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Will Compete at State on Saturday
Five of the six Ava runners turned in their best times of the season to earn the Class 2 District 6 cross country title.
Junior Christina Shortt took the lead at the mile-and-a-half mark and never looked back, winning 1st place in the 5-kilometer girls’ varsity race with a time of 21:48. This was a 7 minute and 1 second per mile average, and she did it while improving over her best time by 48 seconds.
That winning time of 21:48 put Shortt on the top 25 District 6 all time fastest record sheet.
Kendra McCleary, who came in second for the Lady Bears and 6th place overall, had the biggest improvement on the team by 1 minute and 45 seconds to run a 23:13.
Ashley Rieken also improved tremendously, dropping her time by 59 seconds and coming in 9th overall with a time of 23:42.
Destany Russell ran a whopping 1 minute and 20 seconds faster than her best, finishing 17th with a 24:56.
Amanda Greene finished 22nd with a time of 26:43, just off her best by 36 seconds and Brittany Walker placed 23rd with a time of 28:01, an improvement of 20 seconds.
The Lady Bears will compete at the state meet in Jefferson City on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10:50 a.m., at Hough Park.
In the boys’ race, the Ava Bears unfortunately came up short, taking 3rd place as a team behind Hollister and Liberty.
Dakota Renner, however, ran a school record time of 17:22 to place 3rd overall, improving his best time of the season by 22 seconds. Chase Dixon placed 7th overall with a time of 17:53 beating his best by 16 seconds.
Both these boys qualified individually for the state meet by placing in the top 15. They also both made the top 25 list of fastest District 6 runners of all time.
Dakota is at the number 4 spot and Chase earned the 15th position.
Luke Shortt, who has consistently improved his times throughout the season, suffered a sprained ankle the day before the meet, but toughed it out and came in 16th with a time of 18:37. James Ferguson ran a 19:02 to place 21st. Kody Kutz placed 24th with a 19:17 and Phillip Eubanks ran a 20:27 for the 31st spot.
The competition in the boys’ race was decidedly tougher this year than last with the 1st through 8th spots turning in times in the 17′s compared to last year – same course, same weather conditions – and only one 17 minute finish. The rest were in the 18s and slower.
As a measure of the competition, the top 11 runners this year are now on the top 25 all district fastest list.
Hollister won the meet with senior Austin Wenger taking the lead the whole way and running a 17:15 and breaking the district course record by 2 seconds. Liberty placed 2nd as a team and Jasper Bunton from Liberty took 2nd overall with a 17:21, just one second ahead of Ava’s Renner.
The state meet boys’ race is at 9:35 a.m. on Saturday at Jefferson City.
The bus taking the athletes to the state meet will be leaving at 9 a.m. from the back parking lot of the gym on Friday morning. The community is invited to “see them off” as they travel through Ava toward Highway 5 northbound.