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Cross Country

Oak Ridge boys cross country takes third at state; Jackson has two all-staters

The Oak Ridge boys cross country team poses with the Class 1 Third Place plaque on Friday in Columbia. Submitted photo

On Friday in Columbia, the Oak Ridge boys cross country team placed in the top four at the Class 1 State Meet to bring home a state plaque for the fifth time in the last six seasons.

The Blue Jays took third place as two runners placed in the top 30 to bring home all-state honors, which were seniors Brock Hobeck and Ty Wilson. Hobeck became a three-time all-state medalist with his 16th-place finish, posting a time of 17 minutes, 32 seconds.

Wilson finished a little over 10 seconds behind Hobeck in 21st place with a time of 17:42.3 to help this senior class capture its third state plaque. Fellow Oak Ridge senior Karson Ward placed outside of the top 50 at 63rd overall (18:35.5).

Blue Jays junior Cohen Hahs placed in the top 70 with Ward by taking 69th place at the 18:41.1 mark, while Oak Ridge sophomore Parker Schoen finished in the top 80 at 78th place (18:50.8).

These top-five placements for Oak Ridge earned the Blue Jays a final team score of 127 as Hermitage took home the Class 1 State Championship with 74 points, as Van Buren was the state runner-ups at 97 points.

Placing outside of the top five for Oak Ridge to not go towards the final team score was sophomore Jayden McAlister (85th place; 18:57.3) and senior Job Sachse (166th; 21:15).

Oak Ridge’s girls team had one runner qualify for this year’s state meet after the squad took a program-high seventh place last fall. The lone Blue Jay to run at state this time was senior Kendall Marshall, who posted a time of 23:58.7 for 79th place in her final state meet.

Moving up to the Class 5 State Meet held on Saturday, Jackson’s cross country program had a combined five runners compete. The Indians came away with two all-state medalists in senior Bryce Gentry for the boys team and junior Annika Barks for the girls squad.

This was the second and final all-state finish for Gentry in his career as he placed just outside of the top 10 at 12th overall with a time of 15:33.6. Gentry earned all-state for the first time last season when he took 17th place at 16:00.2.

Fellow Jackson senior Jack Hutson was the only other boys runner to compete at state for Jackson, finishing in 140th place at 17:29.

As for Barks, this was her first-ever trip to state and, of course, first time earning all-state honors as she did so with a 21st-place finish at 18:42.2.

The other two runners at state for Jackson’s girls team were freshman Lynlee LaValle and sophomore Emma Niedbalski, who finished 137th and 151st overall with times of 20:51.4 and 21:34, respectively.

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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