By Chris Parker
There are many talented boys cross country runners across our coverage area. Below are some of the boys cross country runners a to watch this season.
NOTE: The athletes are listed in alphabetical order.
Maggie Boyd, Carthage
Boyd finished sixth at the COC meet as a sophomore and is the conference’s third-fastest returning runner this season. She will look to move up the field at state after placing 84th last season in 20:41.
Riley Britton, Clever
Britton finished just outside the all-state honors in Class 2 last season placing 31st overall, but she did earn first-team all-region honors.
Charlotte Cones, Kickapoo
Cones it the top returning runner for Kickapoo crossing the line second for the Chiefs at the Ozark Conference meet and third at the district meet. She ran a 20:57 to finish 108th at the Class 5 state meet.
Audrey Goatley, El Dorado Springs
Goatley placed 35th at the state meet as a sophomore with a time of 20:59 earning first-team all-region honors. She was eighth at the district meet.
Kathyrn Hirtz, Rolla
Hirtz stepped up to Rolla’s No. 2 runner at the Class 4 state meet finishing 44th overall in a time of 20:49. She was named second-team all-region.
Gretchen House, Chadwick
House is the third-fastest returning runner in Class 1 this season. The junior placed sixth overall last season running a time of 21:03.
Emma Howes, Bolivar
Howes had a strong freshman season placing 40th at the Class 4 state meet in a time of 20:40 and eighth at the Ozark Conference meet. She was named first-team all-region by the SWCCCA.
Adelyn Janssen, Nixa
Nixa was a young team last year with no seniors running at state. Janssen enters her senior season after leading the Eagles at both conference and state. She finished 92nd at the Class 5 state meet running a 20:48.
Allie Keizer, Joplin
Keizer returns for her senior year after earning first-team all-region honors last season. She was Joplin’s top finisher at the district meet in 12th place before finishing 65th (20:21) at the Class 5 state meet.
Riley Kemna, Neosho
Kemna was a top 10 finisher at the COC meet and placed 81st (20:35) at the Class 5 state meet. She was named second-team all-region by the SWCCCA.
Alexandria Li, Central
Li earned first-team all-region honors in Class 5 after she placed 11th at the Ozark Conference meet, 14th at the district meet (20:03) and 82nd at the Class 5 state meet (20:35).
Emily Ritter, West Plains
Ritter is the top returning runner from last season’s Ozark Conference meet. She placed third overall in a time of 19:26. She was also the fastest non-senior at the district race in fourth place. At state, she finished 64th capping off her freshman year with a first-team all-region recognition.
Addison Sanders, West Plains
Sanders placed ninth at the Ozark Conference meet in a time of 20:08. She followed that up with a 10th place finish at districts and a 46th place finish at the Class 4 state meet. She was named first-team all-region.
Mallory Shaw, Stoutland
Shaw is the area’s lone returning state champion. She won the Class 1 race in a time of 20:38 to cap her freshman cross country year off with a bang. She was named Class 1 Region Athlete of the Year by the SWCCCA. Shaw earned all-state honors in the 800, 1600 and 3200 on the track placing as high as second in the 1600.
Chloe Smith, Clever
Smith earned all-state honors in Class 3 with a 22nd place finish in a time of 20:16. She was named first-team all-region by the SWCCCA.
Ayden Spotila, Bolivar
Spotila ran a time of 20:24 to finish 34th at the Class 4 state meet. She was sixth in the Ozark Conference meet. Her efforts earned her first-team all-region honors.
Clara Trent, New Covenant
Trent just missed out on a top 10 finish in Class 2 last season placing 12th with a time of 20:26. She was district runner-up the week prior.
Gracie Troester, Republic
Troester was named Class 5 Region Athlete of the Year by the SWCCCA as a sophomore. She didn’t run to her full potential at state finishing 60th with a time of 20:17. She was district runner-up (18:51) and COC runner-up (19:00). On the track, Troester earned Class 5 all-state honors in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs finishing one spot away from all-state in the 800.
Kadence Wallace, Skyline
Wallace placed 15th at state in her junior year running a 20:42. She was the third-place finisher at the district meet.
Chloe Wood, Neosho
Wood finished fourth at the COC Meet (19:31) and fifth at the district meet (19:20.40) before placing 42nd at the Class 5 state meet (19:51). She earned first-team all-region honors.