POTOSI – Madilynn Shipley competed in a single junior varsity cross country race for the Farmington girls once becoming eligible about a month ago.
Among several talented freshmen on the Knights’ roster, Shipley was clearly ready to make a bigger splash. She is now a brand new varsity conference champion.
Shipley smoothly navigated the series of steep inclines at Potosi City Park, and powered down the final stretch to beat 67 other competitors at the chilly Potosi Invitational on Saturday morning.
MAAA program and all-conference accolades were encapsulated within the general meet, and team titles were retained by Farmington with Potosi as runner-up in both divisions.
While one individual champion may have surprised some observers and participants alike, the other continued to realize lofty expectations.
Farmington senior Evan Fuller seized a triumphant repeat with 16 seconds to spare, and classmate Mason Currington gave the Knights an overall 1-2 finish with 80 boys on the 5-kilometer course.
Medals were awarded to the top 30 individuals in each division plus separate designation for 12 boys and 12 girls deemed as all-conference athletes. Farmington featured 10 MAAA honorees – five boys and five girls – and Potosi had the next highest number with four.
Other programs in attendance were Notre Dame, Herculaneum, Steelville, Bourbon and the home-schooled St. Louis Blue Knights, who edged Farmington by three points for the overall girls crown.
Shipley (20:26) propelled herself into the lead by a few steps through the second turn, and held off senior Lydia Myskowski (20:33) of the Blue Knights by seven seconds at the end.
Myskowski improved her spot with a late kick to pass Valle Catholic standout junior Madelyn Griffard (20:35), who earned her best result of third place in three appearances.
Ste. Genevieve junior Hollyn Zangaro (21:11) entered the contest as defending champion, but ended up third in the conference and fifth overall while persevering through discomfort.
Arcadia Valley senior Emma Dettmer (21:13) crossed sixth while Fredericktown freshman Breanna Bone (21:30) surged to seventh. Potosi freshman Peyton Heifner (21:35) claimed 10th.
Fuller (16:42) dominated the last 2 kilometers for his fourth victory this fall after Bourbon sophomore Brett Payne (17:03) kept pace through the first of two level progressions past a familiar pond.
Currington (16:58) also gained steam as the boys race transpired, and eventually worked past Payne to secure second overall in a milestone effort.
Potosi senior Ezekiel Sisk (17:07) and junior Alex Smith (17:12) punctuated the top five. Teammate Kanaan Wilson (18:00) took ninth on a banner day for numerous freshmen.
But Farmington capitalized on its depth. Kaden Kimbrough (17:28) became isolated within the field while placing sixth. Ayden Wiles (18:03) and Nickolai Cain (18:05) completed the team score.
For the Knights on the girls side, Shipley was joined in MAAA recognition by Cayman McIntyre (21:38), Hannah Mathes (21:47), Natalie Gammon (22:01) and Alondra Martinez (22:01).
Laila Stephens (21:38) of Fredericktown placed 11th overall. Central junior Allie England (21:49) also delivered an all-conference run in 17th.
Other girls race medalists included Brailynn Allen (22:15) of Farmington, Katie Voepel (22:28) of Central, Elianna Serrano (22:58) of AV, Kayla Miller (23:02) of North County, and Potosi trio Alyson Skiles (22:22), Allison Land (22:31) and Allie Heeter (22:52)
Also nabbing first-time MAAA distinction among the boys were eighth-place Austin Ringwald (17:57) of Valle Catholic, Kingston freshman Phoenix Lyons (18:13), Bismarck senior Daven Miller (18:24) and Valle Catholic senior Garrett Shortt (18:26).
North County freshman Noah McMahan (18:28) and junior Lucas Naucke (18:35) finished within the top 20, and Central senior Cole Crocker (18:33) was 18th.
Tyson Anderson (18:36) of Arcadia Valley and Zane Wood (18:40) of Farmington likewise picked up top-30 medals, along with Brayden Smith (19:02) and Taylen Portell (19:03) of Potosi.
A few fall dual-sport athletes from Bismarck and Valley were unable to compete due to obligations with their respective volleyball teams at the West County tournament.
Farmington hosts its annual mid-October gathering on Saturday at Engler Park.
Girls Team Scores:
1. STL Blue-Knights 48; 2. Farmington 51; 3. Potosi 92; 4. Fredericktown 116; 5. Notre Dame 135; 6. Central 142; 7. Steelville 158; 8. Ste. Genevieve 163.
Boys Team Scores:
1. Farmington 27; 2. Potosi 70; 3. Herculaneum 116; 4. Notre Dame 127; 5. North County 154; 6. Valle Catholic 165; 7. STL Blue Knights 168; 8. Bismarck 186; 9. Steelville 190; 10. Kingston 196; 11. Arcadia Valley 265.
MAAA All-Conference Girls:
1. Madilynn Shipley (FARM) 20:26; 2. Madelyn Griffard (VC) 20:35; 3. Hollyn Zangaro (SG) 21:11; 4. Emma Dettmer (AV) 21:13; 5. Breanna Bone (FRED) 21:30; 6. Peyton Heifner (POT) 21:35; 7. Laila Stephens (FRED) 21:38; 8. Cayman McIntyre (FARM) 21:38; 9. Hannah Mathes (FARM) 21:47; 10. Allie England (CEN) 21:49; 11. Natalie Gammon (FARM) 22:01; 12. Alondra Martinez (FARM) 22:01
MAAA All-Conference Boys:
1. Evan Fuller (FARM) 16:42; 2. Mason Currington (FARM) 16:58; 3. Ezekiel Sisk (POT) 17:07; 4. Alex Smith (POT) 17:12; 5. Kaden Kimbrough (FARM) 17:28; 6. Austin Ringwald (VC) 17:57; 7. Kanaan Wilson (POT) 18:00; 8. Ayden Wiles (FARM) 18:03; 9. Nickolai Cain (FARM) 18:05; 10. Phoenix Lyons (KING) 18:13; 11. Daven Miller (BIS) 18:24; 12. Garrett Shortt (VC) 18:26