Autumn Bigsby and Claudia Nichols medaled at the Class 4 District 4 meet Saturday morning in Jefferson City to keep their cross country season alive.

Autumn Bigsby and Claudia Nichols medaled at the Class 4 District 4 meet Saturday morning in Jefferson City to keep their cross country season alive.

Bigsby led the Lady Pirates with an 18th-place finish of 21:49, while Nichols came in three places behind in 21:51. Both advanced to their second consecutive state sectional meet, which is scheduled for Saturday in St. Louis.

"They know what they're heading into with the sectional meet, so it's going to be fun to see how they respond," coach Charlie Newland said. "If they have good races, they've got a good shot of possibly qualifying for the state meet."

The standouts helped the Hannibal girls place eighth out of 12 squads in the district standings with 184 team points to improve upon last year's 11th-place finish. 

Fort Zumwalt West won the girls team title with 62 points.

Elle Hudelson, the Lady Pirates lone senior, capped her career with a time of 23:15, good for 46th place. Following Hudelson were Kyleigh Gibbs (23:19, 48th), Ruby Roisum (24:00, 57th), Alayna Pipkin (24:25, 65th), Alexia Gonzalez (25:45, 75th) and Andrew Bryant (25:50).

“The kids had an overall good season,” Newland said. “This was a really young squad, so the experiences they had will lead to hopefully a better year next year.”

On the boys side, Carter Munch finished 51st in 19:16 and John Fritch followed for 63rd in 19:38. Ayden Nichols, the Pirates top runner, didn't compete due to a staph infection.

Hannibal didn't have enough runners to qualify for the boys team standings.

Newland mentioned it was a bittersweet day as he said goodbye to three seniors: Ayden Nichols, Munch and Hudelson.

“They are three special kids who the sky is the limit,” the coach said. “Hannibal High School is lucky to have them as students and (we) have been fortunate to have them as representatives of our program. I'm going to miss being their coach.”