Barry County will be represented in all three classes of the 2008 Missouri State Cross Country Championships this Saturday.
In Class 3, the Cassville Ladycats qualified a pair of runners to the state meet. Jessica Barrientos, a Cassville High School sophomore, was Cassville's top district qualifier. She finished 11th in a time of 23:00.
Senior Tia Baker will also be competing at the state meet. She placed 14th at districts with a time of 23:19.
Senior Courtney Beagle also ran a strong race but ended up just outside of the top 15. She placed 21st with a time of 24:38.
The Cassville girls team missed qualifying for state as a team by three points. The Ladycats finished third behind West Plains and McDonald County.
"We moved to a different district and we knew it would be tough," said Coach Chris Shore. "We ran as good as we possibly could and just fell three points short. I was very proud of our effort and I am proud of both Tia and Jessica who qualified for state."
Holden placed three runners in the top six and shocked local powers East Newton and Southwest in the Class 2, District 7 championships at Ash Grove on Saturday.
Despite failing to qualify as a team, the Trojans did end up with four district medalists who qualified for the state meet.
Jacob Jennings was Southwest's top finisher in eighth place followed by Caleb Mitchell in ninth and Dillon Alley and Luke Hackett in 12th and 13th respectively.
Audrey Patton, of Purdy, took second at the Class 1, District 6 meet held in Joplin on Saturday to advance to the state meet. She completed the course in a time of 22:05.
In addition, the Wheaton girls team captured second place honors at the district meet to advance to state. Individual Lady Bulldog medalists were: Shannon Burns, ninth; Leah Jones, 10th; and Samantha Etzler, 13th. Other members of the girls' team who will be competing at state are Brittney Peters, Shirley Galvan, Raschelle Hickman, Jessica Pettengill and Kaitlin England.
Individual boy qualifiers from the area included: Trenton Patton, of Purdy, seventh, 18:41; Josiah Jones, of Purdy, ninth, 18:48; Jakob Beck, of Wheaton, 10th, 18:53; and Ben Cooper, of Wheaton, 14th, 19:06.
The Wheaton boys missed qualifying for state as a team by just four points.
"I am proud of our athletes," said Wheaton Coach Darrell Crane. "It was a tight race for the boys. We had some personal bests."