by Head Coach Brian Goatley

On Saturday, Oct. 28, the El Dorado Springs cross country team traveled to the Pomme De Terre Dam Outlet Park just outside of Hermitage for the Class 2, District 7 Cross Country meet.

The dam is one of the featured obstacles in this race, as the athletes race up the side of the dam about a quarter of a mile into the 5k (3.1 mile) race. The temperatures were in the upper 30’s at race time. What was at stake was a trip to the MSHSAA Class 2 State Cross Country meet, held at Oak Hills Golf Course in Jefferson City on Saturday, Nov. 4. To punch a ticket to the state meet an athlete would have to finish in the top 15 individually or teams would have to place in the top two teams to move on.

The girls team got things started with their race beginning at 10:30 am. Senior Ashley Knoll led the way finishing 3rd with her fastest time on this course in a time of 21:33.32. Ashley was joined by teammates Emily Ring (Senior) and Sarah King (Junior) as individual qualifiers. Emily Ring ran her overall, personal best time of 22:17.51 to finish 7th. Emily ran with a focus today that we have not seen, a focus that showed that nobody was going to take this opportunity from her. It was really nice to see. Emily has worked so hard and been on the outside looking in several times, but the hard work and determination finally paid off in her senior year. Couldn’t be prouder as a coach for her.

Sarah finished 15th with a time of 23:45.97. At this point, the waiting began, to see how we would fair as a team, and the results were out, and we found out that we ended up 2nd as a team, so the rest of the team would be able to join these three.

Sophomore Abby Klaiber was our 4th runner, finishing 32nd. Abby has been battling a calf injury and ran in pain. We are really proud of Abby, because, despite the pain, she pushed through for the team, and is a big reason this team is moving on. Freshman, Lydia Eason was our 5th runner and ran a personal best time of 26:57.78 to finish 38th. On the team are Abby Cartwright and Megan Griffin. Overall, this girls team ran with a great deal of heart and determination.

The boys team got things started with their race beginning at 11:30 am. Junior Caleb Mooney led the way, just missing qualifying by two spots. Caleb finished 17th with a personal best time of 18:43.34. Joining Caleb on the personal best trail were teammates Garin McCullick (Sophomore), Brice Knoll (Freshman) and brother, Gavin Mooney (Junior). Garin finished 22nd in a time of 19:18.69. Brice finished 25th in a time of 19:28.97. Gavin finished 42nd with a time of 20:41.30.

Also participating for the boys team was Junior Nick Raddatz and Freshman Trevyn Garringer. Nick just missed a personal best time by 3 seconds, but beat his best time on this course by a minute, running it in 21:39. Trevyn injured his hamstring earlier in the week, so wasn’t quite at full strength, but showed a great deal of guts and determination and ran well considering all things. When it was all over, the boys team ended up 4th overall. When we entered the weekend, I thought it would be a great weekend if we could finish in the top five and so top four made me really excited as a coach.

This boys team is a young team. We do not graduate anyone this year and this team has grown so much this year. Really looking forward to what next year can hold for this team. Couldn’t be prouder of how this team ran as a whole.

There was also a JV/Open race at the end for those not in the varsity races. Freshman Tevis Edmiston ran 47 seconds faster than his earlier race on this course this year, running his 2nd fastest time of the year. This is the first year that Tevis has run, so there was a big learning curve for Tevis. He has done well and learned a great deal about himself. Really proud of his growth this year.

Freshman Gavin Ring took almost three minutes off of his time from when he ran this course earlier in the season. Gavin has run with us since 7th grade. He is just now beginning to understand how to push himself. Nice to see the direction he is headed.

We had some Middle Schoolers run the open race. 8th grader Daelen Ackley led the way for the boys. Daelen finished 2nd overall, with a fast time of 18:29. Also joining Daelen on the boys side were 7th graders Garrett Klaiber and Connor Goatley. Both ran really well and faster than expected.

8th grader Kenli Rader led the way for the girls finishing first overall with a very respectable time of 22:28. This was a big jump for the Middle Schoolers as they normally race 1.5 miles and this was the full 3.1 mile course, including the dam.

Overall, I couldn’t be prouder of how things went on Saturday. The girls team will get started with the 2017 MSHSAA State Championships Class 2 race beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4.