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Cross Country

High School Cross Country: Jackson teams repeat as SEMO North Conference Champions

It was business as usual for the Jackson boys and girls cross country teams at the SEMO North Conference Meet as the Indians won their sixth and fifth-straight conference title respectively.

The boys team repeated as conference champions in commanding fashion as it scored 30 points, which was 15 points ahead of conference runner-up Notre Dame (45).

Although Notre Dame senior Blake Morris won the individual conference title for a second-straight year with a time of 15 minutes, 42.94 seconds, the Indians had their first five runners place in the top 10.

Senior Luke Wendel finished in second place behind Morris with a course time of 16:21.97 to earn SEMO All-Conference honors for the second time. He took fourth place last year with a time of 17:01.

The next top-10 finishers for Jackson were in the fifth, sixth and seventh-place spots as senior Ethan Walz took fifth overall at 17:07.79. He also garnered all-conference honors last season by placing eighth (17:29).

Coming in at sixth place for the boys team was junior Evan Stephens with a time of 17:11.48 to capture all-conference accolades once again. He finished seventh in last year’s race (17:22).

Taking seventh for the Indians was freshman Cade McCadams as he crossed the finish line at 17:13.33.

Jackson’s final top-10 finisher was junior Clayton Greenlee at 10th, posting a time of 17:44.51. Freshman Hunter Wendel came in 11th place at 17:50.76.

Another freshman placed in the top 15 for the Indians as Cole Puls took 15th by finishing the race with a time of 18:36.03.

The girls team won this year’s conference meet for the fifth time in a row with a score of 32, which was only five points ahead of Notre Dame’s total of 37.

Dexter’s Margo Nea won this year’s conference race with a time of 19:32.9, and that mark was nearly one minute ahead of runner-up Notre Dame junior Paige Beussink’s time of 20:24.94.

Jackson returned three all-conference runners from last season in junior Elizabeth Steele and sophomores Layla Fliege and Maite Mendez.

Mendez posted the best time for the Indians with a finish of 20:29.12 to take third place. She finished eighth last year (21:09).

The next top finisher for the Indians was not Fliege or Steele as freshman Mallorie Metzger became a first-time all-conference honoree with a fifth-place finish at 20:59.36.

Fliege and Steele did not finish far behind Metzger, however, as Fliege took sixth place at 21:07.65. She also took sixth at conference last season (21:00).

Steele came in two spots behind Fliege at eighth overall as she posted a time of 21:22.05 to earn all-conference honors once again. Steele finished fifth last year with a time of 20:58.

The final Indian to garner all-conference accolades this year was sophomore Addie Heisserer as she took 10th place with a time of 21:40.33. Senior Kayden Fisher and junior Sophie McCadams finished 14th and 15th respectively (22:09.69, 22:18.39).

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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