by Brian Goatley
Friday the cross country teams were treated by a wonderful sendoff from the high school. It was pretty cool and the band did an awesome job leading them through the building. Thank you to all that were involved in planning it. The team greatly appreciated the honor. We were then escorted out of town by the fire department. Again, incredible sendoff to jump start our trip to the 2019 Inaugural State Cross Country Meet, held for the first time at Gans Creek Park in Columbia, MO. We got to the course to see it and run on it for the first time, Friday at 2:00. As a coach, I was really skeptical about the change in venues for the first time in 43 years, but my mind was quickly changed when we saw it for the first time. It is an incredible venue. After we finished our last practice of the season, we headed out to eat, hit the mall for a little bit and then head to bed to get ready for the big day on Saturday.
We got up early, ate and then got to the course around 7:45, Saturday morning. Finally at 9:35, the boys race was off and going. The boys got off to a great start with Daelen Ackley headed to the front from the very beginning. He battled back and forth with one other runner throughout the first two miles before pulling away in the 3rd mile to win the individual state championship with a new record-setting time of 15:39. The rest of the team didn’t disappoint as well, pushing themselves to a 5th place finish as a team. They came in picked to finish 7th or 8th. Couldn’t be more pleased with how they all ran as a team. It couldn’t have been a more perfect start to the day. Those joining Daelen were Trevyn Garinger, Brice Knoll, Connor Goatley, Blayze McCullough, James King and Austin Wiegel. Also, making the trip as alternates we’re Gavin Ring and Riley Quinlan.
On the girls side, Hannah Klaiber led the way finishing in 4th with a school record-breaking time of 19:50. Ashley Knoll previously held the record who was also in attendance to see her record be broken. Hannah joined Daelen to receive All-State honors. The rest of the team pushed themselves as well and when it was all said and done, the girls team, also consisting of Colbie Wood, Morgan Mitchell, Kenli Rader and Madison Hendricks, found themselves in 4th place as a team. This was an awesome way to cap off the day, as the top four teams in the state come home with a team trophy and medal. Also, a great way to cap off last race for lone senior, Abby Klaiber. This is the first team trophy that we have brought home in the 10 year existence of the program.
We challenged the kids to represent ElDo well and put El Dorado Springs on the map in the cross country community. They didn’t disappoint. They represented extremely well. I couldn’t be prouder as a coach.
Then to cap off the weekend , we came home to a nice pep rally greeting. It was an incredible way to cap off such an incredible weekend. Thanks again to everyone who had a part in the last minute planning and to those who came out and supported. It truly was a great way to cap off a dream of a weekend.
MEDAL WINNING GIRLS TEAM – For the first time in the history of the cross country program, an El Dorado Springs team brought home a medal from the state cross country meet. Only the top four team medal. The team which brought home the medal are (from left) Coach Brian Goatley, Colbie Wood, Kenli Rader, Abby Klaiber, Morgan Mitchell, Hannah Klaiber, Madison Hendricks and Coach Obert.