Tracy, Burnett battle state's best in cross-country
Prairie Home’s Savanna Tracy and New Franklin’s Mallori Burnett had something in common Saturday in Columbia.
They both competed in the Class 1 State Cross-Country Championships at Gans Creek Cross-Country Course for their respective schools.
While the state meet was the first for both runners, Tracy became the first female runner in Prairie Home history to qualify for state in cross-country. She is also has the highest finish of any Prairie Home athlete ever in cross-country.
As for Burnett, Quest said the senior runner has been the entire girls program for her four years in high school.
A total of 164 runners competed in this year’s state cross-country championships in Class 1.
With sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60s at race time, Tracy finished in the middle of the pack in 84th place in a time of 24:49.3. Burnett, meanwhile, finished in 119th place in a time of 25:56.1.
Prairie Home cross-country coach Marie Pope said Tracy was incredibly pleased with her race, as was she.
“Savanna was hoping to break top 100 so finishing 84th made her very happy,” Pope said. “It wasn’t quite the time that she was hoping for, but considering it was the biggest race she’s ever been a part of, it was phenomenal. She’s looking forward to next year and and has already started thinking about how to better prepare for the nerves, the crowd, and how to handle competing at the state level. I’m proud of how well she not only raced but also how she coped with the stress of her first state appearance in addition to all of the new regulations due to COVID. She saw the course last year as a spectator, but this year was a completely different feel.”
New Franklin coach Adam Quest said he has certainly never been to the state meet wearing shorts and a t-shirt before.
“It was a wonderful day for running, and it was great to see Mallori Burnett finish her cross-country career on such a high note,” Quest said. “Mallori has put a lot of heart into this program over the last four years. In fact, she has been the entire girls program for her four years in high school. With all of the injuries and adversity she has faced the last several years, there were times I didn’t know whether Mallori would be able to finish her career. To see her not only compete this year, but finish her career at the state meet was something very special. I am very proud of all Mallori has accomplished throughout her career, and I know she will put the same determination into her future endeavors as she has on the course the last four years.”
Riley Arnold of Blue Eye had the winning time in Class 1 in a time of 18:45.2. Riley Bryce of Smithton, who captured first the week before in the Class 1 District 4 Cross-Country Meet in Linn, finished second in a time of 18:55.1.
In the final team standings for girls, College Heights Christian finished first with 91 points. Valle Catholic placed second with 109 points, followed by Harrisburg with 116 and Van Buren with 118.
Only the top four teams receive trophies at the state cross-country meet.
In Class 1 boys, Tyler Blay of West Nodaway finished first in a time of 16:30.3.
Calvary Lutheran boys finished first in the team standings with 90 points while Blue Eye place second with 96 points, Principia third with 98 points and West Nodaway fourth with 132 points.
In Class 2, Sam Shuman of Spokane turned in the winning time for the boys in 16:3.06, while Rita Eimer of St. Pius X had the fastest time in Class 2 for the girls in 19:37.2.
Arcadia Valley won the title for the girls in Class 2 with 86 points, while Father Tolton captured its first state title for the boys with 92 points.
In Class 3, Daelen Ackley of El Dorado Springs finished first for the boys in 15:41.1 while Macy Schelp of Lutheran South placed first for the girls in 18:54.3.
Fatima boys were Class 3 champions with 98 points while John Burroughs captured the title for the girls with 59 points.
In Class 4, Riley Simpson of West Plains won the boys title in 15:39.5 while Lilian Jackson of St. Charles West capture first for the girls in 18:21.6.
Festus won the Class 4 boys team title with 45 points while West Plains captured first for the girls with 53 points.
In Class 5, Matthew Hauser of Rock Bridge turned in the fastest time in the boys race in 15:34.5 while Ally Kruger of Liberty (Wentzville) had the winning time for the girls in 18:03.1.
Rock Bridge boys also captured the team title in Class 5 with 109 points while Lafayette (Wildwood) girls finished first with 80 points.