It seems the Neosho varsity cross country teams seem only to be getting stronger as the season progresses.
At the Carl Junction Invitational on Thursday, Neosho’s girls placed first in the varsity 5K, while the boys took second out of 10 teams.
On the girls’ side, Neosho’s Amber Bates and Sydney Anderson set the pace for the Lady Wildcats. Teammate Regan Rogers kept pace with Bates and Anderson for most of the race before finishing with teammate Anne Vernon nearby.
Each of Neosho’s top five runners medaled. Results for them were: 3, Bates 20:28; 4, Anderson 20:33; 9, Rogers 21:46; 11, Vernon (N/A); 12, Katelyn Lowe 22:47; 21, Kalena Hansen 24:40; 28, Morganne Bishop 28:25.
Neosho’s boys took second despite having only five runners compete in the event after Carter Hickman was a late scratch after becoming ill shortly before the start. With no backups warmed up in time to take his spot, Neosho’s Chance Burr, Cole Bishop, Jobi Paul, Kobi Miller and Thomas Vernon stepped up in a big way to lead the team to a strong finish. Bishop, Miller and Paul all ran season bests in the 5K.
Results for the varsity boys were: 6, Burr 16:51; 10, Bishop 17:58; 14, Paul 18:06; 15, Miller 18:07; 19, Vernon 18:37.
Neosho’s junior varsity boys also took first place in the 2.5K. Results for them were: 1, Kris Avendano 8:34; 2, Jacob Lett 8:37; 3, Cameron Aguillon-Langley 8:49; 4, Tyler Burr 9:01; 5, Adam England 9:07; 6, Trent Cook 9:23; Brad Jordan 9:30; Christian King 9:39; Jordan Wirth 11:04.
“The team continues to work toward improving each meet,” Wildcats coach Tom Thorne said. “The COC Championships are going to be difficult in the tough COC league next week, as we try to better our team placings from the past two years. I was pleased with the effort of our athletes, as always.”
The Wildcats are back in action at the Central Ozark Conference Championships on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Inman Elementary School in Nixa, Mo.