Jackson, Central claim team titles at Jackson Invitational cross county meet

Sunday, September 2, 2012
The boys junior race begins in the Jackson Invitational cross country meet on Saturday at Jackson City Park. (Fred Lynch)

Area teams held their own against stiff competition in the weather-threatened Jackson Invitational cross country meet on Saturday.

"We're very happy to get it in," Jackson coach Andrea Talley said. "With the heavy rains last night, it was questionable."

Eighteen teams, including boys and girls in junior and senior high schools, competed in the annual event. Unlike most cross country meets where athletes of all grade levels compete against each other, runners in the Jackson Invitational compete only against boys or girls in the same grade.

In perhaps the most compelling race of the day, Central's Maddy McDonald battled Kirkwood's Bridget Sheridan for the individual title in the girls sophomore division.

"They were back and forth throughout the race," Central coach Mark Hahn said. "Typically, in a race that long, you get maybe one, two or three challenge moments, but they had multiple challenges. That was one of the toughest races of the day."

The boys junior race begins in the Jackson Invitational cross country meet Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 at Jackson City Park. (Fred Lynch)

McDonald's eventual second-place finish helped the Central girls earn the team title. The Tigers squeaked by with a one-point margin of victory over Kirkwood and two-point margin over Mehlville for the team title.

Class 1 Oak Ridge fared well against bigger schools in the senior boys division.

Led by all-stater Ethan Seyer, who finished sixth, the team of Jake LeGrand (16th), Corvin Schoen (18th) and Austin Wunderlich garnered a third-place team trophy.

"We have a very good team this year, probably the best we've ever had," said Seyer, who has progressed exponentially each year at the state meet. He finished 32nd as a freshman, 16th as a sophomore and eighth as a junior.

Oak Ridge coach Jason Niswonger feels this group can achieve much more throughout the season.

Oak Ridge’s Ethan Seyer runs in the senior race of the Jackson Invitational cross country meet. (Fred Lynch)

"We have some work to do the rest of the year," Niswonger said. "My top guys weren't quite at the level I thought they would be. Some of that is due to the hot weather. We haven't had much speed work so far."

The Jackson freshmen boys, led by Caleb Bess (4th), Jackson Givens (5th) and Alex Phillips (8th) won its team title, as did the freshmen girls, paced by individual winner Chelsea Drum.

Jackson placed second for the sophomore boys, paced by the 1-2 finish of Jack Jeffers and Noah Weatherby.

The junior class finished third in team scoring with Matt Gibson and Gabe Underwood placing third and fourth.

Zhao Ni Dirnberger, who Talley referred to as the girls team leader, placed fourth in the senior girls division.

Jackson’s Matt Gibson runs in the junior race of the Jackson Invitational cross country meet. (Fred Lynch)

Kirkwood, with a large contingent of 70 athletes, was the overall team champion with three firsts and four seconds, all in the high school divisions.

Individual results

Senior boys

1. Jake Burch, Farmington, 12:48

2. Ben Neuhaus, Kirkwood, 12.49

Jackson's Zhao Ni Dirnberger runs in the girls senior race of the Jackson Invitational cross country meet Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 at Jackson City Park. (Fred Lynch)

3. Drew Wohlsuhlager, Mehlville, 13:10

4. Michael Rath, Kirkwood, 13:11

5. Luke Pelton, Poplar Bluff, 13:17

6. Ethan Seyer, Oak Ridge, 13:20

7. Andrew Bennett, Kirkwood, 13:25

8. Mike Hardway, Seckman, 13:35

9. Nate Martin, Jackson, 13:41.09

10. Braden Bien, Advance, 13:41.84

Team scores: 1.Kirkwood, 2. Seckman, 3. Oak Ridge, 4. Poplar Bluff, 5. Farmington, 6. Mehlville, 7.Cape Central

Senior girls

1. Katelyn Evans, Seckman, 15:34

2. Sam Dyroff, Kirkwood, 15:44

3. Jane Edmunds, Kirkwood, 16:25

4. Zhao Ni Dirnberger, Jackson, 16:31

5. Paige Blasberg, Kirkwood, 17:35

6. Madison Naes, Kirkwood, 17:47

7. Maggie Teson, Kirkwood, 17:54

8. Ally Brooks, Poplar Bluff, 17:57

9. Maranda Akers, Seckman, 18:37

10. Brianna Bone, Seckman, 18:48

Team scores: 1.Kirkwood, 2. Seckman

Junior boys

1. Nick Bewen, Mehlville, 13:07

2. Bailey Davidson, Poplar Bluff, 13:18

3. Matt Gibson, Jackson, 13:34

4. Gabe Underwood, Jackson, 13:36

5. Trey Pratt, Mehlville, 13:39

6. Charlie Hooks, Kirkwood, 13:50

7. Caleb Heiney, Mehlville, 13:54

8.David Edwards, Kirkwood, 13:55

9. T J Hadly, Farmington, 14:02

10. Kyle Wyttenback, Kirkwood, 14:19

Team scores: 1. Mehlville, 2. Kirkwood, 3. Jackson, 4. Seckman, 5. Cape Central

Junior girls

1. Tabitha Griffith, Farmington, 15:54

2. Gwen Werner, Mehlville, 16:18.02

3. Allison Huskey, Poplar Bluff, 16:18.45

4. Mackenzie Weakley, Farmington, 16:26

5. Annie Cockerline, Kirkwood, 16:28

6. Courtney Armon, Farmington, 16:46

7. Jessica McKenzie, Farmington, 17:27

8. Sam Parson, Farmington, 17:36

9. Jess Williams, Kirkwood, 18:12

10. Brittney Hazelwood, Jackson, 18:26

Team scores: 1. Farmington, 2. Kirkwood, 3. Jackson, 4. Oak Ridge, 5. Mehlville

Sophomore boys

1. Jack Jeffers, Jackson, 13:36

2. Noah Weatherby, Jackson, 13:52

3. Trevor Rogan, Kirkwood, 13:59

4. Parker Thellman, Seckman, 14:14

5. Sam Hooks, Kirkwood, 14:17

6.Julian Rhodes, Mehlville, 14:18.32

7. Levi Krauss, St. Vincent, 14:18.82

8. Jack Mullendore, Kirkwood, 14:19

9.Austin Keller, Jackson, 14:27

10. Jesse Perry, Scott City, 14:30.03

Team scores: 1. Kirkwood, 2. Jackson, 3. St. Vincent, 4. Seckman

Sophomore girls

1.Bridget Sheridan, Kirkwood, 16:41

2. Maddy McDonald, Cape Central, 16:53

3. Kenzie Georgi, Mehlville, 17:02

4. Taylor Winnie, Jackson, 17:12.11

5. Maggie Dickherber, Kirkwood, 17:12.88

6. Sabrina Gretzmacher, Seckman, 17:16

7. Bridgett Trepasso, Cape Central, 17:28

8. Hayley White, Cape Central, 17:35

9. Cassidy Harris, Poplar Bluff, 17:41

10. Mikaela Weiseman, Fox, 17:42

Team scores: 1. Cape Central, 2. Kirkwood, 3. Mehlville, 4. Seckman, 5. Jackson, 6. Fox, 7. Dexter

Freshmen boys

1.Colton Kassen, Jefferson, 10:51

2. Isaiah Williams, Poplar Bluff, 11:04

3. Caleb Bess, Jackson, 11:56

4. Logan Wright, Cape Central, 12:00

5. Jackson Givens, Jackson, 12:03

6. Shakur Watson, Seckman, 12:04

7.Micah Hofman, Kirkwood, 12:14

8. Alex Phillips, Jackson, 12:22

9. Zachary Moore, Oak Ridge, 12:28

10. Drew Wagner, Kirkwood, 12:31

Team scores: 1. Jackson, 2. Kirkwood, 3. Cape Central, 4. Seckman, 5. Farmington, 6. Oak Ridge, 7. Zalma

Freshmen girls

1. Chelsea Drum, Jackson, 12:56

2. Sydney Neite, Mehlville, 13:37

3. Hannah Shemonia, Scott City, 13:51

4. Kelsey Evans, Seckman, 14:01

5. Carlee Williamson, Jackson, 14:16

6. Carli Knott, Jackson, 14:17

7. Zakia Hickman, Poplar Bluff, 14:37

8. Elaine Hubble, Mehlville, 14:42

9. Jasmine Coleman, Farmington, 14:44

10. Madison Thompson, Farmington, 14:47

Team scores: 1. Jackson, 2. Farmington, 3. Mehlville, 4 Seckman, 5 Kirkwood, 6. Oak Ridge, 7. Poplar Bluff

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