Though they didn’t take home any individual medals or trophies, three teams from Franklin County qualified boys runners for the state cross country race Saturday in Jefferson City.
Pacific finished 10th in the state with a team score of 252. Borgia was 13th with 287 points. Festus captured the team title in dominant fashion with 55 points and five runners reaching the podium.
St. Clair qualified two individual runners.
Will Green continued to be Pacific’s lead runner this season, finishing 31st overall with a time of 17:17.37. He was within 10 seconds of an individual medal.
“Our boys were content with 10th place as a team,” Pacific Head Coach Justin Perriguey said. “That is the best our team has ever finished. They were also able to beat some teams that had previously finished ahead of us this season.”
One of those teams that had beaten Pacific earlier in the year was Borgia, which beat out the Indians for the district championship.
“Given our district performance, the state results were completely unexpected and extremely disappointing,” Borgia Head Coach Mitch Figas said.
Scott Bonastia had the best time for the Knights, setting a new personal record as he placed 41st in 17:28.09.
Both teams were able to get another pair of runners inside the top 100. For Pacific, it was Saxon Hagemann (65th, 17:53.71) and Conner Robinson (91st, 18:13.52). Drew Snider (18:15.91) and Ben Juengling (18:17.76) finished back-to-back in 98th and 99th.
St. Clair’s first runner, Tyler Stark, finished 96th in 18:15.76.
“Tyler will tell you he did not have the race he wanted to,” Head Coach Ben Martin said. “He is a junior and is naturally very fast. I think next year he wants to chase after a state medal and he has the talent to do so.”
Cody Conway (111th, 18:27.77), Samuel Skaggs (117th, 18:36.52), Sam Dean (128th, 18:44.01) and Noah Benzabeh (138th, 19:00.58) were the other four runners from Pacific.
For three Indians — Green, Hagemann and Skaggs, their times on Saturday were new personal records. Dean ran his best time of the season.
“Moral victories aside, I am really proud of the way they competed,” Perriguey said. “They have run well the last few meets and have continued to improve. Will Green, Saxon Hagemann, and Sam Skaggs all running personal best times was awesome. Sam Skaggs had an injury right before the Four Rivers Conference meet. Him recovering and being able to run this strong was a big part of the success of the team in the state series.”
Borgia’s remaining runners were Grant Straatman (108th, 18:25.87), Anthony Willenbrink (126th, 18:42.12), Josh Kang (154th, 19:49.20) and Nicholas Weber (160th, 20:06.29).
The Bulldogs only other runner, Colin Brown, ran 125th in 18:41.83.
“Colin ran well and got to finish his high school career with a strong kick at the end,” Martin said. “He trained so hard the last four years to get to run at state and I am just so proud of his journey. Colin’s career in cross country is an example I hope my runners will follow, that hard work pays off.”
Owensville had one runner qualify for the race, Jacob Giedinghagen, who finished 77th in 18:01.86.