Posted: Friday, 16 August 2013 1:12PM

Nixa cross country building tradition

Nixa, Mo. (  -- The Nixa girls cross country team qualified for the Class 4 State Meet as a team for the second time in two years and third in school history last fall.

Early November trips to Jefferson City are something Nixa head cross country coach Lance Brumley wants to make a tradition for the Eagles on both sides.

“I showed the girls the graphic of the teams we were competing against when we went up there last year. There were schools that had 24 appearances or 18 appearances with 17 of them in a row. I said you can’t get to 17 appearances until you get to three,” Brumley said. “We got that, so hopefully we start to build (on) that.”

Nixa returns many key contributors from that team led by sophomore Elle Moon. Moon finished 59th at state as a freshman last year and looks to build on that. Also back are fellow sophomores Sophie Endicott and Amanda Parker along with junior Peyton Zwingle and senior Jordyn Hoskins.

The final two varsity spots will be hotly contested.

“There are about five freshmen girls that are going to push each other and push the rest of the team to fill those varsity spots,” Brumley said.

On the boys’ side, Nixa won the COC Large team title and finished second at the district meet. To-be junior Marcus Johnson was the lone Nixa representative at State where he finished 65th overall. This season he is looking for much more.

“He just continues to get stronger and get more confident in his running,” Brumley said. “As a team we are going to lean on him a little bit this year.”

The Eagles return six of seven runners from last year’s conference championship team and have an eye on the state meet.

Nixa opens on Sept. 7 in Bolivar at the SWCCA Meet.

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