On a cool, crisp overcast morning Saturday at Clover Dell Park, it was one of the most successful finishes for the Smith-Cotton Tiger boys and girls cross country teams in the 11-team S-C Invitational.
With temperatures climbing into the low 60s and a cool, southeast breeze blowing across the course, former S-C cross country coaching legend Leonard Butler shot off the starting pistol for the girls junior varsity run at 8:30 a.m.
In the varsity boys’ 3.1-mile event at the south end of the park, the S-C boys placed four runners in the top 15 finishers and claimed first-place with 51 points. In the girls’ varsity run, Lady Tiger senior Rachel Howieson earned a second-place medal, finishing behind defending champion Amy Schroeder of Stover. Schroeder, who just took up cross country last year, made it all the way to the state championship at Jefferson City and finished sixth.
There were just five full teams in the boys varsity run and no complete teams in the girls’ varsity event. However, runners came from all over including area schools, Smith-Cotton, Smithton, Cole Camp and Stover. Hermitage and Humansville came from the southern part of the state along with St. Mary’s and Lone Jack from the Kansas City area and our northern neighbor Marshall.
For the S-C varsity boys Chris Sanchez finished ninth, Ayden Bartley eighth, Chancey Jonson fifth and Isaac Rae fourth.
Cole Camp’s Timothy Ward finished third in the boys’ varsity run. Deaven Kaiser of Smithton took home a 14th-place medal.
The varsity boys’ winner from St. Mary’s clocked in at 16:45.
Out of five complete boys varsity teams, S-C won with 51 points.
Schroeder won the girl varsity event for the second straight year with a time of 20:26. Howieson took second for her best cross country finish of her senior season.
In the boy’ junior varsity run, Smithton placed four runners in the top 10. Isaac Calvert, Tyler O’Connell, Joe Adams and Jacob Peck finished in the top 10. There were no full teams, so no team scores were calculated.
Not only was the event one of the most successful in years at the S-C Invitational, the 11 schools were believed to be the most schools entered in the event. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.