OHS harriers claim three team plaques, 12 medals from Linn

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 9/13/23

Saving their best for last.

That is what Matt Candrl’s Owensville High School (OHS) cross country runners did over the weekend during the 45th Annual Linn Cross Country Invitational held …

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OHS harriers claim three team plaques, 12 medals from Linn


Saving their best for last.

That is what Matt Candrl’s Owensville High School (OHS) cross country runners did over the weekend during the 45th Annual Linn Cross Country Invitational held at the Osage County Fairgrounds.

With four races already in the books, the junior varsity boys competition closed out the morning of racing Saturday in Linn.

From start to finish, there was a sea of orange at the front of the pack.

Occupying five of the first six positions, JV Dutchmen freshman Ty Price won JV Boys race in a time of 20:28.78.

He was followed in second place by fellow freshman Westin Kramme in 20:57.70 and Braden Perkins with a third-place time of 21:20.85.

Rounding out the quintet of JV Dutchmen freshmen in the top six were Drake Dietrich with a fifth-place time of 21:28.67 and Kylen Menz in a sixth-place time of 21:29.68.

In addition to those five JV Dutchmen helping Owensville achieve a perfect team score of 15 points, Bryce Kramme (14th, 22:21.84) and Tristan Strothkamp (18th, 22:48.61) also left Osage County with medals around their necks.

Other JV Dutchmen crossing the finish line for Owensville at Linn were Nick Hinson (21st, 23:04.79), Coleton Connor (24th, 24:06.14), Maddix Lebish (30th, 25:13.88), Ethan Blankenship (39th, 34:34.36) and Jayden Stewart (40th, 37:19.17).

Prior to Candrl’s JV Dutchmen claiming a team title, their varsity counterparts also left Linn with a piece of team hardware.

Scoring 77 team points to finish in a tie for second with New Bloomfield, the deadlock was broken by the finish of both team’s sixth runners.

Fortunately for the Dutchmen, senior Andrew Blankenship placed 44th in a time of 20:34.38 ahead of New Bloomfield’s Cooper Webb who was 63rd in a time of 22:05.46.

Freshman Zachary Holtmeyer led the varsity Dutchmen with a third-place time of 17:43.05 followed closely by senior teammate Felix Guerrero with a fifth-place time of 17:50.76.

Junior Kyle Bollman just missed making it a trio of varsity Dutchmen medalists placing 21st in a time of 19:14.58.

Other varsity Dutchmen figuring in the team scoring were Cristopher Reyes (28th, 19:56.22), Ethan Harris (33rd, 20:06.39), Andrew Blankenship (44th, 20:34.38) and Eli Graham (77th, 25:24.53).

Candrl’s varsity Dutchgirls also teamed up to join both their JV and varsity Dutchmen counterparts in bringing home hardware.

Nearly breaking the 20-minute mark, junior Ilene Limberg led the varsity Dutchgirls with a third-place time of 20:01.94 helping Owensville finish with 66 team points good for second place behind Fulton with 47 points.

Joining Limberg in the medals for the Dutchgirls were sophomore Hannah Gehlert with a 10th-place finish in 22:10.54 and Abbie Gibson checking in with a 14th-place time of 22:39.50.

Abbie was not the only Gibson having a successful Saturday on a cross country course.

Her older sister Mekayla won the Cottey College Invitational in Nevada with a first-place time of 18:32.77 for the William Woods University (WWU) Lady Owls Cross Country team.

This performance earned Mekayla American Midwest Conference (AMC) Female Cross Country Runner of the Week honors.

Also helping the varsity Dutchgirls to a second-place team finish at Linn were Grace Abell (39th, 25:57.62), Elaina Lebish (41st, 26:09.32), Morgen Schmidt (71st, 29:49.88) and Jayden Hubbard (78th, 32:06.78).

Before their high school teammates ran the course, Owensville Middle School (OMS) cross country runners coached by Megan Pondrom and Shane Hunt had nine harriers on the course between the boys and girls races.

Making their OMS Cross Country debuts were Dutchgirl runners Annalise Dryer and Haley Boland.

Dryer placed 52nd in a time of 17:11.64 while Boland crossed the finish line with a 62nd-place time of 17:53.71.

With only medals going to the top 20 finishers in the middle school races, OMS Dutchmen Robbie Rodriguez came the closest to earning one while finishing 39th in a time of 13:52.41 in the middle school boys race.

Other OMS Dutchmen helping them place 12th as a team with 279 points were Max Altemeyer (59th, 14:42.53), Ricky Ringeisen (72nd, 15:24.52), Hunter Anderson (74th, 15:43.45), Dylan Dietrich (85th, 16:08.92), Merlin Ramirez (92nd, 17:04.77) and Daimeyn Rogers (96th, 17:37.66).

Candrl’s OHS Dutchmen and Dutchgirls will return to action this weekend at the Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) Stampede down in Joplin.

OMS’ Dutchmen and Dutchgirls will have over a week to prepare for their next racing action during the Belle Cross Country Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 21.