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Examiner
  • Cats, Patriot dominate league meets

  • The Blue Springs boys cross country team and Truman’s Cole Rockhold were expected to dominate their respective conference meets Saturday.

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  • The Blue Springs boys cross country team and Truman’s Cole Rockhold were expected to dominate their respective conference meets Saturday.
    They didn’t disappoint.
    The Blue Springs boys ran away with the Suburban Big Six title at Stocksdale Park in Liberty, while Rockhold cruised to the Suburban Middle Six title by 23 seconds in St. Joseph.
    The Wildcats dominated the Big Six meet with 39 points, placing four runners in the top six.
    Liberty was second with 47 points, followed by Raymore-Peculiar (67), Lee’s Summit North (92), Lee’s Summit (121) and Blue Springs South (144).
    Lee’s Summit North captured the girls meet with 39 points as four runners finished in the top 10. Liberty was second with 67 points followed by Raymore-Peculiar (70), Blue Springs South (97), Lee’s Summit (111) and Blue Springs (140).
    What made the Blue Springs boys’ accomplishment more rewarding was it was the first time they claimed a conference title since 1994, and their first two runners, senior Simon Belete and sophomore Stephen Mugeche, were the first to run the course in less than 16 minutes.
    Belete took the individual title in 15 minutes, 41 seconds and Mugeche was second in 15:53. James Barnett was third in 16:12.
    “I thought we would do well,” Wildcats coach Frank Gallick said. “Last weekend at the Roy Griak Invitational at St. Paul (Minn.), we had four runners out of 430 finish the top 37 and finished sixth out of 44 teams.
    “One of our goals was to win conference. It was very exciting. The boys did a great job.”
    Devon Sesler was sixth in 16:49 in giving the Wildcats four runners in top six. The fifth runner, Ty Kemmer, was 28th in 17:54, for the Wildcats, who are setting their sights on the district title Oct. 20 at Lake Jacomo.
    Cady Griff was 13th in 17:22 in leading Blue Springs South. Lee’s Summit North’s top finisher was Brian Green, 11th in 17:01.
    Elizabeth Carpino was first in 19:47.04 to lead Lee’s Summit North to the girls title. Jesse Dinkins was seventh in 20:44.87, Danielle Rock eighth, 20:47.57, and Karley Brown 10th, 21:11.13.
    Grace Klausen’s third-place finish in 20:15.27 paced Blue Springs South. Ashton Henson was 11th in 21:15.92 and Hannah Downie was 18th in 21:37.06.
    “We have a very young group in our top seven – three sophomores, two freshmen, two seniors – and we were happy with their performances,” South coach Ryan Unruh said. “Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs have beaten us earlier in the year, so to finish in front of them was a big step for us."
    Junior Corinne Rinne led Blue Springs by finishing sixth in 20:31.07 and Emily Hubner was 25th in 22:09.15.
    MIDDLE SIX: Rockhold was the only runner to break 16 minutes in winning the Middle Six meet at St. Joseph.
    But the Truman junior – who finished in 15:49, 23 seconds ahead of St. Joseph Central’s Jeff Bachman, didn’t think he had it sewn up going into the meet.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I don’t take any victory for granted,” Rockhold said.
    Rockhold’s finish helped the Patriots take second with 63 points to St. Joseph Central’s 27. Cedric Gibbs also earned all-conference honors with an 11th-place finish in 17:08. David Frazier (16th, 17:30), Kenyon Briggs (17th, 17:31) and Mike Frazier (18th, 17:36) earned second-team all-conference honors.
    Lee’s Summit West dominated the girls meet with 17 points as Kennadee Williams led six Titans in the top seven. Truman did not have a complete team. Lauren Connor was the Patriots’ top finisher in 27th in 23:33.
     
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