Russellville claims top honors at district meet
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The Russellville High School cross country team competed at the Class 1 District 3 cross country championships Saturday at Westphalia, where the Indians won the boys' team division and the Lady Indians won the girls' team division.
"The girls' race was pretty dominant, but the boys' race was a nail-biter," Russellville Coach Craig Miller said. "When you have what could have been three of the top four teams in Class 1 racing for two spots in our district, every place counts. We knew Linn and New Haven were solid teams and we had to race our best to get through. All the guys ran great races and we ended up advancing to state with a five-point win over Linn. We have to turn around and battle Linn again Saturday at state, with a little more on the line."
In the boys' division, Russellville won with 42, followed by Linn with 47. Both teams will advance to the state championships Saturday at Oak Hills Golf Center, Jefferson City.
In the girls' division, Russellville won with 24, followed by Columbia Independent with 48. Both will advance to the state championships.
All-District honors went to the top 15 individual finishers. On the boys' side, Russellville was led by Alex M. Thompson, who placed third with 17:58. Nick Haslag followed in eighth place with 8:39; Jamie Porter, ninth, 18:40; Anthony Bertucci, 12th, 18:49; and Matthew Fringer, 15th, 19:10. All earned All-District honors.
Other results for the Indians included: Alex D. Thompson, 23rd, 20:26; and Caleb Nichols, 24th, 20:28.
"Alex led the way for us like he has all year, but our #2 through #5 runners made the difference," Miller said. "You never know who will step up. Jamie, Nick, Matthew and Anthony have all been second on our team in races this year, so these guys will know what it takes to bring home a state trophy on Saturday. Nick Haslag has really stepped up as a senior. He is running better than he has in his four years of high school cross country. My #6 and #7 runners are solid too. Alex and Caleb are going to beat some top five runners at state. They did their job Saturday at districts by finishing ahead of New Havens #5 runner."
On the girls' side, Russellville was led by Grace Young who finished in first place with 21:08. Miranda Hill followed in second place with 21:24; Taylor Young, fourth, 22:10; and Hannah Michitsch, 12th, 24:08. Each earned All-District honors.
Other results for the Lady Indians included: Addie Kirchner, 16th, 24:57; Erica Miller, 21st, 25:54; and Mary Potts, 34th, 32:04.
"The girls ran a smart, strategic race," Miller said. "Grace and Miranda set the tone and held onto first and second the entire race. When you go one-two, you know you stand a good chance of winning. Taylor has stepped up this year and is back to where she was her freshman and sophomore years. Those three look to be All-State this year if they run to their abilities on Saturday. Hannah Michitsch I can count on to give her best in the big meets. Erica Miller and Addie Kirchner will be our #5 and #6 at state, which they've been consistently all year. Addie really stepped up at districts, and just missed All-District honors by one spot. She's getting better every meet and is peaking at the right time. A state trophy for the girls might come down too how our #4, #5 and #6 runners place at state. If they run a great race, we have a shot. It will be team effort from both the girls' and boys' teams this year if we are to plaque at state in 2013."
The Class 1 girls' championship race will begin at 9:35 a.m. Saturday at Oak Hills Golf Center, Jefferson City, while the Class 1 boys' championship race will begin at 10:55 a.m.
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