WASHINGTON — Conquering district cross country courses at Linn and Bowling Green the past two years, Matt Candrl’s Owensville Dutchgirl harriers looked to add Big Driver in Washington to …
WASHINGTON — Conquering district cross country courses at Linn and Bowling Green the past two years, Matt Candrl’s Owensville Dutchgirl harriers looked to add Big Driver in Washington to their list Saturday.
Placing three runners in the top four of the Class 3, District 5 girls race, Candrl’s Dutchgirls topped eight other scoring teams with 49 points.
Delivering arguably the biggest surprise of the day was Dutchgirl junior Mekayla Gibson.
Trailing Willow Springs sophomore Bethany Waggoner going up the final hill, Gibson passed her in the final moments of the race to cross the finish line with an individual district championship winning time of 21:07.1
“I’m proud of Mekayla seeing all of her hard work pay off by winning a district championship,” Coach Candrl said. “She’s been one of the hardest working athletes on the team.”
Also garnering All-District accolades with their top-15 finishes were senior Kendra Hults with her third-place time of 21:24.6 and fellow senior Sophia Ashner with her fourth-place time of 21:42.6.
Dutchgirls also qualifying for state include Katie Candrl (21st, 23:44.1), Arissa Huff (24th), 24:04.9), Macy McKinney (35th, 25:09.5) and Kiera Finn (52nd, 26:56.9).
“I’m proud of each and everyone of the girls today,” Coach Candrl said. “Going from a flat course at conference to a hilly course at Big Driver and accomplishing what they did is a testament to their athletic abilities.”
Finishing sixth last year as a team during the 2018 MSHSAA Cross Country Championships at Jefferson City’s Oak Hills Golf Center, the Dutchgirls are once again eying that illusive state trophy for a top-four team finish.
“We’ve already competed once on the state course and did fairly well,” Candrl said. “If the girls come out and compete like they did today, I feel like nothing can stop them from their goal of getting on the podium.”
Due to a medical issue with her knee, Finn will serve as an alternate on the team with Kyah Weirich taking her place. Other alternates will include Kyra Binkhoelter and Saylor Richardson.
Edging Pacific by one point for second place during the Four Rivers Conference (FRC) cross country meet nearly two weeks ago at St. James’ Maramec Spring Park, Candrl’s varsity Dutchmen looked for the same outcome Saturday in the Class 3, District 5 boys race at Big Driver.
Able to place a pair of Dutchmen in the top 15, Owensville could not overcome the Indians who had four runners in the top 15.
Once all of the runners crossed the finish line, Pacific (76) topped the Dutchmen (83) by seven points in the varsity boys team standings.
In spite of falling short in their goal of a district title, Candrl’s varsity Dutchmen get another week of practice to prepare for one more race at Gans Creek this weekend.
“We didn’t quite have enough to catch Pacific this time around,” coach Candrl said. “They were just better than us today.”
Pacing the varsity Dutchmen harriers was junior Austin Terry with a fourth-place time of 18:26.0.
Terry was joined in the top 10 by sophomore Bam Wizeman’s ninth-place time of 18:49.7.
Also helping Owensville to a second-place team finish behind Pacific was junior Cameron O’Neal (19th, 19:41.8), senior Treyden Williams (28th, 20:01.6), sophomore Freddy Zheng (34th, 20:23.1), sophomore Harm Rademacher (44th, 21:03.1) and sophomore Jacob Breedlove (50th, 21:58.1).
Alternates at state for Dutchmen cross country will be Trevor Shockley, Christian Lowes and Braedn Stone.
Seeing the majority of the FRC competing at Big Driver, Owensville will have quite a bit of company at Gans Creek Saturday.
Individuals from the FRC joining the Dutchgirls in the Class 3 girls race will include Union’s Ella Coppinger (6th), Union’s Anna Brakefield (7th), Sullivan’s Emily Willman (8th), St. Clair’s Hanna Spoon (9th), Pacific’s Katie Prada (11th), and Pacific’s Amber Graf (15th).
Hermann and New Haven’s girls cross country teams competed in their Class 2, District 4 meet in Linn at the Osage County Fairgrounds.
Lady Bearcats and Shamrocks qualifying for Gans Creek included Morgan Miller (Hermann), Clara Scheible (Hermann), Katy Menke (Hermann) and Emma Mcintyre (New Haven).
Winning an individual FRC title nearly two weeks ago, Hermann’s Dalton Gleeson won the Class 2, District 4 boys individual title at Linn with teammate Carter Hemeyer right behind him in third place.
Jake Weber (8th) and Brayden Brown (13th) also collected All-District honors for their top-15 finishes helping the Bearcats place second as a team making them one of 16 schools fielding teams in the Class 2 boys race Saturday.
New Haven senior Austin Tegler placed 14th earning a chance to end his Shamrock cross country career at the state meet.
See next week’s Republican for complete coverage from the 2019 MSHSAA Cross Country Championships in Columbia.