The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 3, 2012

Lamar boys claim cross country title

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

— Lamar captured the Class 2 boys state title Saturday in the Missouri Cross Country Championships at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City.

The Tigers were led by Kaden Overstreet, a sophomore who finished second with a time of 17 minutes, 11.14 seconds.

“Kaden ran extremely well,” said Lamar head coach Rodney Baldridge. “I really thought our top two runners would be in the 8-to-12 range, and Kaden gave us a big boost.”

Lamar’s Zachary Ray, a senior, was 14th, followed by senior Drew Buckner, who was 20th; sophomore Zane Hull, who was 26th, and freshman Nicholas Ray, who was 55th.

“In the prerace talk, I talked about two things,” Baldridge said. “We talked about running the way we have all year and not getting caught up in the moment, and No. 2, go out and have fun.

“Herculaneum went out extremely fast,” he said. “We were third after a mile and first after two miles. Last year, Kaden was our No. 2 runner and ran 18:32, so our fifth runner today was faster than our second runner last year.”

The state championship was Lamar’s second in school history. Lamar won the Class 2 football championship last year.

“What was tremendous was there were a lot of football players at the pep rally when we got back,” Baldridge said. “That shows you the kind of school spirit we have.”

In Class 4 boys, Joplin’s Matt Riechman-Bennett placed 19th with a time of 16:32.10.

“He ran his third-fastest time ever — and on that course,” said Joplin head coach Jason Riddle. “That course is a beast. We’re very pleased. He peaked out on the right day.

“He was never outside of 25th place from the start,” he said. “He passed a couple of people with a mile to go and two more with 300 meters to go and went from 25th to 19th over the last mile.”

Simon Belete of Blue Springs won the race in 15:48.16, and St. Louis University High won the boys’ team championship.

In Class 2 girls, Emily Sorrell of East Newton was 11th and Meghan Hatfield of Seneca was 15th. In Class 1 boys, Chris Saladin of Thomas Jefferson was 25th.