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Monroe City Cross Country athletes at the Class 2 State Meet. Pictured L to R Kabott Harlan, Logan Lucas, Kaleb Griffin, Kirbyn Cheek, Jackson Wheeler, Emmalee Williams, Lauren Smith and Ella Hays.

The Monroe City Cross Country team laced up their tennis shoes and headed to the Class 2 State Meet in Columbia on Friday, November 6. MCR-1 District students lined the street with signs and cheered the athletes on as they left town. Prior to their send off, a Pep Assembly was held in the high school gymnasium.

Head Coach Laura Mulvaney stated, "This year's State meet was both exciting and rewarding. We always know that State at the end of the season is a possibility, but this year it was always up in the air due to quarantines and restrictions, so to be able to experience the State meet and give these athletes the opportunity to compete at the State level is just unreal!

After barely missing the chance of taking their whole team to State, the 3 that qualified individually went to Columbia on a mission to show everyone how tough of a group they are, and they did just that! Lauren, who ran her personal best time by about 20 seconds at Districts, came into State and was able to perform better than half the runners on the course."

The boys’ team finished the race in twelfth place overall. Running in the race was teammates Kabott Harlan finishing with a time of 17:51.0 in 32nd place, Logan Lucas had a time of 17:52.8 in 33rd place, Kaleb Griffin crossed the finish line in 19:19.2 in 108th, Jackson Wheeler finished in 119th place with a time of 19:29.6 and Korbyn Cheek finished in 160th place with a time of 21:29.2.

Coach Mulvaney added, "After seeing success at Districts, the boys were wanting to just get some experience and place as high as possible. During the week prior to State, each of them set goals of what they wanted to accomplish, and although they didn't all achieve those goals, they have nothing to hang their heads about! They had a terrific season and I couldn't be happier with their hard work and dedication to this sport."

Competing in the individual girls’ race was three Monroe City Panther runners. Emmalee Williams ran the race placing 12th in the Class 2 State Meet and earned a medal. Coach Mulvaney shared, "Emmalee is Monroe City's first ever State medalist in cross country, earning a medal out of over 160 runners." Williams ran the race with a time of 21:09.5. Ella Hays finished in 28th place with a time of 22:23.1. Hays just missed earning a state medal by three points. Lauren Smith placed 82nd with a time of 24:11.4.