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Junior High XC teams compete at Willow Springs

Submitted by Steve Rissler

The Junior High XC team takes to the Willow Springs golf course on Sept. 25 for the second time this season to test themselves against the best runner in the area.  The girl’s race started off the meet with 59 runners competing for a spot in the top 15.  Finley Sullins continued her excellent first season in XC with an eighth place finish and a time of 11:53.  Allie Decker pushed her way through a difficult course to earn a medal in 12th at 12:27. Nichole Barnes finished 19th, Gracie Berriault 40th, Brianna Pogue 56th, December Maxey 57th and Audrey Krewson 58th.

The boys ran second and Derek Mendenhall earned a medal in 14th place with a time of 10:49.  Keyton Rinne narrowly missed a medal in 16th place at 10:59.  Austin James and Keyton Cook finished 22nd and 23rd respectively. Austin Stephens rounded out the top five in 32nd place. Also competing was Garrett Gorman 35th, Aaron Decker 48th, Cael Wantland 49th, Rusty Buckner 50th, Elijah Lawson 60th, Dominick Donley 62nd, Nathan Burton 64th, Hunter Brazier 66th,Riley Parker 68th, Lucas Johnson 69th and Kenny Ramsey 70th.

The junior high XC teams competed at the Mountain Grove invitational meet on Sept. 25.  The meet included athletes from Grove, Willow, Ava, Hartville, Mansfield, Norwood, Dora, and Success.

The girls raced first and when the smoke cleared all seven girls had earned a top 15 medal.  Findley Sullins showed her toughness by starting mid pack and moving up to second over the last mile.  Allie Decker crossed the line in seventh, Nichole Barnes eighth, Makenna Skidmore ninth, Gracie Berreault 11th, December Maxey 13th and Audrey Krewson 14th.  The girls finished in second place as a team.

The boys finally woke up and broke through their mental block to earn seven of the top 15 medal spots.  Derek Mendenhall was out front and earned fourth place.  The next four boys ran as a pack with Keyton Rinne having his best run of the year finishing fifth, Keyton Cook sixth, Austin James seventh and Austin Stephens eighth.  Garrett Gorman and Rusty Buckner also earned medals finishing in 12th and 15th place respectively.  Cael Wantland was on the bubble finishing in 16th, Aaron Decker 17th, Elijah Lawson 18th, Riley Parker 19th, Alex Decker 20th, Nathan Burton 21st, Dominick Donley 22nd, Hunter Brazier 23rd, Kenny Ramsey 24th and Lucas Johnson 26th.

Coach Rissler says, “It is awesome to see these kids realize how hard they can push their self in a race.  It will carry over from XC into other sports.”

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