PARK HILLS – The Bismarck Invitational cross country meet continued to expand in number and traveling radius of participating schools again this year.
Runners from several counties away joined 10 of the 12 MAAA conference programs Saturday morning to brave the challenging inclines around the Mineral Area College campus course.
Potosi earned the championship among 13 full boys teams, and also boasted the top individuals from the MAAA during a varsity meet that featured a plethora of established state qualifiers.
Sophomore Ezekiel Sisk powered the Trojans by posting a runner-up time of 17:30 that could only be surpassed by Windsor standout Bradley Ahrens.
Sisk finished behind Fredericktown senior Lyndan Gruenke and Valle Catholic junior Peter Roth one week earlier on more level ground at Arcadia Valley, but carried the conference banner this time around.
Ahrens (16:20) dominated for a second straight weekend, however, using long, seemingly effortless strides over the last mile to stretch his ultimate margin of victory to 70 seconds.
Kingston senior Noah Estes (17:37) delivered his own superb run to place third, just two days after earning another top-five result in the 5K event at Steelville.
But the deepest varsity roster belonged to Potosi, which produced seven boys medalists within the top 30. Andrew Cain (18:13) had the second-best result for his team in 11th place.
Garrett Hale (18:41), Jaden Kanan (18:45) and Tanner Gibson (18:59) completed the Trojans’ score of 72 – edging Herculaneum by 16 points – with Colton Politte (19:04) and Connor Gibson (19:08) in pursuit.
Gruenke (17:58) raced to seventh place while Roth (18:04) finished eighth. They were separated by 18 seconds during their previous encounter.
Keith Vance (17:38) of Herculaneum and Reed Layton (17:39) rounded out the top five overall, as the boys varsity division featured 91 competitors.
Jackson Leeds (18:22) seized 13th position for North County while fellow medalists Stone Gill (18:37), Caden Dettmer (18:39) and Dillon Mueller (18:44) helped AV land third in the team standings.
Bismarck junior Tanner Martinez (19:07) and Valle Catholic junior Braden Coleman (19:11) also made the medalist cut. Their respective teammates, Levi Sheckles (19:57) and Josef Flieg (19:59), were the last two boys to eclipse 20 minutes.
Potosi sophomore Alyson Skiles (21:38) stamped her stellar early season again by taking third place overall, but Van Buren clipped the Lady Trojans for the team plaque by a narrow 52-55 margin.
Two girls pulled away from the rest well before the halfway juncture, as Dexter senior Gabrielle Brown (20:32) prevailed by 16 seconds over Van Buren senior Katie Griffin (20:48).
A field of 73 varsity girls included 14 medalists from the MAAA, five of which represented Potosi. Junior Celeste Sancegraw (22:30) secured another solid result in ninth.
Allison Land (22:56) ended up 14th while Kaydence Gibson (23:49) and Addison Sansegraw (24:26) stayed safely within the top 30 for the Lady Trojans.
Kaylee Fulliam (21:42) passed several opponents over the last kilometer to take fourth, and West County senior Sydney Cash (21:58) seized fifth less than 48 hours after scoring a victory at Steelville.
Class 4 powerhouse Farmington opted for the stacked Missouri Southern Stampede, leaving the potential awards at MAC more evenly dispersed among the smaller schools in attendance.
Standout freshman Madelyn Griffard (22:02) surged to sixth with Valle Catholic teammate and senior Camryn Basler (22:40) running to 11th.
Reigning Class 2 state champion Arcadia Valley was again headlined by sophomore Emma Dettmer (22:07) in seventh place. Trinity Russell (23:14) and Natilie Stricklin (23:19) made the top 18 in succession.
Fredericktown senior Ava Laut (23:13) held off that AV duo for 16th, and junior Janson King (24:18) picked up 27th place for host Bismarck.
The final race medal was decided between Valle Catholic teammates with Lillian Hoog (24:28) crossing just ahead of Katie Kertz (24:31).
Chloe Webb (25:19) and Tanner Maggard (25:34) paced North County in relatively humid conditions.
The Central program celebrated a milestone in its inaugural season with the junior topping their division.
Missouri Southern Stampede
JOPLIN, Mo. – Farmington cross country seniors Alayna Sparr and Breanna Mathes earned medalist distinction on Saturday at the prestigious Missouri Southern Stampede.
The Knights placed fifth out of 26 teams in the girls varsity Green Division, as Sparr (19:24) finished 18th overall and Mathes (19:41) crossed the line in 24th.
Kristina Ramos (20:42), Brooke-Lyn Forman (21:08) and Lilly Earley (21:39) completed the Farmington team score.
Gavin Hunt (16:50) secured 39th place in the varsity Green Division for the Farmington boys, who landed 10th in the team standings.
Teammates Ethan Anderson (17:28), Mason Currington (17:33), Evan Fuller (17:48) and Presley Johnson (18:15) followed Hunt to the finish.
FESTUS, Mo. – Powerhouse cross country program Lafayette swept the boys and girls team titles at the Festus Bowles Invitational on Saturday.
Ste. Genevieve was the lone participating school from the MAAA conference with three individuals entered in the boys race.
Senior Mason Gegg (18:20) made the medalist cut by finishing 25th.
Nathan St. Clair (18:59) placed 37th and fellow senior Levi Wiegand (19:27) crossed 41st for the Dragons out of 62 total runners.