Scott City boys prepare for state cross county meet

Friday, November 6, 2009
Scott City's Brandon Shemonia leads Herculaneum's Alex Mason and Arcadia Valley's Caleb Sutton during Saturday's Class 2 District 1 meet in St. Louis. (TONI HAMMES ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian)

The weekend forecast for Jefferson City, Mo., calls for temperatures in the high 50s with little chance for rain.

That is welcome news for Scott City cross country runner Brandon Shemonia.

Shemonia had some battle scars Saturday from his run at the Class 2 District 1 meet at Jefferson Barracks Park in St. Louis County, in the form of mud on his legs, arms and face.

Shemonia was leading the race after a mile when he had his mishap.

"There was a sharp turn and then a big mud puddle," Shemonia said. "I went straight down."

He lost his lead but not his focus.

"It's tough to come back mentally after a fall like that," Shemonia said. "I just had to keep my concentration and realize that this was just the district race. State is what matters."

And the state meet is coming up Saturday at the Oak Hill Golf Center in Jefferson City, where Shemonia and the rest of the first-year Rams boys team will be competing. The Scott City boys advanced to state as a team by the narrowest of margins as it tied for second with Crystal City but won the tie-breaker of the fastest sixth runner. Only the top two teams and top 15 individuals move on to the state meet.

Shemonia already had qualified individually with a third-place finish, which bodes well for him Saturday.

"This is the toughest district in the state," Shemonia said. "I think that five of the top six runners in the state come from this district."

Last year the district featured the overall team champion, Herculaneum, as well as four of the top seven and six of the top 12 individual finishers.

"I really think that there are three or four guys who can win it all and I hope that I am one of those," Shemonia said. "My goal right now is to finish in the top three, but I want to win it."

Some of Shemonia's toughest competition should come from the two runners who finished ahead of him at districts, Alex Mason of Herculaneum and Caleb Sutton of Arcadia Valley.

But Shemonia can go into the state meet knowing he was ahead of both of those runners before his fall.

"I think Brandon has a chance to do very well," Scott City coach Travis Schiwitz said. "He has a chance to be in the top five for sure."

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