BY JIM HENRY
Webb City successfully executed its race strategy, and it earned the Cardinals the boys team championship on Thursday in the annual Carthage Invitational cross country meet at the Carthage Municipal Golf Course.
Led by individual champion Haddon Spikereit, Webb City had four runners in the top-10 and scored 42 points. Carthageedged Rogers 58-66 for second place, and Carl Junction was sixth among nine teams with 144 points.
Spikereit, who won the Class 4 race in the SWCCA meet last Saturday in Bolivar, ran the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 19 seconds. He didn't take the lead until the final mile, and his strong finish gave him a 27-second margin Roger Heritage's Lawson Douglas, who led the first two miles.
"I was surprised about the margin," Spikereit said. "I knew that I was a favorite going into the race, but I didn't know how much. There are a lot of guys I've never raced before. I was kind of surprised when I turned around and there was that much of a margin."
Joseph Dawson of Webb City was third in 17:50, followed by Hilton Newell of Glendale (18:08) and Mariquis Strickland of Carthage (18:16). Also for Webb City, Owen Weller and Roman Borboa finished sixth and ninth, respectively.
"We wanted to do a team strategy here, stay together and make sure everyone was at a good pace starting out," Spikereit said. "the second mile was all about having a younger guy (Borboa) lead the pack, to know what that feels like and learning how to push through the middle of the race.
"The last mile was for the guys who are a little bit faster. It was like let them go and see what they can do."
"We're gaining a lot of experience this season," Webb City coach Dustin Miller said. "A lot of these guys have varsity experience but maybe not when they had to be counted on inthe top-5 and have their score counted every single time. We're a little bit green there, but these guys and girls, this is probably the most coachable team I've been a part of. They do what they're told, they support one another. They just dothe right thing."
From Joplin Globe 09/13/2019 (Used by permission)