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2020 Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year: Jaguars' Trober vows to get even better

By Bill Althaus
Blue Springs South junior Mya Trober cruises to the finish line to repeat as conference champion at the Suburban Big Eight Championships. After winning five major meets during the season, including the district race, she stumbled at the Class 5 state meet, finishing one spot away from all-state honors. The Examiner's 2020 Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year vows to be even better as a senior.

The clock struck midnight on Mya Trober’s dream cross country season.

The junior, who won five individual championships during the regular season, finished in 26th place at the Class 5 state meet in 19 minutes, 32.6 seconds – one spot and just 1.3 seconds away from earning an all-state medal.

However, her teammates rallied to finish in third place, and bring home some state hardware for the fourth year in a row.

“Finishing third as a team was awesome – our girls were great,” said Tober, The Examiner’s 2020 Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. “But I was so disappointed to finish in 26th, one position away from medaling, and helping us win a team trophy.

“But my amazing teammates answered the call, and I can promise you I am going to think about that 26th place finish every day. And I’m going to work even harder than I did going into this past season to be ready for a great senior season.”

When asked about winning the area’s top cross country honor, she said, “It’s such a tremendous honor, but I’d trade it for a better performance at state.”

However, she mellowed a bit when she was told that she is now part of the amazing Jaguars cross country legacy in which a runner from South has won 11 of the last 13 top honors from The Examiner, joining former Jaguars Sam Nightingale, Grace Klausen and Tori Findley – all multiple winners.

“When you put it that way, it’s pretty special,” Trober said. “When I was a freshman, I never imagined my name would be mentioned with Sam, Grace and Tori – they are the best of the best. 

“It’s a real honor to win the award. Who knows, maybe I can win it again next year and go better at state.”

She earned a team medal at state, despite not winning an individual medal, and won the following meets:

• Lee’s Summit North Kris Solsberg Invitational – 18:42

• Kansas City XC Classic – 18:54

• Kearney Invitational – 19:43

• Suburban Big Eight Conference Championship – 18:48 (winning the title for a second year in a row)

• District championship – 19:53

“Mya had a great season,” said Ryan Unruh, the South cross country coach who has created a legacy with his teams. “When she was a freshman, we thought she could be a good runner, but when she got serious about the sport, we knew she could be a great runner.

“It shows what type of teammate and individual she is, because she was so upset that she didn’t help us get that third-place medal at state. But she worked so hard all season, she set the standard for her teammates, and they really responded, especially at state.”

2020 All-Area Girls Cross Country


Emmerson Allen, fresh., Blue Springs South — 43rd at Class 5 state (19:49.7); 3rd at Class 5 District 5 (20:49.1); 12th at Suburban Big Eight Championships (20:14.4).

Magdalene Boley, soph., Blue Springs South — 32nd at Class 5 state (19:37.7); 8th at Class 5 District 5 (21:38.2); 9th at Suburban Big Eight Championships (20:06.8).

I'yana Foster, soph., Blue Springs — 30th at Class 5 state (19:36.5); 4th at Class 5 District 7 (20:06.90); 28th at Suburban Big Six Championships (21:01.5).

Caitlin Grover, soph., Blue Springs South — 13th at Class 5 state (18:55.2); Class 5 District 5 runner-up (20:36.4); 4th at Suburban Big Eight Championships (19:30.9).

McKenna Ledgerwood, jr., Blue Springs South — 45th at Class 5 state (19:51.2); 5th at Class 5 District 5 (21:31.2); 15th at Suburban Big Eight Championships (20:35.7).

Lily Madden, sr., Lee’s Summit North — 53rd at Class 5 state (19:59.2); 8th at Class 5 District 7 (20:38.74); 19th at Suburban Big Eight Championships (20:37.7).

Mya Trober, jr., Blue Springs South — 26th at Class 5 state (19:32.6); Class 5 District 5 champion (19:53.8); Suburban Big Eight champion (18:48.4); 2020 Examiner Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.


Blue Springs: Macy Baldwin, soph.; Abigail Brackenbury, fresh.; Gwynevere Detering, sr.; Lia Hanson, soph.; Ariana Jackson, fresh.; Allie Wharton, jr.; Blue Springs South: Hayley Neff, fresh.; Amy Woolsey, jr.; Grain Valley: Kayley Bell, fresh.; Ella Casey, jr.; Annalynn Earley, sr.; Valerie Holcomb, sr.; Lexie Nicholson, soph.; Lilly Ogle, sr.; Alaina Valverde, sr.; Lee’s Summit North: Brianna Fee, sr.; Katie Mead, sr.; Cassidy Montgomery, soph.; Oak Grove: Aubrey Johnson, soph.; St. Michael the Archangel Catholic: Eva Petrini, sr.; Van Horn: Keyra Castillo, fresh.; Betzaira Guzman, fresh.