The Rolla cross country team ran in the Ozark Conference meet on Saturday, Oct. 7. Lake Springfield proved a tough challenge, as runners had to forge through a rough and hilly course. Despite the rough terrain, Rolla earned three All-Conference honors with top 14 finishes.
The girls varsity has been phenomenal this season and that continued at the conference meet. Emma Puetz finished in second place with a time of 20:47. This was just the second race that Puetz hasn't won this season. Olivia Holmes also earned first-team All-Conference honors, claiming the final first team spot with a seventh place finish in 22:01. Krista Hilmas earned second-team All-Conference honors with a 12th place finish and a time of 22:26.
The remaining varsity girls also ran well. Kate Campbell placed 35th with a time of 25:20, Visahka Ho finished in 39th with a time of 26:00 and Faith Aguilarleon placed 52nd with a time of 30:37. Those runners that didn't earn All-Conference honor still played a role for the Lady Bulldogs, as Rolla finished in fourth as a team with a score of 93.
Rolla had no JV girls run, but Emma Starns represented the freshman team extremely well. She earned the only other medal for Rolla with a ninth place finish. She finished the 2,500 meter race in 12:46.
The boys race was extremely competitive. As a result, Rolla couldn't crack the top 14 to earn All-Conference honors. Alex Frisbee was the top finish for the Bulldogs with a 23rd place finish and a time of 18:38. Noah Crutcher was right behind him in 28th with a time of 18:53. Brandon Burris finished 33rd with a time of 19:26, Wyatt Owens finished in 21:08 to place 46th, Charlie Roberts finished in 51st with a time of 21:52 and Johnnie Swizdor finished in 59th with a time of 23:53. The Bulldog varsity finished in eighth place as a team with a score of 181.
Rolla had three runners in the boys JV race. Tristan Lietz was their top finisher with a time of 24:38 to place 49th. Riley Troup finished in 55th with a time of 27:41. Wesley Sutton also ran in the JV race, but he was unable to complete the race.
Daniel Read was Rolla's lone runner in the boys' freshman race. He just missed out on a medal with his 13th place finish in 10:31. Medals went to the top 10 runners in the JV and freshman races.
“I was pleased with our runners’ efforts and performance at the Conference meet, especially having 3 All-Conference girls in varsity," said head coach Don Knapp. "Coming off the races at Licking 2 days earlier and racing in such a power-house meet, our athletes showed lots of effort and determination. It rained during both varsity races, and that slowed things quite a bit.”
The boys are still without two of their top five runners in Jon Carlson and Charles Victor. Coach Knapp hopes that they'll be ready to go for Districts after a couple of meets off.
“Our boys squad raced without two of our top five runners, and that affected our team score a lot. We hope they can recover and be ready to race healthy at Districts, said coach Knapp. "With them all back, and our other runners ready by then, we could have a good District meet in two weeks.”
Rolla ran at Dixon on Monday, Oct. 9, but results were not available at press time. They'll next run at Waynesville on Thursday, Oct. 12.