Trojans cruise to victory at SW Invitational
The Southwest boys and the College Heights girls were untouchable at the 25th annual Southwest Invitational cross country meet held on Saturday.
Caleb Mitchell, of Southwest, was the boys' individual champion with a 17:43 clocking, and defending Class 1 state champion Emily Beaver, of College Heights, won the girls division in 19:18.
As a team, the Trojans took five of the first six places in cruising to their 18 point total. Jacob Jennings followed Mitchell in second place, and Luke Hackett, Dillon Alley, and Kyle Buttrum finished fourth, fifth and sixth.
Only Chase Burgess, of Lamar, prevented a perfect score for the home team with his third place effort. Lamar claimed the runner-up trophy with 50 points, and Wheaton was third with 60, led by Jakob Beck's ninth place finish.
Cassville was short on runners and did not figure in the team scoring, but Jeremy Ashwell and Willie Linenbrink both collected medals, finishing 12th and 16th respectively. Josiah Jones and Trenton Patton, of Purdy, placed seventh and eighth for the Eagles.
Beaver turned in an amazing run on the weather-damaged course. Even with soft turf and mud on many sections of the course, she bounded to a sub-20 minute time with seemingly little effort. Her College Heights team claimed fourth, sixth, seventh, and 14th places behind her for their 26 point total.
Cassville had five of its varsity girls medal at Southwest. Jessica Barrientos finished in second place with a time of 22:14. Tia Baker followed close behind with a fifth place finish and a time of 22:47.
Other Ladycat medalists were: Danielle Krumwiede, 17th, 25:45; Courtney Beagle, 18th, 25:48; and Hannah Elkins, 20th, 26:50.
"It was a good meet, and the kids ran well," said Cassville Coach Chris Shore.
Middle school results
In the middle school races, the winners were Savannah Beaver, of College Heights, and Drew Buckner, of Lamar. Brittany Schultz and Colleen Nuez, of Purdy, were the highest finishing local girls, taking sixth and eighth. Michaela Mitchell, of Southwest, was 10th and Emily Cooper, of Cassville, was 23rd.
Cassville placed three boys in the top 10 of the middle school boys race with Kyle Burbridge, Cory Stehlik and Cole Beagle taking eighth, ninth, and 10th places. Jordan Shore medaled in 14th place for Cassville.
Southwest's Kyle Miller finished fourth to claim a medal, and Wheaton runners Darrell Burns and John Sherwood finished sixth and seventh respectively.
With the middle school season concluded, the focus shifts to the district meets on Nov. 1.
Southwest will compete at Reeds Spring on Oct. 25 as a final tuneup for its Class 2 District 7 meet at Ash Grove. Cassville will compete in the powerful Class 3 District 6 meet at Monett, while Purdy and Wheaton travel to Joplin for the Class 1 District 5 meet.
On Saturday, Cassville runners will compete at East Newton for the Big 8 Conference meet.