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Ava Cross Country Team Makes Strong Showing at West Plains

The West Plains invitational Cross Country meet was held on Tuesday, Sept. 17.  Ava had a full busload of runners traveling to run as there were races for varsity, junior varsity, junior high and 5th and 6th graders.
In the girls’ varsity race, the Lady Bears took 2nd only behind a powerful West Plains team.
Junior Bailey Ray ran 3 minutes 23 seconds faster than her time last year on the same course to medal and place 9th with a time of 21:58.
Senior Kim Copeland ran a 23:31 to also medal in the 14th spot. Senior Megan Cooper medaled in 16th with a time of 23:55, which was 2 minutes and 17 seconds faster than last year.
Freshman Darci Ray also medaled with a time of 23:58 and placed 17th. The top 20 in the varsity race medaled.
JimiLynn Raybould ran 1 minute 56 seconds faster than last year to place 25th with a time of 26:04. Freshman Hailey Pederson came in 27th with a time of 27:05.
The Lady Bears beat Plato by 8 points. Plato is in the same district and class as Ava and could possibly be the biggest competition for the Lady Bears as well as the Ava varsity boys.
West Plains’ Sydney Sanders won the girls’ race with a time of 19:45.  There were 41 girls in the varsity race.
In the boys’ varsity race, three of the Bears medaled.  Junior Caleb Stillings ran a 17:19 to place 6th overall.  His time was 44 seconds faster than at last year’s West Plains meet. Junior Logan Sicilia after battling with three runners from Plato pulled away at the 2 mile mark to place ahead of them in the 10th spot with a time of 18:40.
Senior Cole Atnip grabbed the last medal in the 20th spot with a time of 19:45.
Freshman Drew Adams was just one second behind Cole to place 21st with a time of 19:46.  Junior Sage Clunn had a time of 20:35, which bested his race from last year’s meet by 1 minute and 12 seconds. Sage placed 29th.
Junior Jonah Brown placed 32nd with a time of 21:05 and sophomore Jacob Luebbering ran a 21:36.
Camden Barrett led West Plains and won the meet with a time of 16:08.
The West Plains men ran a perfect team score of 15 points placing the red and white clad Zizzers in the first five spots as they crossed the finish line.
Plato boys took home 2nd with 67 points, while the running Bears had to settle for 3rd by only 2 points with 69.
Springfield Hillcrest, Mtn. Grove, and Mtn. Home, Ark., came in 4th, 5th, and 6th. There were 59 boys in the varsity 5k race.
In the junior high girls’ race, which was a mile and a half, 8th grader Emily Stillings improved her time to 11:47 over last week at Willow.  She placed 29th out of 51 girls.
In the boys’ junior high competition, Jacob Key ran a new personal best over last year by 29 seconds, placing 7th overall with a time of 9:37.  Gavin Goss also ran for a personal record from last year by 2:17. His time was 11:27. Gavin placed 57th out of 78 junior high boys.
In the junior varsity races, also a mile and a half, Braden Swofford ran a new career personal record by 35 seconds with a time of 9:22.  Kevin Mangan improved his time in his 2nd meet of the year with a 10:45.  Braden finished in 12th place and Kevin in 17th.
In the girls’ junior varsity, freshman Cleo Stafford crossed the finish line in the 12th spot with a time of 11:28 to set a new PR. Junior  Tori Kuz ran a close 11:31 to place 13th . Tori also had a new PR.  Hailey Herrell ran a 15:25 to place 26th. There were 27 girls in the JV race.
6th grader Layla Giorgianni  ran the 1-mile race in 7:17 and placed a high 22nd out of 141 girls.