Marshall boys claim third straight trophy
MOBERLY -- Give the Marshall boys' cross country team an "A" on their mid-term exam.
In what the Owls hope will be a preview of the NCMC Championships, sophomore Michael McCampbell set a new personal record time -- breaking the 17-minute barrier -- with a 16:53 Thursday to win the Moberly Invitational. With three other medalists, Marshall won its third meet title in a row going away.
The Owls' 43 points were less than half those of second-place Bowling Green (91 points) and well ahead of the six conference rivals in the field. Following McCampbell, senior Shaun Berning (17:24) and sophomore Jeremy Glassmaker (17:26) -- while finishing sixth and eighth, respectively -- shattered their previous times on the course by more than a minute.
Both 15th-place junior Jose Mercado (18:06) and 17th-place sophomore Derrick Eskew (18:16) set new personal standards. Freshman Alex Jones (19:11) came in 33rd and junior Chris Kuhn (19:21) was 38th in a field of 80 runners, each also at his best.
Freshman Madison Marshman (22:18) claimed her fourth straight medal by being 18th out of 94 entries. Sophomore Jessica Morton (22:56) had her best time of the season, arriving 29th, and juniors Marita McCampbell (23:37) and Alicia Harris (24:16) lowered their course times by at least 1:30. Sophomore Emma Pfizenmaier (24:40) shaved 26 seconds off her personal best, covering the same 3.1 miles six minutes faster than a year ago.
The Lady Owls (157) were sixth among nine teams, with the defending NCMC champion -- Helias senior Becca Miller (19:30) -- taking first and Moberly (30) nipping the Lady Crusaders for the team crown.
Six Marshall junior varsity boys took home medals, with sophomore David Fleming (19:36) lowering his top mark 39 seconds while placing third. Junior Joel Schultz (20:49) was fifth -- a minute faster than last year -- and sophomores Nathan Lockhart (19:51) and Mark Clemons (19:54) and junior Aaron Pautz (19:55) notched their best times while finishing between eighth and 13.
All 21 MHS runners who were at the meet a year ago improved their times and 15 personal records were tied or broken. The Owls will get to look at some different competition Tuesday when they take part in the Excelsior Springs Invitational.