Nixa didn’t have a runner finish in the top 3 in either race. Instead, the Eagles won with depth. Nixa had its five best finishers on both teams place in the top 20.
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“There’s no single runner that out-shines anyone on our team,” said Nixa coach Lance Brumley after the Eagles swept the team titles for the first time. “The team aspect came out in a night like tonight.”
Helping Nixa take both titles were Marcus Johnson, Trevor Edick and Devon Colegrove, who all finished in the top 10. Megan Mills was ninth and Elle Moon sixth for the Lady Eagles.
Branson senior Brigette Caruthers won the girls race with a time of 18:30.5. She finished third individually at state last season.
Caruthers was more excited about Branson nearly winning the COC team title. The Lady Pirates finished one point behind Nixa. Torri Holder was fifth and Brianna Morrow eleventh.
“We were all focused on the team aspect today and we nearly won it,” Caruthers said. “We had a lot of good times… I hope we can go far as a team.”
The Branson girls finished ninth in the Class 4 state meet last year.
Ozark senior Kyler Haumann pulled away from Republic junior Ryan Way to win the boys race in 15:46. Haumann made his move after the two were side by side one mile into the race.
“I knew if I could pull away before the 2-mile that I would most likely have the race set,”Haumann said. “I just figured if I could pick up the pace a little bit then I could do it, and it worked.”
In his final season, Haumann said he’s starting to get jittery for state. He regularly visits mo.milesplit.com and tries to scout his potential competition.
“I’m on there constantly looking at the times of other runners, just trying to say ‘Well, I know I can stay up there with this guy and I know I can beat that guy.’ The times are all there for me to say, ‘There, that’s my goal,’” Haumann said. “Close to the end of the season, I’m a little anxious. I’m ready for state to be here, but at the same time I don’t want the season to be over. I just want it to be here so I can see how I fare and how my training has built me up to now.”
Carthage finished second in the boys race and Branson third. Inman will also be the host for the Class 4, District 6 meet, which includes all eight COC-Large schools as well as Joplin, Kickapoo and Parkview, on Oct. 20.
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CLICK HERE FOR GIRLS RESULTS