Runners earn four individual medals

Mexico cross-country runners earned four individual medals and the boys team raced to a third-place finish at the highly competitive Blue Race at the Helias Invitational Saturday in Jefferson City.
"The meet went well," head coach John Wilbers said. "They redesigned the course this year and its even more hilly than usual. Our team usually does pretty well on hills and our kids either held their own or passed other runners on the major hills of the course."
Like many large meets the Helias Invitational was comprised of a category for large schools and small schools. The Bulldogs competed in the large school division and the boys were the top finisher among class three programs. The girls only fielded two runners and did not compete in team scoring.
Sophomore Malik Holman took top individual honors in the boys race. Holman's time of 16:54.00 gave him a 17 second cushion over second-place Jackson Swartz of Jefferson City. Senior Alex Shaw's time of 17:50 was good for sixth in the boys race. Senior Jamie Brandow earned 12th and junior Madeleine Prince finished 20th in the girls race after struggling with race position on the narrow course.
"This course had a classic cross country section, literally a single path trail in the woods for a quarter mile. This was a fun new challenge, although during the girls race both Maddie and Jami got caught behind a slower runner and could not pass," Wilbers said. "However, that's part of the unexpected fun and challenge of a true non-track distance running sport."
Despite Holman and Shaw's impressive performances, the real hero of the day for the boys was junior sixth-man Raven Twenter. After finishing in a tie with Hazelwood West High School, Twenter's finish in 32nd place gave the Bulldogs the tie-breaker necessary to take third place.
Mexico cross-country returns to action Tuesday when the junior varsity harriers will compete at the Centralia Invitational. Varsity next competes Saturday at the NCMC championship in Boonville.
Individual Results:
Blue Race
1. Malik Holman 16:54.00
6. Alex Shaw 17:50.00
27. Spencer Freeman 19:00.31
29. Sam Fayad 19:07.38
30. Jordan Jones 19:19.00
32. Raven Twenter 19:20.22
12. Jamie Brandow 21:49.00
20. Madeleine Prince 23:14.00