The Monroe City Cross Country team appears to be headed in the right direction, making huge strides during recent meets. Head Coach Laura Mulvaney stated, “We wanted Cross Country to enhance our current track and field program and to also give our athletes an opportunity to participate in a sport that teaches discipline and endurance. This is a difficult sport and takes a lot of hard work and determination, and these athletes have shown that they are willing to work hard in order to be successful. Most meets have anywhere from 50 to 100 athletes running in each division, so to be able place and medal in the top 20 is an awesome feat for any athlete.”
On October 3, both the boys and girls traveled to Moberly to compete. The girls team were able to grab their first, first-place title this season. Mulvaney stated, “Moberly was a fun meet and a fun course that was true cross-country course. Much of the course was actually located in the woods, so our kids were excited and had a good time! Every one of our athletes run their best time at that meet and competed really well. I was proud of both the boys and girls, but it was really exciting for the girls to have won. We have came in second place several times, so to have their hard work finally recognized with a first place finish was a huge accomplishment for them.”
During the Moberly meet, Emmalee Williams finished with a time of 21:42.30 in fifth-place, Bailey Hays had a time of 21:50.10 in sixth-place, Hannah Wheeler ran the race with a time of 24:43.70 finishing in twenty-sixth-place, Alivia Chinn followed close behind with 24:43.10 in twenty-seventh, Lexie Birt ran the race in 25:04.30 in thirty-second place and Lauren Smith had a time of 25:08.90 coming in thirty-fourth place giving the team their first-place finish.
The boys finished in sixth place. Those placing in the race were Kaleb Griffin with a time of 19:58.22 in twenty-second place, Kabott Harlan ran the race in 20:04.78 and crossed the finish line in twenty-fourth place, William Ball had a time of 20:52.79 finishing with thirty-ninth place, Jackson Wheeler had a time of 21:03.69 in forty-fifth place and Shawn Terrill ran the race in 21:35.72 ending the race in forth-eighth place.
A few days later, the Cross-Country team traveled to Canton to compete in the Clarence Cannon Conference/NEMO Classic meet. The girls finished in third place overall with Williams and Hays earning First Team All CCC, along with Wheeler being named Second Team All CCC. Williams finished the race in fourth-place, Hays was in fifth-place, H. Wheeler finished in eleventh place, Birt crossed the finish line in eighteenth-place, L. Smith came in twentieth and Chinn finished in twenty-seventh out of 43 runners.
The boys had 16 runners to compete with in the NEMO Classic meet. Harlan finished in third place, Griffin came in with fourth place and J. Wheeler finished in sixth place. Coach Mulvaney shared the dedication of the athletes, stating, “Jackson has really made great strides, improving each meet since the very first one. Jackson ran a minute better than his previous time, coming in sixth place. I›ve been impressed by his positive attitude and how he has made adjustments and improvements each meet.”
Both teams traveled to Hannibal to compete on October 12 in a large race with strong competitors. “Hannibal was the toughest course that we have been on and it was the coldest day of the year, but our kids showed that we have some of the toughest runners around,”
Coach Mulvaney explained. Despite the challenge, the girls team was able to grab a second-place title with 49 runners entering the race. Coach Mulvaney stated, “This was a huge meet for Hannah, Alivia, Lexie, and Lauren. Each of them improved their overall best time by over a minute helping the girls team come in second place to a very large and solid team from St. Louis,” adding, “The boys had an awesome showing, with Kaleb placing eighteenth and Kabott coming in at twentieth.”
On October 15, the teams traveled to Centralia. The girls were able to grab a fourth-place finish with Williams and Hays receiving medals. Coach Mulvaney shared, “Centralia was a tough day because we were just coming back from having a hard meet at Hannibal just a few days earlier, but the runners really put forth their best efforts. Lexie Birt improved her overall best time and has really been improving the last three meets. Kabott and Kaleb both ran excellent times, coming in twenty-first and twenty-second respectively. I have been very impressed with their growth as runners.”