The Hannibal High School cross-country team held its only home meet of the year on Thursday when the Pirates hosted the Frank Lemons Cross Country Invitational at the American Legion Golf Course.
Overall, the Lady Pirates finished third out of six teams while the boys finished second out of 11 teams.
With the top 15 runners earning medals, the Lady Pirates took home a pair of medals as Rachel Davis and Abbey Jeffries both finished in the top 10.
Davis finished third overall with a time of 21:54 for Hannibal.
“I wanted first,” Davis said. “But I competed at a pretty good level, so I am proud of that.”
Hannibal coach Charlie Newland was pleased with Davis’ performance.
“I thought she had really good grace on a tough course,” Newland said. “This course is probably one of the toughest in Missouri and she is starting to round into shape and starting to gain some confidence. She has been our No. 1 runner all year long.
“She is a competitor,” Newland continued. “And that is nice to see. She has some ability and she works hard and good things head those folks way.”
Regardless of her finish, Davis was pleased with the way she ran and her time.
“For this course, with this amount of hills, it is a very good time,” Davis said. “On a flatter course, I probably would have run a personnel record.”
Not to far behind Davis was Jeffries who finished sixth with a time of 22:22.
“It was nice to see both (Davis and Jeffries) have good races,” Newland said. “Abbey is a former champion of the women’s invitational and I think she is starting to round into shape also.”
The rest of the Lady Pirates finishers were Bailey Welch (24:18), Cathleen Thorpe (25:57), Morgan Hall (26:08), and Olivia Mack (27:54). Welch finished in 21st place for Hannibal while Thorpe was the 31st runner to cross the finish line. Hall came in at 35th and Mack was 43rd.
“We have had a pretty good season,” Davis said. “We have had some of our fourth and fifth runners cutting their times pretty well. We just keep improving and everyone has been cutting their times since the beginning of the season, so it has been a pretty good season so far.”
The Pirates boys’ team, like the girls, also brought home a pair of medals. Paul Golian (18:20) was the top finishing Hannibal runner as he finished in eighth place. Also medaling for the Pirates was Michael Vaia who came in 15th with a time of 19:19.
Page 2 of 3 - “It was pretty good,” Golian said. “But I went out a little too fast though and I sort of died on these hills.
“I did pretty good,” Golian continued. “I think it was one of the best races I have had this year.”
Newland had high praise for Golian.
“Paul has been our No. 1 runner all year long,” Newland said. “He put in the miles over the summer time and his performance is starting to speak for himself. He is starting to gain some confidence and he is starting to move up on the leaderboard.”
Tyler Janes (19:20) and Sean Jones (19:21) both just missed medaling. Janes finished 16th while Jones was 17th. Right behind them was Nigel McIntosh (19:27) who finished 20th for Hannibal.
“This course is tough,” Golian said. “It is really tough. The competition was really good, especially for as windy as it was.”
Alex Brown (20:11) and Daniel DeLaporte (20:12) finished 28th and 29th for the Pirates to round out Hannibal’s team.
“I just need to keep training with my teammates,” Golian said. “I push them and they push me and it makes us all better as a team.”
In junior varsity action, Hannibal placed three runners in the top 5, including Jacob Roisum who finished first with a time of 20 minutes even. Kyle Allen took third at 20:28 while Isaas Lichty was fifth at 20:35. Brad Curl (22:37) finished 22nd and Taylor Franz (24:43) was 32nd. Joe Meidl (26:20) finished in 43rd for the Hannibal JV team.
Also participating was the Hannibal Middle School boys cross country team and the girls.
In the boys’ race, 40 runners participated with the top-15 medaling. The Pirates had two runners medal. Jordan Held finished in third place with a time of 10:25 while Coady Gilbert was fifth with a time of 10:29. Ryan Novak just missed medaling as he finished 16 (11:32) with Evan Lewis (11:41) right behind him in 17th. Toby Tobias turned in a time of 12:22 for Hannibal while Jared St. Juliana finished at 14:52.
The Lady Pirates had one runner medal, Emily Albright. Albright finished sixth with a time of 11:14 while Kylie Stroud missed medaling by two places as she finished 17th at 10:25. Grace Douglas turned in a time of 13:57 and Kylee Johnson finished at 15:36 for the Lady Pirates.
“I think we have one of the most supportive principles in the state,” Newland said. “Ryan Sharkey just helps us immensely. He was there setting up the course and bending over backwards to help us out. The meet wouldn’t be what it is without the help of Mr. Sharkey, Holly Wheeler and the rest of the teachers and parents that make the meet possible. I just can’t say enough about Mr. (Bill) Heibel and his American Legion workers. He had golfers there helping us out left and right.”
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