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Woodland's Jones qualifies for state cross country meet
The freshman placed 14th to qualify for the Cardinals
Bailey Jones' mother and the rest of her cheering section surrounded the Woodland freshman after the Class 2 District 1 cross country race Saturday.
They congratulated Jones and excitedly talked about making sure there would be enough room in the hotel next weekend.
That's because they planned to continue their enthusiastic support of Jones after she qualified for the Class 2 state cross country meet.
"It's awesome," Jones said about making the state meet. "I don't know how to say it."
Jones finished 14th, with the top 15 earning a spot in the state meet. She crossed the line in 23 minutes, 5.68 seconds at Jackson City Park.
"The strategy going in was to pace myself and get situated with the pack up front," she said.
Arcadia Valley's Saga Barzowski and Herculaneum's Kaitlyn Fischer jumped out to a huge lead on the rest of the pack, but Jones remained entrenched with the group behind the two leaders.
She enjoyed a sizable lead over Arcadia Valley's MaryGrace McGill in 15th place.
"Run faster," Jones said was all that was going through her mind as she approached the finish line.
Jones' road to the state meet didn't start until the school year began. She didn't run over the summer, instead waiting until practice started in August.
"I ran 6 miles most every day," she said.
She said reaching the state meet became her goal in sixth grade after watching her sister compete. Jones wasn't sure how she'd celebrate achieving her goal.
"I don't know, I'm just very excited," she said.
The state meet will be a family affair for Jones. Her cousin Aaron Yount placed 14th in the Class 2 boys race to join her at the state meet.
Jones was the lone local runner to qualify for the state meet. Saxony Lutheran's Rachael Gruenwald missed the state meet by one position. She was followed immediately by teammates Dakota Werner, Regan Obermann and Kristen Gruenwald, but the Crusaders finished third in the team standings with 77 points. Arcadia Valley finished second with 72 points, and only the top two teams advance to the state meet. Herculaneum won the team title with 20 points.
The state meet is scheduled for Saturday at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, Mo.
Team -- 1. Herculaneum 20; 2. Arcadia Valley 72; 3. Saxony Lutheran 77; 4. St. Pius 96; 5. Woodland 112
Top 15 -- 1. Saga Barzowski (AV) 19:12.33; 2. Kaitlyn Fischer (H) 19:16.99; 3. Mary Moloney (H) 21:09.17; 4. Brittany Bishop (H) 21:19.09; 5. Cheyenne McArthur (H) 21:32.33; 6. Hannah Bopp (CC) 22:20.90; 7. Kaylin Manes (H) 22:29.27; 8. Sarah Cook (H) 22:32.02; 9. Meghan Karoly (SP) 22:41.44; 10. Virginia Rice (CC) 22:42.66; 11. Ashley Eisenbeis (H) 22:48.35; 12. Kristen Keeney (J) 22:53.85; 13. Ana Barzowski (AV) 23:03.26; 14. Bailey Jones (W) 23:05.68; 15. MaryGrace McGill (AV) 23:14.03
Local top 5
Woodland -- 14. Bailey Jones 23:05.68; 27. Chandra Lincoln 25:49.85; 29. Taylor Toombs 26:10.67; 30. Cassidy Sawyer 26:10.86; 31. Valerie Lewis 26:24.58
Saxony Lutheran -- 16. Rachael Gruenwald 23:16.69; 17. Dakota Werner 23:37.02; 18. Regan Obermann 23:52.22; 19. Kristen Gruenwald 24:04.63; 22. Grace Hanebrink 24:20.78
Kelly -- 33. Tessa Johnson 27:35.89