Posted: Saturday, 27 October 2012 5:06PM

Ozark Conference XC teams shine in sectionals

Camdenton, Mo. (  -- For the first time two Springfield public schools will be going to the Class 4 State Meet in the same year as the Glendale and Kickapoo boys both qualified for next weekend’s state meet on Saturday.

Glendale teammates Chris Mooneyham and Spencer Haik established themselves as pack leaders by the one-mile mark.  Kickapoo’s Ian Frazier was right behind them as he battled with runners from Columbia Rock Bridge.


With roughly half of a mile left to go, Mooneyham and Haik had about a three-second lead on the rest of the pack.  The Rock Bridge supporters shouted as their runners flew through the final pass, attempting to encourage them to push through and overtake the lead from the Falcons.  It came down to the wire, but Glendale was able to hold on as Mooneyham finished first and Haik took second just one second behind. Frazier finished in fifth.

Mooneyham claimed that he wasn’t following any specific strategy going into the race.

“I started out just wanting to stay with the group, then I got the point I felt I could lead the group and run my own race,” said Mooneyham.

Rock Bridge posted a team score of 48 to claim the team championship. West Plains finished second with 60, Kickapoo was third with 88 and Glendale came in fourth with 101.

Glendale coach Jeff Berryessa felt that his team performed well.

“We knew we had the two top runners, we just had to be strong through the middle in order to support them,” said Berryessa.

Kickapoo head coach Jeremy Goddard was proud of his team for exceeding expectations.

“We knew we had a chance to qualify as a team- we had to place ahead of Jeff City, Glendale or Nixa to get the spot and we ended up beating all of them,” said Goddard.

In the girls’, Hickman senior Nicole Mello owned the race from start to finish. Brigette Caruthers of Branson was the only threat to Mello as she was in second place for the majority of the race. Caruthers eventually finished in second place, 10 seconds behind Mello. Ellyn Atkinson of Glendale was able to hold of Tessa Weber of Camdenton and Kaley Ruff of Jefferson City to obtain third place. 

Jefferson City captured the team championship with a score of 58, followed by Rock Bridge (78), West Plains (96) and Nixa (100).

The Nixa girls sprinted across course to mob coach Lance Brumley when they found out they had qualified for state.

“We knew we were on the bubble, I’m just proud of these girls for pushing through and overcoming the challenge,” said Brumley. 

This is the third time the Nixa girls have qualified for state and the second time in the past three years.

West Plains found itself in a familiar situation as both the boys and girls teams have qualified for state for more than 20 consecutive years.

Zizzer head coach Joe Bill Dixon uses his veteran experience to formulate his strategy for events like this.

“We tried to run aggressive enough to get into the top 4, but also not so aggressive that we might over-extend ourselves,” said Dixon.

Both West Plains teams advanced to state.

Full Results:

Boys Team:
1. Rock Bridge
2. West Plains
3. Kickapoo
4. Glendale

Boys Individual:
6. Caleb Ruth -Jefferson City
8. Ryan Way -Republic
9. Ethan Zars -Hickman
10. Cameron Byrley -Parkview
11. Matt Petersen -Branson
13. Matt Riechman -Joplin
17. Jesse Herd -Branson
18. Kyler Haumann -Ozark
20. Garrett Wood -Neosho
26. Marcus Johnson -Nixa
27. Jeremy Ryan -Camdenton
29. Ben Southwick -Carthage

Girls Team:
1. Jefferson City
2. Rock Bridge
3. West Plains
4. Nixa

Girls Individual:
1. Nicole Mello -Hickman
2. Brigette Caruthers -Branson
3. Ellyn Atkinson -Glendale
4. Tessa Weber -Camdenton
10. Bailey Hession -Willard
11. Sayra Villela -Parkview
15. Megan Hergesheimer -Republic
17. Natalie Capron -Webb City
18. Kaitlyn Cravens -Glendale
19. Sara Shaw -Ozark
21. Katie Brow -Rolla
23. Taylor Ortner -Ozark
24. Kelsey Andro -Webb City
25. Amber Bates -Neosho
26. Kayliegh Amstutz -Willard
27. Kayla Bartelsmeyer -Republic
28. Josie Plowman -Washington
29. Paiton Fritsche -Ozark


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