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The Ava Bears cross country team competed on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Missouri State cross country course in Springfield. The meet was hosted by Springfield Catholic. There were 12 varsity girls teams and 15 varsity boys teams.
In the junior high division, 8th grader Caleb Stillings ran a 1.8 mile loop and had a time of 12:12.
In the girls’ varsity race, Branson won the big school division, with four of their runners in the top six. Bridgett Caruthers from Branson won the meet with a time of 19:32.
Ava girls finished 5th in the small school division, with junior Christina Shortt leading the Lady Bears and running a time of 23:14 to place 30th in a field of 78.
Amanda Greene ran a new personal best with a time of 26:07. Kendra McCleary was right behind her with a time of 26:15. Destany Russell came in at 26:58. Ashley Rieken ran a 28:13 and Brittany Walker turned in a time of 29:24.
In the boys’ varsity race, again Branson cleaned up with the Pirates finishing in the top two spots and winning the meet as a team.
Matt Petersen took first place on the 3.1-mile course with a smoking time of 16:24 followed by teammate, Alex Thornton with a 16:41.
For the Ava boys, the team finished 4th overall in the small school division.
Individually, Dakota Renner blew his old personal best out of the water and ran 27 seconds faster to break into the 17′s to place 15th overall and medal by running a 17:47. Dakota’s average mile time was 5:43.
Luke Shortt dropped another 10 seconds off his personal best and ran a time of 18:30. Chase Dixon had an 18:36. James Ferguson ran a 19:16.
Phillip Eubanks showed hard work pays off and dropped his time into the 19 minute range for the first time with a 19:57. And Jordan Dimirsky, despite fighting hip problems, ran a solid 20:40.
The Bears’ next meet is at Mountain Grove today (Thursday).
The Ava team will host its only home meet on Monday, Oct. 24, at 4 p.m. at the Ava Country Club. The public is welcome and invited to come out and see the athletes run the course. There will also be a Senior Night recognition in conjunction with that meet.