Weirich, Zheng make three from OHS at William Woods

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 6/29/22

A trio of former Owensville High School (OHS) distance runners.

That will be the case this fall for William Woods University’s (WWU) Cross Country and Track and Field programs with the …

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Weirich, Zheng make three from OHS at William Woods

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A trio of former Owensville High School (OHS) distance runners.

That will be the case this fall for William Woods University’s (WWU) Cross Country and Track and Field programs with the signings of Kyah Weirich and Freddy Zheng.

With one year of collegiate track and cross country under her belt, WWU sophomore Mekayla Gibson will now no longer be the lone former OHS distance runner in the WWU Track and Field program.

“Mekayla, Freddy and Kyah come from a very strong program at Owensville High School,” WWU head cross country and track and field coach Dan Schwab said. “Coach (Matt) Candrl is well respected and very knowledgeable in the running community and I know I am lucky enough to sign a runner from his program in that they will be strong and reliable.”

During his senior season, Zheng competed in six events which included the 400-meter dash, 800m run, 1600m run, 3200m run, 4x200m relay and 4x800m relay.

Competing four times in the mile, Zheng’s best time was 5:06.68 at the Hermann Invitational good for 10th place.

In the 3200m run, his best time was 11:17.75 during the Four Rivers Conference meet at Dutchmen Field earning him eighth place.

His best finish in the 3200m run was a second-place time of 11:18.43 during the OHS Relays back in mid-April.

Teaming up with Felix Guerrero, Lucas Morgan and Harm Rademacher, Zheng helped the Dutchmen 4x800m relay team earn All-FRC honors with a third-place time of 9:16.12.

Last fall in his final season of high school cross country, Zheng’s best finish came on his home course during the Owensville Invitational with a 12th-place time of 18:45.4.

His fastest time as a senior came in southwest Missouri during the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin running the 5,000 meter course in 18:36.9 while finishing 42nd.

Zheng’s best cross country finish in high school came during his sophomore season at New Haven with a third-place time of 19:55.2.

Similar to Zheng, Weirich also competed in six events during her senior season of track including the 400m dash, 800m run, 1600m run, 3200m run, 4x400m relay and 4x800m relay.

Weirich’s best time in the mile came during the FRC track meet with a sixth-place finish in 6:07.41.

Her highest finish was a second-place time of 6:35.49 during OHS’ home quad meet at Dutchmen Field back in early April.

In the 3200m run, Weirich’s best time came in the district meet at West Plains with a sixth-place time of 13:28.60.

Early in her senior season, Weirich’s best finish in the 3200m run was a third-place time of 14:23.24 at the Cuba Relays in late March.

Just missing All-FRC honors in the 4x800m relay with a fourth-place time of 11:15.01, Weirich helped teammates Ilene Limberg, Grace Abel and Lauren Kandlbinder earn All-District accolades at West Plains with a second-place time of 10:45.07.

Dropping nine seconds off their district time at sectionals, the same quartet just missed qualifying for state with a fifth-place time of 10:36.80 in one of four Class 3 sectional track meets last spring at Hollister High School.

Weirich did qualify for state as a junior during her OHS track and field career in the 4x800m relay.

One place shy of All-FRC honors as a junior in the 4x800m relay, Weirich helped Hayden Loeb, Mekayla Gibson and Alexis Kohrmann earn All-District accolades with a second-place time of 11:31.47.

Trimming nearly 40 seconds off of their district time at sectionals during her junior year, Weirich helped Kohrmann, Gibson and Ella Gehlert qualify for state with a fourth-place finish at sectionals in a time of 10:52.43.

Improving their time at state, the same quartet placed 14th in the Class 3 Girls 4x800m relay in a time of 10:49.03.

Closing her high school cross country career with All-FRC honors, Weirich grabbed the 15th and final spot with a time of 23:08.9.

Her fastest time during her senior season came at the Gans Creek Classic in late September placing 141st in a competitive field with a time of 22:38.7.

Weirich and Zheng could run against former OHS athletes Jacob Giedinghagen (Hannibal-LaGrange and Carter Brocato (Columbia College).

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