Runners from the Maryville cross country team took part in their last meet of the 2018 season Nov. 3 at the Oak Hills Golf Course in Jefferson City.
The ‘Hounds were represented by three runners, including junior Zach Kizer, sophomore Garrett Dumke, and junior Laura Feuerbacher. Kizer and Dumke both competed in the first state meet of their respective careers, while Feuerbacher returned for the third consecutive year. Despite less than ideal conditions, the runners made the most of their opportunity.
“I thought the race went really well,” Feuerbacher said. “It was super cold during the race and misty and muddy, but we all had a lot of fun this weekend together.”
Maryville’s highest finisher was Dumke, who after a strong kick to finish the final stretch, crossed the line in 41st place out of 164 total runners, with a time of 17:53.654, with only seven underclassmen finishing ahead of him. He was followed by Kizer, who crossed with a time of 19:14.96, finishing in 136th.
On the girls side, Feuerbacher was the lone representative for the Spoofhounds, and finished in 132nd with a time of 23:31.62. For Feuerbacher, she now looks ahead to focus on making a fourth consecutive appearance during her senior year in 2019.
“I can’t wait to go back and compete next year,” Feuerbacher said.
Feuerbacher, along with five others, will be seniors next year. This will add needed leadership that the ‘Hounds did not have the luxury of having this season. The team leaned heavily on junior leadership during the 2018 campaign, and that extra experience should translate well into 2019.
With the 2018 season in the rear view mirror, coach Rodney Bade and his team will look to build off of the success as they prepare for next year, something Bade says his team is motivated for.
“They all commented that they are motivated and excited for next year,” Bade said of his team after a third place finish in the Class 3, District 8 Meet on Oct. 27. “With no seniors, and everyone planning on coming back next year, they will be ready to qualify next year. This all starts with solid consistent training over the winter and everyone running track in the spring.”
Being the middle school cross country coach as well, Bade says this squad is set up for success for many years to come with what he says is a great group of young talent coming up.
“Over the next few years, we expect our numbers to increase on both the boys and girls side,” Bade said. “With a few more runners, we can increase the competition for the varsity spots, which will make everyone better. We graduate zero seniors this year and should have a strong freshman group joining cross country next fall.”