On Friday, Nov. 5, the El Dorado Springs Cross Country team were given a nice sendoff through the high school, led by the high school band, as they prepared to head to Columbia for the Class 3 State Cross Country Meet. After the wonderful send off by the high school, and a few pictures taken, the cross country members loaded up on the bus and were led away with an incredible escort out of town by the fire department. Truly remarkable sendoff. The team then headed to Columbia as they were allowed to examine and practice on the state course at Gans Creek Park in Columbia, the day before the meet. After an inspection of the course and a great meal Friday evening, the Bulldogs headed back to the hotel and settled in for the night, preparing themselves for the possibility of an incredible day ahead. As Saturday rolled in, the teams prepared themselves to head to the course, for the business at hand. They made it to the course around 11:30 with the boys team race set for 1:30.

Finally, after all of the waiting, the anticipated start of the race had finally arrived. After final instructions were given, the gun was sounded and the runners were on their way. Daelen Ackley led the way for the Bulldogs. He has dealt with injury all season long, and that did have an affect on the race, but Daelen still finished 2nd, capping off an incredible 4 year high school career in cross country. Now he looks to heal up and turn his attention to track in the spring and finish his high school career off on a high note. Connor Goatley finished 18th for the Bulldogs with a personal best time of 16:49. These two finished with All-State honors, as the top 25 are considered All-State. Garrett Klaiber had a great race, but just missed the top 25, finishing 29th, with a personal best time of 17:04. Blayze was the Bulldogs 4th runner, finishing with a season best time of 18:20. James King rounded out our top 5 runners. These 5 runners were joined by Kyan Roberts and Kolton Nichols to find themselves in 5th place as a team, just 2 points out of 4th. We set ourselves up for a great day and put ourselves in position for a podium, top 4 finish, but in the end, just couldn’t quite break through. Overall a great day, and Definitely a great season for the Bulldog Boys team.

Next up, the Girls Class 3 State Championship race. This race, the girls got out conservatively and built throughout the race. The girls were led by Hannah Klaiber, who had a strong race, finishing 11th, with a personal best, school record breaking time of 19:30. Not too far behind was teammate, Audrey Goatley. Audrey finished 17th overall, with a personal best time of 19:52. These two were our All-State finishers, however, teammate Kenli Rader, didn’t miss by much, finishing 38th with a personal best time of 20:41. This was a great race for Kenli, and a great way to finish off her high school cross country career. These three joined with Olivia Graves, Morgan Mitchell, Clara Farran, and Myka Barger to find themselves in 10th place as a team. Unfortunately, they were missing Junior, Colbie Wood, as she was unable to run the District and State race due to health issues. We are hoping to get her back healthy next year.

Overall, it was a great day. We had 4 personal best or season best times run on the boys side, as well as an additional 4 personal best or season best times run on the girls side as well. Everyone rose to the occasion, and made this truly a great day to be a Bulldog. We are extremely proud of how they all ran. A great way to wrap up the season. The Bulldog Cross Country team will have their Awards Banquet on Thursday evening at 6:30 in the middle school, high school cafeteria to wrap up and celebrate a great season.

The team would like to send out some thank you’s, as we wrap up the season. First off, Thank you to the Eldo Athletic Booster Club, Optimist Club and Nine Wonders Optimist Club for helping out with the finances for meals. We would also like to thank the school for the great sendoff, everyone involved in organizing it, and the band, for leading the way, and playing out proud. We would like to thank the Incredible fire department for the escort out of town. We would also like to thank all of the great parents and fans that have shown their support this season. On behalf of the coaching staff and team. Thank you. GO BULLDOGS!