Cross country: The Tigers girls team won the title by two points.
ST. LOUIS -- Advancing to the state tournament for the first time in five years would have made the Class 4 sectional cross country meet a successful one for the Central girls squad.
But winning the sectional for the first time in school history made the meet at Jefferson Barracks Park a truly memorable one for the Tigers.
"This is certainly a good day for Cape Central cross country," Tiger coach Mark Hahn said. "This championship has been a long time coming."
Hahn had a long wait before the official scores were tallied and double checked. But he had a big smile on his face after doing some personal numbers crunching.
"Our No. 1 goal was getting the team on to state," said Hahn minutes after the conclusion of the race but before the official results were posted. "I am pretty excited to see the final results."
And the final results showed Central edged Rockwood Summit by two points, 67-69. Eureka and Lindbergh also qualified teams to the MSHSAA meet which will be held Saturday in Jefferson City.
"I felt if we all ran well that we would get the team on," said junior Brittany Moreland, who finished fifth overall. "It was in the back of my mind that we had a chance to win it."
Ronny Schabbing finished an impressive third overall Saturday. She was happy to break the 20-minute mark at the tough course -- Moreland did as well -- but even more happy for the team.
"Forget about me and what I did today," Schabbing said. "This was all about the team. It's great that we all get to go to state."
Moreland and Schabbing represented Central well last year at state with all-state performances. Moreland was eighth and Schabbing 25th.
"I would like to get back in the top 10 again," Moreland said. "All I am concentrating on is running my best next weekend. There are so many factors that figure in at the state meet."
Senior Tiffany Mead finished eighth, freshman Mary Dohogne 18th and freshman Lessley Dennington 44th for the Tigers. Rachel Burchyett turned an ankle during the race and was not able to finish.
"We had a game plan today of being more conservative in the first mile," Hahn said. "The girls ran a very smart race. It was a true team accomplishment today. And it is even more rewarding coming in the toughest sectional in the state."
Jackson was not able to get a girl on to state. Sophomore Jordan Whitener was the top Indians finisher at 35th.
Central senior Cole Bradley will be the lone area boy competing at the Class 4 state meet. He finished 16th. Junior Cody Green was the top Jackson runner, finishing 39th. The top 30 runners and top four teams advance to state from the sectional meet.
Parkway West had an outstanding day with three of the top four boys finishers, including champion Eric Fernandez. The Longhorns scored 28 points. CBC, Washington and Lafayette were the other team qualifiers out of the sectional.
Team scores -- Parkways West 28; C.B.C 66; Washington 75; Lafayette 104; Lindbergh 108; Jackson 168; Seckman 178; Cape Central 184.
Local individual scores
Jackson -- 39. Cody Green; 47. Chris Hurst; 49. Dustin Spooler; 53. Jared Foust; 59. Ben Cahill.
Central -- 16. Cole Bradley; 46. Roy Leighton; 55. Eric Schott; 74. Colin Summers; 75. Shawn Owens; 76. Jorday Pope.
Team Scores -- Cape Central 67; Rockwood Summit 69; Eureka 79; Lindbergh 95; Lafayette 102; Marquette 115; Cor Jesu Academy 176; Jackson 197.
Individual scores, Cape Central -- 3. Veronica Schabbing; 5. Brittany Moreland; 8. Tiffany Mead; 18. Mary Dohogne; 44. Lessley Dennington.
Individual scores, Jackson -- 35. Jordan Whitener; 37. Tori Parry; 55. Beth Barton; 56. Amber Crites; 70. Megan Nash.