Maryville cross country wrapped up its season in Jefferson City last Saturday after four state qualifiers competed in the Class 3 meet.
Sophomores Laura and Amy Feuerbacher finished 129th and 131st, respectively, in a pool of 165 runners. Laura Feuerbacher, who battled a nagging injury for the last few weeks of the regular season, finished the 5,000-meter race with a time of 22:54. Amy came in closely behind her at 23:01.
“Laura, she ran as well as she could, being injured,” coach Rodney Bade said. “That’s just reality. She toughed through it and ran a respectable time.”
Amy Feuerbacher ran her way to state in her first season on the Maryville cross country team. The sophomore opted to join siblings Caleb Feuerbacher and Laura Feuerbacher in running this season after playing volleyball her freshman year.
“Amy learned a lot, and that’s just honesty,” Bade said. “You can try to prepare the kids as much as you can for the atmosphere and excitement (at state). But until they really get in that situation, there’s not much we can do for them.”
Senior Jon Holtman placed 119th out of the 167 runners on the boys side, finishing with a time of 18:37. The senior accomplished his goal of reaching state as an individual.
“Jon had a quality race,” Bade said. “Not quite what he was going for, but it was a good way to finish his season. Qualifying for state was the big objective (for Holtman).”
The big story for the Spoofhounds was senior wunderkind Caleb Feuerbacher, as it has been all season. Caleb Feuerbacher finished seventh overall with a time of 16:40. The back-to-back Class 3 District 8 champion achieved his goal of finishing in the top-10, passing four competitors to do so in the final stretch of the race.
“We used to joke that he (Caleb) had absolutely zero kick, that he was just an endurance monster,” Bade said. “He basically gained more strength than other people at the end of the race. He’s not necessarily any faster than those four that he beat, but he has more strength.”
Caleb Feuerbacher had grown accustomed to being well ahead of his nearest competitor, so turning on the afterburners in the final seconds of a race is not something he has had to do all season. The senior was very pleased with his finish.
“I was in 11th place coming through at three miles,” Caleb Feuerbacher said. “I just had to give it all to get the highest place I could. I did not want to be on the podium knowing I could have done better.”
Following his final race for the Maryville cross country team, Caleb Feuerbacher reflected on all he accomplished. The Mizzou-commit is hopeful he will leave a lasting effect on Maryville High School.
“I just hope I left behind a good legacy,” Caleb Feuerbacher said. “I’ve always maintained above a 4.0 GPA, and these last two years I’ve been undefeated in our district (Class 3 District 8) at any single meet. I was All-State for two years. I just want to leave that legacy here in Maryville.”
Coach Bade doesn’t think leaving behind something bigger than himself will be hard for the senior after all he has accomplished over the past few seasons.
“(Caleb) getting seventh, that’s the highest finish from a boy in Maryville school history,” Bade said. “That’s certainly something he’ll hang his hat on.”