Smith-Cotton sophomore Grace Edgar placed third overall in the West Central Conference Cross-Country meet Monday, Oct. 17 at Warrensburg High School in Warrensburg.
The varsity boys team placed second, and each of its runners earned all-conference honors while the junior varsity dominated its field in gusty and unseasonably warm conditions.
Warrensburg won the boys event with 24 points. Warrensburg junior Edward Wilhite was medalist with a time of 17 minutes 39.4 seconds and sophomore teammate Colton Palmer was runner-up.
Smith-Cotton sophomore Alex Beard was the top team finisher, placing sixth in 18:50.5.
Nathan White finished eighth in 19:08.9, and the Smith-Cotton pack of Martin Zalpa, Gary McKinsey, George Gomez, Abraham Fernando and Irvin Zalpa followed in order, earning places 10-14.
The S-C Tigers collected 47 points, more than 20 points ahead of third place St. Pius X. O’Hara was fourth and Clinton rounded out the top five.
An ambulance reported to aid a runner at the finish line after the varsity boys race. Smith-Cotton senior Martin Zalpa said warm temperatures, about 80 degrees, took its toll on the Tigers’ shape on the 3-mile course.
“Your whole body, it’s just burning up, he said. “We tried to push through, but it was too much. We broke up on the second mile. We tried to stick together. I pushed some of my teammates, and screamed at them too to try to get them going.”
Edgar, who finished in 21:33.2, said wind gusts were a factor in her time Monday. She raced under similar conditions as the course located east the Warrensburg High School building, hilly and warm, last week in a race in Springfield. Her time Monday was about 40 seconds slower Monday.
“It was a really nice course if it wasn’t so windy,” Edgar said.
Edgar said her goal was to break 20 minutes by the sectional race. Before that, the Class 4 District 6 meet is Saturday, Oct. 22 the Missouri Southern campus in Joplin. Smith-Cotton coach Tara Clark said she anticipates better times at a flatter course.
“People tend to run really fast there,” said Smith-Cotton coach Tara Clark. “We’re looking forward to that.”
While the junior varsity scores were not official, the Smith-Cotton boys team all placed in the top 10, totaling 16 points. Warrensburg placed second with 45 points. Jose Fernando was medalist with a time of 19:51.1. William Hooton, Carson Lewellyn and Joseph Rae finished second through fourth, respectively.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2