IRONTON – After sending several athletes off to the collegiate ranks in the last two years, Farmington cross country has embraced a youth movement on the girls side this season.
A combination of three freshmen and two sophomores comprised the team score Saturday morning as the Knights finished second at the Arcadia Valley Invitational.
Potosi senior Ezekiel Sisk placed highest among MAAA runners, taking third among 154 varsity boys, as six from the conference graced the overall top 10.
Jackson swept the team championships with its girls totaling 39 points and boys ending with 89. Annika Barks (19:37) and Lynlee LaValle (20:26) crossed second and third in the 5-kilometer girls race.
Farmington was paced by Cayman McIntyre (21:05) in ninth place, and safely earned runner-up status with third-place Potosi 57 points back.
Madilynn Shipley (21:48), Natalie Gammon (21:57), Hannah Mathes (22:05), Alondra Martinez (22:05) and Brailynn Allen (22:16) all reached the conclusion within the top 28 for the Knights.
The Arcadia Valley event has continued to expand its scope of interest beyond southeast Missouri, and separates its medals into two groups for MSHSAA classes 1-2 and 3-4-5.
Reed Layton (16:40) of Woodland held off several challengers for the individual boys title. Alexandra Li (19:24) of Springfield Central topped a girls field of 121 runners by 13 seconds.
Sisk (16:45) was locked in a close battle with eventual runner-up Cameron Bell (16:43) of Dexter, who regained an edge on the final incline after Sisk completed a downhill pass.
Calvin Layton (16:48) took fourth position for Woodland, and Alex Smith (17:19) gave Potosi two boys near the front in eighth place.
Senior Kaden Kimbrough (17:33) finished 12th to lead the Farmington boys, who stacked up third behind Jackson and Herculaneum in the team chase.
Nickolai Cain (17:55), Ayden Wiles (18:20), Axtin Brune (18:46), Anthony Tregesser (18:50) and Zane Wood (18:51) followed for the Knights.
Ste. Genevieve standout and reigning MAAA girls champion Hollyn Zangaro (20:39) powered her way to sixth place overall, creating distance from two familiar rivals.
Valle Catholic junior Madelyn Griffard (20:50) posted the fastest time among small-school medalists for eighth place overall. Fellow all-state competitor Emma Dettmer (21:06) of AV captured 10th.
The Potosi girls were led by freshman Peyton Heifner (21:55) in 19th place. Alyson Skiles (22:26), Carlee Moss (22:29), Allison Land (22:36) and Allie Heeter (22:56) rounded out their point total.
Other small-school boys medalists included Daven Miller (17:51) of Bismarck in 17th overall, Austin Ringwald (17:53) of Valle Catholic in 20th and Kingston freshman Phoenix Lyons (18:02) in 26th.
Taylen Portell (18:41) was the third Potosi boys athlete on the course. Freshman Noah McMahan (18:56) paced North County, and Cole Crocker (19:01) was fastest for Central.
Allie England (22:35) and Katie Voepel (22:45) stayed inside the top 40 for the Lady Rebels. Teammates Haley Stephens (23:30.72) and Faith Willis (23:30.72) crossed the finish line side by side.
Jazmine Morris (23:17) was a small-school medalist for West County.
Kanaan Wilson (18:00) and Brayden Smith (18:06) of Potosi were second and third, respectively, among junior varsity boys. Breanna Bone (22:05) and Laila Stephens (22:12) of Fredericktown did likewise in the JV girls race.