NIXA, Mo. — Six was the magic number for the Neosho varsity cross country teams at the Central Ozark Conference Cross Country Championships at Inman Elementary School on Tuesday.
Both the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats finished in sixth place as a team in the varsity 5K, with Wildcat Chance Burr medaling with a fifth place finish in 16:36.
Results for Neosho's boys were: 5, Burr 16:36; 22, Cole Bishop 17:41; 28, Carter Hickman 17:58; 32, Kobi Miller 18:12; 41, Joby Paul 18:57; 43, Thomas Vernon 19:01; 47, Kris Avendano 19:13.
The Wildcats finished just three points out of fifth place as Burr ran a personal best. Bishop also ran a personal best and had his highest team finish. Hickman's time was 18 seconds faster than that of a year ago, while Miller ran almost a minute faster and Vernon topped his previous time by 3:00.
Amber Bates led the Lady Wildcats with a 15th place finish in 20:36. She was followed by: 25, Sydney Anderson 21:25; 26, Regan Rogers 21:29; 36, Anne Vernon 22:44; 40, Katelyn Lowe 23:04; 46, Kalena Hansen 24:25; 50, Morganne Bishop 26:16.
The girls finished one point away from fifth place. Rogers ran a person best time.
Neosho's junior varsity boys took third in the 5K. They were led by: 19, Tyler Burr 19:05; 21, Jacob Lett 19:29; 22, Cameron Aguillon-Langley (N/A); 24, Adam England 19:41; 31, Trenton Cook 20:23; 41, Brad Jordan 21:21; 46, Christian King 21:40; 56, Jordan Wirth 24:44.
Burr, Lett, Jordan and King ran personal bests for the young Wildcats.
"Both the boys and girls teams were somewhat disappointed with their final standings, but most all who ran last year improved their times this year," Wildcats coach Tom Thorne said. "And as mentioned, many ran better than they have all year. The COC has become one of the better cross country leagues, and along with the Ozark Conference has represented the Southwest Missouri area well in the state championships."
Neosho hosts the Neosho Cross Country Festival on Saturday at Lakes Cross Country Course at the Neosho Golf Course. An elementary race will begin at 8:30 a.m., while all junior varsity/varsity races begin at 9:30 a.m.