Caleb Phillips earned fourth at 18:36.33 while Kyler Gabriel was 10th at 19:26.31. Grant English finished 16th at 20:10.96, Jose Cortez was 24th at 21:31.97, Austin Brown was 35th at 22:31.36 and Aydin Long was 44th at 24:36.22.

"Congratulations to Molly, Adriana, Caleb and Kyler who all advance to next week's state meet," Macks Creek coach Paige Alexander stated. "Great job seniors Chelsey and Grant who have run hard the last three seasons. We are going to miss you both."

The girls will race in Columbia at Gans Creek on Saturday at 3 p.m., followed by the boys at 5:30.