Cassville hosted its annual Cassville Invitational cross country meet on Monday. The Southwest Trojans claimed first place in the varsity boys' division, and the Cassville Ladycats finished second in the varsity girls' race behind East Newton.
Despite its storied cross country history, Southwest had never won the Cassville Invitational. All that changed Monday afternoon when the Trojans packed five runners into the top 15 and held off district rival East Newton, who finished second.
Ben McKeehan, of Seneca, was the boys' individual champion, and Steven Noriega, of Monett, was third. Both Jacob Jennings and Caleb Mitchell, of Southwest, displayed strong stretch runs in overtaking East Newton's James Selby to take fourth and fifth respectively.
Southwest's Luke Hackett gritted out an 11th place showing, and Dillon Alley and Kyle Buttrum placed 14th and 15th to complete the Southwest scoring.
Cassville entered only two runners in the varsity boys' race, but both Wildcats medaled. Jeremy Ashwell finished 21st and Gage Holloway was 25th out of 67 total runners.
In the junior varsity boys' race, Cassville's Willie Linenbrink scorched the field, finishing in first place by a wide margin. H.D. Essley and Landon Long also ran for Cassville in the race and medaled.
The Ladycats entered an impressive nine runners in their home meet. Jessica Barrientos paced her team, finishing seventh in a time of 22:09. Tia Baker also medaled in 10th place with a time of 22:22, and Courtney Beagle finished 18th with a time of 23:37.
Purdy's Audrey Patton had another strong showing at Cassville. She finished right behind Barrientos for eighth place medalist honors
Other Ladycat finishers who contributed to the team standings were: Danielle Krumwiede, 28th, 25:28; Kristi Whitcomb, 36th, 27:14; Hannah Elkins, 37th, 27:16; Ariel Oswald, 41st, 28:13; Cheyann Essley, 43rd, 28:51; and Ariel Gonzalez, 44th, 29:39.
"Our kids ran well," said Cassville Coach Chris Shore. "They really stepped it up for our home meet."
Complete results from the meet were unavailable at presstime. Purdy and Wheaton both competed at Cassville and their results will be printed in next week's issue of the newspaper.
Middle school results
The Cassville Middle School boys cross country team finished second at the meet, which served as the Big 8 Conference meet. The Wildcats finished one point behind Carl Junction, who claimed the Big 8 crown.
Top finishers for the Cassville boys were: Taylor Dodson, 20th; Kyle Burbridge, 21t; Ethan Reidlinger, 29th; Cody Stehlik, 10:30; Jordan Shore, 10:47; Wil LeCompte, 43rd; and Cole Beagle, 48th. There were a total of 91 runners in the boys' race.
In the girls division, Torri Holder medaled in sixth place and Emily Cooper finished in 47th place for the Ladycats.