by: Brian Goatley

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the El Dorado Springs Cross Country team traveled to Buffalo for the 2022 Ozark Highland Cross Country Conference Championship meet.

The middle school girls got the Championships started. Adalynn Parker led the way, winning the Championships with a time of 9:20. This course was a 1.5 mile distance for the middle school athletes. The top 10 individuals medal and receive All-Conference honors. Karcyn Rader finished 2nd with a time of 10:55 followed shortly by Rhielynn Nichols in 3rd with a time of 10:58. A short time later, Riley Lee finished in 6th with a time of 11:12 with Rylie Wendt rounding out the middle school Lady Dogs with a 10th place finish with a time of 11:38. In the end, the girls team found themselves out front winning the Middle School Conference Team Championship.

The middle school boys headed to the start line next. Wyatt Klaiber led the way for the Bulldogs, winning the race with a very fast time of 7:29. He was joined by 4 other Bulldog runners to finish 1-5 places. Shane Fletcher was 2nd with a time of 9:12, Tyler Reasoner was 3rd with a time of 9:25, Carter Smith was 4th with a time of 9:31 and Isaac Coquillette finished 5th with a time of 10:10. Camden Watts also finished top 10, in 9th place with a time of 10:33. In the end, these 6 were joined by Wyatt Strawn, Tanner Barnett, Talon Robison and Gavin Boch, to win the middle school boys Conference Team Championship.

Next up for the Conference Championships was the High School Girls Race. Hannah Klaiber, Audrey Goatley and Colbie Wood worked together in the first half of the race, pushing the pace. When it was all said and done, Hannah Klaiber won the race with a time of 19:39 with Audrey Goatley just a step behind in 19:40, for 2nd place. Colbie Wood came in a short time later to place 4th with a time of 20:25. Hanna Ridgway finished 6th with a time of 21:22 with teammate Lela Brown rounding out the medalists with a 9th place finish in a time of 22:38. These 5 joined with Olivia Graves, Clara Farran and Myka Barger to win the High School Girls Team Conference Championship.

This leads to the last race of the day, which was the Boys High School Conference Championship race. Connor Goatley led the way for the Bulldogs, finishing 2nd, behind a really good Buffalo runner, with a time of 16:41. Shortly after, Garrett Klaiber finished 3rd with a time of 17:17 with teammate Logan Fisk finishing 5th with a time of 17:21. That duo was followed up by a pack of dogs, with Blayze McCullough leading the way, finishing 7th with a time of 17:53, followed by Braxton Watts in 8th with a time of 17:55 and Sylas Fletcher finishing it off in 9th with a time of 17:56. When the dust had settled these 6 runners joined with Kolton NIchols, Ryan Griffin, Kyan Roberts and Blake Loane to complete the Conference Championship Team Sweep, winning the High School Boys Conference Team Title.

Overall it was an incredible day for the Bulldogs. We ran this course just 5 days earlier and ran it well, so we didn’t know how the kids would do with a short turnaround, but they responded incredibly well. Next up for the Bulldogs will be the lone home meet which will be held out at the Golf Course here in town on Tuesday, Oct. 18, with the first race beginning at 4:00. After that, the middle school runners will finish their season on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Wheatland, running at Lucas Oil Speedway in the Missouri Middle School Championship meet. The high school runners will turn their attention to the postseason, running the Class 3 District meet the following Saturday, Oct. 29.

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