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Cross Country

Jackson boys and girls cross country teams bring home SEMO Conference Championships

Jackson cross country runners, from left, sophomore Bryce Gentry (first place), junior Hunter Wendel (second) and junior Cole Puls (third) were the top-three finishers in the SEMO Conference boys race last Wednesday at Dexter. Submitted photo

The Jackson cross country program continued its dominance of the annual SEMO Conference Meet as the Indians boys and girls teams won their respective races. This was the boys team’s eighth-straight conference title and the sixth in the last seven years for the girls team.

Jackson’s boys team won its race with a perfect score of 15 as the Indians had five of their seven runners take the top-five spots. Winning the race to claim his first individual SEMO Conference Championship was sophomore Bryce Gentry with a time of 16 minutes, 43.9 seconds.

Jackson juniors Hunter Wendel, Cole Puls, Cade McCadams and Evan Kiefer rounded out the top five as Wendel finished as the runner-up at 16:49.5. Puls took third with a 17:11.6, while McCadams finished fourth (17:16.7) and Kiefer fifth (17:17.7).

The Indians boys team had one more runner place in the top 10 to garner all-conference as it was sophomore Zach Brazel, who took eighth place at 18:06.9.

Conference runner-ups Notre Dame (72 points) managed to have two Bulldogs earn all-conference in juniors Mason Morris and Thomas Dittmer. Morris placed seventh overall (17:50.9) and Dittmer ninth (18:11.6).

Moving to the girls race, Jackson won with a team score of 22 points as three Indians placed in the top five. Senior Addie Heisserer brought home her first-ever SEMO Conference individual title by winning the race with a time of 19:46.8.

Taking second place behind Heisserer was Notre Dame sophomore Lauren Eftink, who posted a time of 20:09.6 to do so. She was the only Bulldog to garner all-conference honors as Notre Dame scored 65 points to take second overall.

Finishing third and fourth, respectively, for the Indians were junior Mallorie Metzger and senior Layla Fliege, who recorded finishes of 20:23.4 and 20:29.6 to earn all-conference.

Three more runners for Jackson won all-conference medals as well as senior Maite Mendez, freshman Annika Barks and senior Brooklyn Burgess did so. Mendez took sixth place at 20:49.5 as Barks (21:03.2) and Burgess (21:16.8) placed ninth and 10th, respectively.

The Indians seventh and final runner junior London Popp posted a top-15 finish at 12th overall by finishing the race at 22:23.

Both Jackson teams have one more race until the Class 5 District 1 Tournament on Oct. 30, which is Saturday’s Dexter Invitational.

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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