SPRINGFIELD — The Neosho Wildcats’ boys cross country squad finished third overall in the team sweepstakes Tuesday at the Irish Invitational hosted by Springfield Catholic.

Neosho finished with 86 points, a distant third behind overall winner Carl Junction (49) and Bolivar (50), who each boasted several runners among the top 10 outside Logan-Rogersville’s Jay Strausbaugh and Landon Hendrickson. Strausbaugh and Hendrickson posted the best individual times but the Wildcats did not have enough runners to score points in the team standings.

Strausbaugh won the race with a time of 16 minutes, 58.81 seconds and he was the lone runner under 17 minutes. Hendrickson finished not too far behind at 17:04.

Carl Junction’s Weibel Kaleb finished third in 17:56.11 and he counted as a single point for Carl Junction, making a difference in why the Bulldogs placed first as a team and not second.

Neosho senior Kyle Wood led a quintet of Wildcat runners who finished in the top 26 overall runners, with a time of 18:17.10. Kaden Cole, a freshman fresh off a second place at Nevada, finished 16th in 18:25.95, while senior Oliver Bopp finished 21st in 19:10.10, junior Cooper Hayes 24th in 19:22.60, and junior Nathaniel Wimpey 26th in 19:32.30.

Additionally, Lane Yost and Bryce Hall took 37th and 38th, respectively, in 20:39.07 and 20:51.74.

Neosho head coach Emily Abell said that she was proud of the way the boys pushed themselves on a tough course with staggering hills just a couple days since winning the Nevada competition.

Springfield Catholic finished fourth as a team with 124 points, with Nevada fifth at 139, Republic sixth at 178, Mount Vernon seventh at 181, Marshfield eighth at 206, Ava ninth at 223, Hollister 10th at 254, and Aurora 11th at 308.

These schools all competed in the Class 4 and Class 3 race, while the smaller schools competed in their own separate race.

On the girls side, Neosho junior Destiny Colston finished 38th in 25:26.61, while Sarah Werner, Jayden Brown, and Madison Flynn finished 54th-55th-56th in 32:43.92, 32:50.72, and 32:50.87.

Neosho competes next Tuesday in the Central Ozark Conference meet hosted by Nixa.

Diamond’s Hall finishes 2nd at home invite
DIAMOND — Diamond senior Ellie Hall, a returning state qualifier, finished in second place Tuesday at her home meet with a time of 22:19.47, just behind Southwest sophomore Brylee Wilson and her 21:20.52 but ahead of Carthage’s Carla Marquez in 23:17.15.

Sydney McMullen took 17th in 27:10.48 and these were the lone Lady Wildcat runners in a girls varsity race with only 25 individual participants and three scoring teams (Carthage, Southwest, and Galena).

On the boys side, sophomore Sean Dalton led the Wildcats with a seventh place in 19:25.50 and the Wildcats finished a distant fifth in the team standings with 113 points.

Jake Frazier also finished 21st in 20:51.14, Kaden Culbertson and David Yorke back-to-back 27th and 28th in 22:19.23 and 22:22.75, Blake Grube 39th in 25:50.89, and Ethan Cupp 42nd in 31:33.71.

Of the six Wildcat runners competing in the boys varsity race, none of them are seniors with Frazier a junior, Dalton a sophomore, and the other four all freshmen, an encouraging sign for the future.

Carthage swept titles in all races varsity and JV.