The Southwest Trojans nearly pulled the upset at the Class 2 District 6 cross country championships at Lake Springfield on Saturday, falling to state power Springfield Catholic 48-42. The Trojans earned a spot in the MSHSAA state championships on Nov. 3 with their second place team finish. Fair Grove was a distant third in the field that included eight complete teams.
Tyler Compton, of Buffalo, was the individual boys champion, with a winning time of 17:09. Caleb Mitchell led Southwest with his fourth place finish.
Four Trojan boys garnished All-District honors with top 15 finishes. They include: Mitchell; Dustin Breedlove in eighth; Jacob Jennings in ninth; and Logan Pendergraft in 12th. Kyle Buttrum placed 22nd, Luke Hackett was 25th and Codie Harmon was 36th to complete the Southwest entry.
Charlotte Buttrum earned her fourth All-District medal for Southwest, taking second in the girls' championship race, losing only to Brie Daniels, of Hollister.
"We were very conscious of the attention that Fair Grove, Reeds Spring and Buffalo received in the weeks leading up to districts," said Southwest coach Lee Stubblefield. "All of those teams had beaten us previously, but this was the first time all year we had all of our runners healthy. Catholic's boys ran a great race to hold us off, I don't think we could have run any better."
Southwest pulled a pre-Halloween trick, using the "uniform switch" to keep opposing teams from keying on the Trojans during the race. "The switch was very effective mostly, because we had our JV runners warming up wearing our standard uniforms," Stubblefield commented. "Uniforms don't make you any faster, but the perception of a psychological advantage is a plus for any athlete."