The boys weren’t the only ones to leave Jefferson City with hardware Saturday.
After New Haven’s boys cross country won the state championship earlier that morning, the Lady Shamrocks ran their way to second place in the state.
New Haven was edged out of a clean sweep of the Class 1 championships as West Platte’s girls took the girls title with a score of 104. New Haven was just five points behind with 109. Emma McIntyre was the lone individual medalist for the Lady Shamrocks, finishing in fifth place.
Ashley Riley from South Nodaway won the individual championship with a time of 19:55.53.
Like New Haven’s boys, the girls had qualified for the state competition each of the last three seasons and were familiar with what it would take to finish near the top. The Lady Shamrocks were third a year ago.
“For both teams I knew going into the second mile that we weren’t winning state at that point,” Head Coach John Tucker said of both his teams Saturday. “So, some motivational statements at that point to get them going, and for the boys it worked. For the girls, they just got beat by a better team. We didn’t underperform. I think our average time was out best average time all season. We ran great. They just ran better this year, so I tip my hat to them.”
McIntyre, a freshman, steadily moved up the field at each mile marker. She was 10th after the first mile and seventh after the second before cracking the top five in the third mile.
“There was a small pack of girls in front of me and I just wanted to keep up with them,” McIntyre said of the lead pack that she stayed in pursuit of throughout the race.
In the final stretch, Van Buren’s Jennifer Morey was able to get past McIntyre, but she in turn got past Salisbury’s Nicole Helm to maintain her spot in the top five, finishing in 20:12.18.
McIntyre knew it was going to be a close battle for the championship and her team needed every point she could get.
“I just wanted to get done with the race and I had in mind the team placing,” McIntyre said. “I just wanted to get another place for the team.”
New Haven’s second runner, Abby Grater, finished 27th in 22:28.98, two positions behind the cutoff for individual medals.
West Platte was able to get two runners in the top 25, Alexsi Elmore in 10th and Lindsay Goodwin in 19th.
After the first two runners from both teams had crossed, West Platte led New Haven by just four points.
The Nos. 3, 4 and 5 runners from both teams were not separated by more than two points from their counterpart on the other squad as the race came down to the wire.
West Platte’s No. 3 runner, Sophia Rush, finished immediately behind Grater. Grace Allgaier finished two spots later for the Lady Shamrocks in 30th at 22:42.32.
Julia McIntyre, New Haven’s fourth runner, crossed the finish in 40th at 22:59.36. She was four spots ahead of West Platte’s No. 4 Katy Tharp, but two of the runners between them did not factor into the team scoring.
Lydia Lagemann was the last runner to factor into the Lady Shamrocks team score, crossing the finish in 47th place at 23:23.12. West Platte’s No. 5, Lea Moose, finished on place earlier in 46th.
New Haven’s last two runners, Caroline Otten (55th, 23:30.83) and Kayla Brumels (76th, 24:04.90) each finished ahead of the fifth and final scoring runner from each of the remaining schools in the team competition.
“I think everyone really did their job, what was expected of them today, and because of that we were successful,” Tucker said of both his boys and girls runners.
Both teams left Jefferson City with their highest finish yet, and it may be just the start as the girls team will graduate just one senior from the race.