Brandow, Holman, Prince and Shaw earn honors

As the last runners trickled across the finish line of the MSHSAA Class Three, District Four boys cross-country championship Saturday in Warrenton, John Wilbers was both pensive and excited.
"Good competition today," the Mexico coach said. "It's going to be close. It's going to be really close."
When the final results were tallied, Wilbers' prediction came through; only seven points separated the Bulldogs from O'Fallon's St. Dominic Crusaders and just four more from the Hannibal Pirates. Regardless of the margin, the Bulldogs are district champions.
"There were a number of surprises today, including the intensity of the competition," Wilbers said. "We did pretty extensive stats going into the district races to size up the other teams and plan our strategies against the top teams. However, St. Dominic and Hannibal were much stronger teams than we expected and made the race intense."
The boys were led by sophomore Malik Holman. Holman covered the 5k course in 17 minutes 6 seconds to win top individual honors. Senior Alex Shaw also earned all-district honors by finishing fifth in 17 minutes 55 seconds. The Bulldogs were further aided by strong performances by juniors Spencer Freeman and Raven Twenter, senior Sam Fayad and sophomore Jordan Jones.
"Within our team there were a number of changeups during the race, notably with Jordan having a personal breakthrough run; finishing third for our team and missing the title of all-district by less than two seconds," Wilbers said. "Jordan was followed shortly by Spencer and Raven, which combined with the top performance of Alex and Malik was enough to walk away with the championship."
The victory was the second consecutive district championship for the Bulldogs. Last year, the team went on to finish 14th at the MSHSAA Class Three state championship race. This year's squad will have the opportunity to improve on that finish Saturday at Oak Hills Golf Course in Jefferson City.
In the girls race, the results were similarly close with the Bulldogs coming out on the wrong side of the narrow margin. The Bulldogs finished third, only eight points short of the second place St. Charles Warriors and a berth in Saturday's class three state championship race.
Senior Jami Brandow led the girls with her second place finish in 20 minutes 51 seconds. Junior Madeleine Prince also earned all-district honors, finishing eighth in 22 minutes 3 seconds.
"Jami and Maddie were indisputably deserving of the all-district honors they each earned," Wilbers said. "These co-captains did what they trained for all year and looked tremendous throughout the race. They were determined and strong looking."
The efforts of Brandow and Prince allow them to join the boys team in Jefferson City Saturday, competing as individuals in the state championship. The boys are scheduled to run at noon while the girls will run at 1:05 p.m.
Complete Results:

Team Scores
Varsity Boys
1. Mexico 64
2. St. Dominic 71
3. Hannibal 75
4. St. Charles 95
5. St. Charles West 117
6. Warrenton 133
7. Battle 141
8. Duchesne 205
Varsity Girls
1. St. Charles West 60
2. St. Charles 76
3. Mexico 84
4. Duchesne 95
5. Battle 123
6. Warrenton 137
7. St. Dominic 158
8. Hannibal 181

Individual Results
Varsity Boys
1. Holman, Malik 17:06.32
5. Shaw, Alex 7:55.50
16. Jones, Jordan 18:52.32
19. Freeman, Spencer 19:02.87
23. Twenter, Raven 19:21.55
26. Fayad, Sam 19:30.93
Varsity Girls
2. Brandow, Jami 20:51.84
8. Prince, Madeleine 22:03.07
22. Fischer, Leslie 23:32.30
24. Owings, Rachael 23:56.19
28. Hightshoe, Rachel 24:23.20
34. Riddick, Keagan 25:37.33
39. Shaw, Amber 26:28.33