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Cross Country

High School Cross Country: Jackson teams place in top eight at Ft. Zumwalt North Twilight Invite

The Jackson cross country teams were each able to place in
the top eight of this year’s Ft. Zumwalt North Twilight Invitational as the
boys took sixth while the girls finished in eighth place.

The boys scored a total of 152 points to do so as Lee’s
Summit West took first with 94. The girls ended up with a score of 238 as Lee’s
Summit West had 33 to take first.

Lee’s Summit West girls team won last year’s Class 4 State
Championship while the boys team placed sixth overall at state in 2018.

The Indians head coach Andrea Talley described the meet as
“very competitive” but also as a new adventure since it was held at night.

“The Twilight meet was a very competitive meet with fast
times as a result,” Talley said. “But it was a ‘new adventure’ with the muddy
footing, darkness in many places — here the lights from golf course did not
illuminate — and a hard course to read. We rarely run night races, so it was a
fun challenge.”

The invitational included three other teams from Class 4
District 1, which were Farmington, Lindbergh and Rockwood Summit.

Lindbergh placed ahead of the boys team at fourth place with
137 points as the Farmington Knights  and
Flyers placed ahead of the Jackson girls sixth and seventh overall

Leading Jackson’s boys team in the invite was none other
than senior Luke Wendel, who was the only Indian from the boys squad to compete
at state last year. In the North Twilight meet, Wendel finished sixth overall
in the race with a time of 15 minutes, 56.55 seconds.

Also placing in the top 20 was junior Evan Stephens with a
time of 16:31.71 to take 17th place. Fellow junior Clayton Greenlee was the
next top finisher for Jackson in 35th place at 16:54.42.

The Indians had one more runner place in the top 50 as
freshman Cad McCadams crossed the finish line at 17:02.42 to come in at 45th.

The final three finishers for the boys team all placed in
the top 100 as senior Ethan Walz took 59th at 17:18.45, junior Jake Eastin 60th
at 17:19.03 and sophomore Tyler Alsdorf 94th at 18:24.43.

The girls team, which is coming off its second top-10 finish
at the Class 4 State Meet in the last three seasons, was led by freshman
Mallorie Metzger. She was one of the five Indians to place in the top 65 at
42nd place, finishing with a time of 20:26.42.

Pacing Metzger was sophomore Maite Mendez, who placed four
spots behind her at 46th with a time of 20:39.03. Mendez finished 132nd place
in last year’s state meet to help Jackson place ninth.

Coming in behind Mendez at 51st place was junior Elizabeth
Steele, posting a time of 20:44.74. She took 143rd in last year’s state meet.

The final top-65 finishers for Jackson’s girls team were
sophomores Addie Heisserer and Layla Fliege. Heisserer took 61st place with a
time of 20:55.65, while Fliege placed 65th at 21:01.41.

Fliege is the top returning finisher from state last season
for Jackson as she placed 116th overall behind 2019 graduates Kennedy Bauer,
Faith Littleton and Kaylee Wilson. Heisserer was unable to compete at state as
a freshman due to an injury.

Seniors Kayden Fisher and Taylor Goodson were the final two
Indians to cross the finish line in the Twilight invitational. Fisher managed
to stay in the top 100 at 94th place (22:24.5) as Goodson took 106th place

Both of these runners were alternates for the varsity team
at the state meet last season.

The week before the Ft. Zumwalt North Twilight Invitational,
Jackson hosted its annual invitational. Coach Talley has both of her teams
compete in this meet as more of a “hard workout” rather than a competition.

Jackson senior boys Wendel and Walz each placed in the top
10 at fourth and seventh respectively, while Goodson took 19th and Fisher 20th
in the girls race. Both teams took sixth place.

Jackson had three boys place in the top 10 of the junior
race as well as two girls. Stephens took third, Greenlee sixth and Eastin
seventh, while Steele took third and Sophie McCadams eighth. Both teams took

Mendez took sixth in the sophomore race as Heisserer paced
her at 11th for the girls to take fourth. The boys placed fifth as Alsdorf
finished 16th.

The freshman boys won their
race as Cade McCadams took first overall, followed by Hunter Wendel in second,
Cole Puls fourth and Alex Niedbalski seventh. The girls took fifth as Metzger
finished third in the race.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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