A number of area runners and coaches were honored recently by the Southwest Missouri Cross Country Coaches Association at its annual meeting in Springfield on Nov. 12.
As expected, College Heights received the most attention, as the Cougars reaped the rewards for their outstanding season. Daniel Lewis, of College Heights, was honored as Coach of the Year in Class 1 girls, and both Caleb Hoover and Emily Beaver received Athlete of the Year awards in Class 1 boys and Class 1 girls respectively.
Mark Sabala, of Hermitage, received the Coach of the Year Award for Class 1 Boys.
Ben Cooper, Wheaton's talented freshman, was selected to the Class 1 Boys All-Area second team, while Trenton Patton and Josiah Jones, of Purdy, received honorable mention recognition.
In Class 1 girls, Leah Jones, of Wheaton, earned All-Area second team, and Audrey Patton, of Purdy, received honorable mention.
Jake Holt, of East Newton, was named Coach of the Year in both Class 2 boys and girls, a rare feat indeed. His Patriot teams finished second at state in girls and sixth in boys to cap an excellent season.
Tyler Compton, of Buffalo, and Arielle Miller, of East Newton, were honored as the Class 2 Athletes of the Year by the association.
Both Caleb Mitchell and Jacob Jennings, of Southwest, were named to the All-Area first team, and teammate Luke Hackett received honorable mention. Mitchell, Jennings, Hackett and Dillon Alley also earned All-District recognition for their top 15 finishes at the Class 2 District 7 meet.