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Woodland to send three to state meet
ST. LOUIS -- Woodland cross country runner Corey Chapman has one goal next week when he runs at the Class 2 state meet in Jefferson City.
"I just don't want to come in last," Chapman said.
Chapman earned a spot at the state meet with a 15th-place finish at the Class 2 District 1 meet Saturday at Jefferson Barracks Park in St. Louis County.
"Last year I missed going to state by just four spots," Chapman said. "I knew it would be a close call again this year and I am just glad to be able to go to state. It feels good."
Chapman narrowly got in as only the top 15 runners and top two teams qualify from each district in Class 2.
Woodland senior Kyle Reynolds was on the other end of the spectrum as he crossed the line one spot away, finishing 16th.
Chapman, who finished in 19 minutes, 4 seconds, will be joined at state by junior Dylan Drum. Drum, who is running for the first time this year, technically became the first Woodland boys runner to make it to state as he finished 12th (18:32.24).
"I told myself that I'd get 12th place today, and that is exactly what I got," Drum said. "I was really surprised with how I ran today. Normally I get nervous before a race, but today I was calm with no nerves."
Chapman and Drum will be joined at state by Molly Arnzen. The freshman finished the girls race in seventh place with a time of 22:22.
She becomes the second Woodland girl to make it to state. Nikki Balzer qualified two years ago in the first year of cross country at the school.
"I usually get very, very nervous before a race, and today I was more nervous than I have ever been," Arnzen said. "I really wasn't sure if I would make it or not."
Arnzen broke her own school record with a time of 22:22.
"My goal today was to stay with the girls from Herculaneum as long as I could," Arnzen said. "They are really good."
The Blackcats are the defending Class 2 state champs, and won the girls team title.
Arnzen looks forward to running with that caliber of competition next weekend.
"I have finished in the top 10 in every race I have run this season," Arnzen said. "I don't know if I can do that at state, but I would love to finish in the top 25. I think I can do that."
Kelly was able to qualify one boy and one girl runner to the state meet, and they both did so with top-10 finishes Saturday afternoon.
Tara Johnson finished fifth in the girls race, while Cody Kern was eighth in the boys race.
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Team Scores -- Herculaneum 22, Aracdia Valley 54, Woodland 85, Crystal City 115, Hancock 123, Dexter 128, Confluence Prep Academy 176
Woodland -- 12, Dylan Drum; 15, Corey Chapman; 16, Kyle Reynolds; 20, Neil Johnson; 30, Hayden Mayfield
Kelly -- 8, Cody Kern; 21, Juan Campos; 28, Sam Nelson; 42, Patrick Moore
Team scores -- Herculaneum 23, Dexter 38, Woodland 73
Kelly -- 5, Tara Johnson 21:41; 28, Morgan Wheeler 27:34
Woodland -- 7, Molly Arnzen 22:22; 20, Juliet Dickey 25:11; 25, Johana Allen 26:21; 27, Tierney Vehrs 27:19; 31, Samantha Kinder 28:07