by Head Cross County Coach Brian Goatley

On Friday, Nov. 3, the El Dorado Springs girls cross country team left for Jefferson City and the State Cross Country Meet with a big send off from the school. The school lined the walls as the girls were escorted through by the band’s drumline and followed up by the pepband which both did an amazing job. The girls got to say their last goodbyes and hear their last “good lucks” from teachers and students alike before boarding the bus to Jefferson City.

The team would like to extend a huge thank you to all who were involved in participating and organizing the great send off. They greatly enjoyed it, and it gave them a little extra pep in their step.

The team traveled up Friday afternoon to get one last practice in before the big meet, on the course they would race on. It was a good practice and girls were in high spirits, just ready to go.

After a good night, the team woke up early on Saturday, got ready and we all headed to the State meet at Oak Hills golf course around 7:30 a.m. This gave the girls time to get numbers pinned on as well as chip timers put on, and then get warmed up for the big race which was to start at 9 a.m.

The girls got to the start line, after one last team huddle and talk, ready to get the show started.

The girls all got a great start. They were on a mission, a mission to go out and try to reach the one last goal that they had set for themselves this season.

As the race unfolded, Senior Ashley Knoll, ended up finishing 13th with a time of 20:47.90. Ashley had to overcome some adversity late in the season to get to this point, yet was still able to push through, and finish this well, once again giving her All-State honors.

Senior Emily Ring was ElDo’s 2nd runner to come in, finishing in 47th place. Although, she just missed All-State honors, Emily finished her high school career running her personal best time, a time of 22:04.37, just missing the goal of breaking 22 minutes, by a little over 4 seconds. Emily has had a great year and grown so much. These two seniors will be greatly missed next year, performance wise but even more so, just by their leadership and how they conduct themselves.

Sarah King finished 75th in a time of 22:46.01. This was a little over a minute and a half faster than the time she ran this course in last year. Sarah will be one of our two senior leaders next year.

Abby Klaiber has pushed through a calf injury that has been nagging her for the last several weeks to be ElDo’s 4th runner, finishing with a time of 27:06.19. Lydia Eason was our 5th runner, finishing in a time of 27:58.74, followed by fellow freshman runner, Megan Griffin, with a personal best time of 28:07.27. Abby Cartwright wrapped the day up with a time of 28:38.09. Abby will join Sarah as one of our leaders next year.

In the end, the girls team ended up 13th as a team, just missing Lamar in 12th position by 1 point. Lamar has beat us pretty soundly the last couple times that we have raced, so to have the opportunity to beat them here, shows how competitive our girls ran.

We were really proud of how the girls ran today. This course is a tough course. Those who have been here before, know how to manage the course a little better, but the newcomers get a rude awakening for the first time at just how cruel and challenging this course can be.

So when you see that we had several set personal bests at this course, which is by no means flat, they really accomplished something.

Overall, this was a great year, one in which we will celebrate in the near future at our awards banquet.