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Hergesheimer took first in the girls’ race with a time of 20:15.91, while Way won the boys’ race in 17:14.02. Hergesheimer isn’t new to competitive running – she has competed in Junior Olympics track and field for the past three years.
“It feels great, I’m actually pretty proud of myself,” said Hergesheimer, noting that she had ran the Bolivar course two years ago as a middle schooler. “I probably went out a little faster (than normal) but either way, I’m glad it didn’t affect me too much.”
Coach Christie Bishop said it’s the first time that the Republic cross country program has had two runners take first place in the same meet.
“That’s just amazing for them,” she said. “I’m also proud that we now have enough runners for two full teams. We haven’t had a full girls’ team for a few years.”
Bolivar finished first in the girls’ team standings. Webb City edged the Liberators for first in the boys’ race.
The Lady Liberators are trying to qualify for the Class 3 state meet for the fourth consecutive season. With all but one runner back from last year’s squad, expectations have changed in 2012.
“It’s always been, let’s just get (to state) and see what we can do,” said Bolivar coach Ron Bandy. “Last year, there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to state. We just wanted to see what we could do. I talked to the girls and told them that I’m no longer coaching to get to state, I’m now coaching to get to the top of the state ranks. Our goal is a trophy.”
The Bolivar girls placed five runners in the top 20, including three in top 10. All-state returnee Jessica Cox was fifth, Sierra Wells seventh and Cora Butcher-Spellman ninth.
Sound strategy paid off, Bandy said. Bolivar runners “paired up” until the final 700 meters.
“I told them that’s when we wanted to race and cut loose, and (Cox) did that. My next pack of two, the same situation happened. They paired together, and started racing near the end like the first two. My back group, they did the same thing and pressed into the finish.”
Stockton’s Rachel Wheeler and Alexis Smith were second and third individually in the girls’ race. Stockton was third in both team standings.
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