Mark Twain senior Devin Neff placed seventh overall, while the Palmyra boys claimed 12th as a team at the Class 2 state cross country championships.
Devin Neff fell just short of his goal Saturday, but the Mark Twain senior was not disappointed with his final high school cross country race.
Neff finished seventh in the boys Class 2 state meet at Oak Hills Golf Course, which was two spots from his goal of a top 5 finish.
With a time of 17 minutes, 15 seconds, the standout earned all-state honors for the second straight season.
“It wasn’t top 5, but I gave it my all and I think top seven is quite an accomplishment,” Neff said. “In my book, I think that was my best accomplishment of my life right there.”
Neff was running in fourth place after the first 1,000 meters but was unable to keep pace with the top 5 the rest of the way.
Saxony Lutheran’s Caleb Cornelius captured the individual title in a time of 16:22.
The Palmyra boys team, who was making its first state meet appearance, finished 12th in the team standings.
The Panthers were paced by freshman Aaron Stamper’s 69th-place finish with a time of 18:31.
“It’s the last race of the season, I just wanted to leave everything I had out there,” Stamper said of his race. “I wanted to try and lead the team to the best possible finish.”
Brett Griesbaum was the second Panther runner to finish as he placed 85th with a time of 18:43. Spencer Locke (18:59), Brady Buckman (19:05) and Nick Mudd (19:23) rounded out the Panthers scoring with 103rd, 110th and 123rd-place finishes, respectively.
The race was stopped and restarted after the first 200 meters. A fan blew an air horn resulting in the officials calling for a restart.
“That restart really messed with us,” a dejected Mudd said. “We lost all of the hype we had at the start and it kind of blocked us mentally.”
Lamar edged Fatima, 48-61, to capture the boys team title.
Palmyra’s Clarence Cannon Conference rival Clark County, who the Panthers topped in the district meet last weekend, finished eighth.
In the girls race, freshman Lydia Szarka placed 43rd overall with a time of 21:54.
The finish was the best for an individual at the state meet in Lady Panthers history.
“It was a really tough course but I stayed pretty close to my personal record today,” the freshman said. “I just wanted to focus on pushing up the hills because there are a lot of hills and I am usually not good at hills.”
Teammate Lauren Reid finished 84th with a time of 22:59.
“I was trying to stay as consistent as I could,” Reid said of her race strategy. “I mean I always want to go faster, but this is a really hilly course but I am happy with how I finished.”
Fatima senior Brianna Haller captured her fourth consecutive individual title. She covered the 3.1 mile course with a time of 18:50.
Bowling Green junior Kate Klott led the Lady Bobcats to a third place finish in the team standings with a fourth place effort overall.
Fatima ran away with the team title over Holden, 45-95.
This story will be updated with complete and separate stories for the boys and girls races.