Wildcats get four medalists at season-opening meet in New Haven

By Theo Tate
Posted 9/16/21

A year ago, Malia Rodgers and Lyric Ford were the 1-2 punch of the Montgomery County girls cross country team, earning a total of 16 medals and receiving all-state honors.

In the season-opening …

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Wildcats get four medalists at season-opening meet in New Haven

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A year ago, Malia Rodgers and Lyric Ford were the 1-2 punch of the Montgomery County girls cross country team, earning a total of 16 medals and receiving all-state honors.


In the season-opening New Haven Invitational on Sept. 4, Rodgers and Ford picked up right where they left off from 2020. Rodgers, a sophomore, finished third with a time of 19:44 and Ford, a junior, came in fourth with a 19:51, becoming the only Wildcats to earn medals in the girls race.


Rodgers finished one-tenth of a second behind Tolton Catholic’s Madison Taylor for second place. She improved her time by 1 minute, 20 seconds from last year’s New Haven meet, where she finished sixth.


Ford, who won the individual title last year, improved her time by 34 seconds from the 2020 meet.


“I was very surprised with both of our times,” Ford said. “Last year, Malia ran a 21:04 and I ran a 20:25. We somehow managed to run in the 19s.”


Last year, Rodgers and Ford finished 13th and 23rd, respectively, at the Class 3 state meet, making it the first time the MCHS girls cross country team had two all-state medalists in the same year. Rodgers and Ford now have a combined 27 medals.


Rodgers said she has high hopes for Ford and herself this fall.


“Hopefully, this year goes better than last year,” the sophomore said.


MCHS had a pair of runners pick up medals in the boys race. Senior Dawson McCown finished second with a 16:56.93 and freshman Jadrian Thurman placed 12th with an 18:31.51 in his first high school race.


With his finish, Thurman is now fourth on the all-time MCHS record list. McCown, who placed second in last year’s New Haven meet, is still the school record holder with a 16:37 that was set in last year’s Orchard Farm Invitational.


The Wildcats had a total of just seven runners who competed in the varsity level. Junior Destiny Shaw finished 32nd with a 23:53.79 and junior Carie Schroer came in 43rd with a 25:10 in the girls race. Junior Logan Camp, who earned a medal in the junior varsity division in last year’s New Haven meet, finished 54th with a 22:07 in the boys race.

Elyse Wilmes of Tolton Catholic won the individual title with a 19:08.48 in the girls race. Hermann won the team title with 45 points, beating Tolton Catholic by just one point.


Tolton Catholic won the boys team title with 30 points. Nathan Hinrichs of New Bloomfield won the individual title with a 16:34.


In the junior high meet, Montgomery County Middle School had two runners earn medals in the girls race. Austyn Robinson, a seventh-grader, placed third with a 14:55.7 and Taylor River, an eighth-grader, was 10th with a 15:54.02.


The Wildcats’ next meet will be the Missouri Southern Stampede on Sept. 18 in Joplin.


“I’m actually very, very excited,” Ford said. “I was looking at the entries list and there are a ton of girls I have never ran against in my life. I don’t know what the course looks like. But with good competition, the course really doesn’t matter.”

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