In unseasonably warm weather, Bulldogs cross-country took to the challenging course at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City for the MSHSAA class three state cross-country championship Saturday.
After winning the district championship in Warrenton one week prior, the boys team finished 15th at the state championship.
Sophomore Malik Holman and senior Jami Brandow earned all-state honors by placing in the top-25. Holman ran the 5,000 meter course in 16 minutes 34 seconds to earn 11th in the boys race.
"Malik and Jami were obvious highlights for the team," head coach John Wilbers said. "One thing I would mention about Malik is that he is sophomore, which makes his all-state performance even more outstanding.
I think this was one of the first races this year that Malik was truly surrounded by many runners of equal and greater calibur, which pushed him harder than he had ever yet experienced. At some point I think he could not feel his legs, but with his determination and training he knew what to do, and ran to victory."
Brandow had a breakthrough race, setting a personal record of 19 minutes 52 seconds on the notoriously difficult course. In 19th place at the one-mile mark, Brandow steadily passed other runners over the course of the race to finish 13th in the girls race.
"Something I would like to mention about Jami is that not only has she been a focused, determined, and very dedicated young lady and runner, but those qualities propelled her past the stats," Wilbers said. "If you look at all the runners in the field and made a prediction about her place before the race, it was good but not necessarily in the top 20.
Her 13th place finish was just a tremendous testament to her will-power, training, and heart. The Mexico spectators, her family, and her coaches were elated."
Senior Alex Shaw was the second finisher for the boys squad, finishing 84th. His time of 18 minutes 2 seconds improved on his 2012 state performance by over a minute.
"Anytime you finish under 19 on the state course that is a good run," Wilbers said. "I was proud of his last 5k for DXC, I think he had a sense too that he gave everything out there on the field that he could."
Sophomore Jordan Jones had another breakthrough race for the boys. Competing as a junior varsity athlete at the beginning of the season, Jones finished third on the team at state.
"Throughout this grueling race Jordan really did a good job of maintaining the fundamentals of running and moved up to third overall for our team," Wilbers said. "Although not earning a medal, his performance was really solid and nearly broke into the 18s at state. Already looking ahead to next year I can't wait to see what Jordan could do with continued dedicated training along with his strong teammates."
Page 2 of 2 - Junior Madeleine Prince, competing as an individual, finished 115th in the girls race.
"Madeleine had a steady effort and repeated a solid performance on par with last year," Wilbers said.
This was the second consecutive year the team has qualified for the state championship. The squad finished 14th in 2012.
"We are recognized in the state as a high-quality team with some of the best runners in the state, but despite all that success we have some work to do, because I would like to see the team place more highly at state," Wilbers said. "If we can continue to bring in enthusiastic and dedicated talent, and if the kids are willing to train in the off-season, we have the capacity to reach these high goals."
1. Potosi 71
2. Festus 90
3. Warrensburg 124
4. Liberty North 137
5. Moberly 187
6. Logan-Rogersville 194
7. Platte County 195
8. Pembroke Hill 214
9. Priory 220
10. M.I.C.D.S. 227
11. McDonald County 256
12. Grain Valley 261
13. Clayton 307
14. St. Dominic 307
15. Mexico 334
16. St. Mary's 441
11. Holman, Malik 16:34.52
84. Shaw, Alex 18:02.95
132. Jones, Jordan 19:02.19
150. Freeman, Spencer 19:27.13
153. Twenter, Raven 19:28.97
156. Hamilton, Alex 19:39.54
157. Fayad, Sam 19:50.96
13. Brandow, Jami 19:52.87
115. Prince, Madeleine 22:24.14