Against a field of 168 runners, Ham finished with a time of 18:05 on the extremely hilly 5,000 meter course. With the 37th place finish, he fell just 12 spots short of all-state honors.
The strong showing at state caps an excellent year for Ham. He was a medalist in every varsity race this year, with the exception of state. He was the second best runner in the SEMO Conference and earned all-district honors. It was the second year he has been all-conference, all-district and a state qualifier.
Last season Ham placed 68th at state.
Freshman Clay Lincoln also had a strong showing in Saturday's meet, placing 53rd with a time of 18.23. Only one other freshman in Class 3 finished higher.
"To be the second best freshman in the entire state in the 3A division is an outstanding accomplishment," said Sikeston coach Gary Williams. " A junior boy who finished third this year didn't even qualify for state his freshman year. It will be interesting to see what Clay can do with a full summer of training next year. The experience of running in the state cross-country meet is something both Clay and Dale will remember the rest of their lives."
Thousands of spectators lined the course to watch the races.
"Cross-country was pretty big at the state level when I coached nine years ago, but since then, many more schools have added it to their list of sports they participate in," said Williams. "The parents that went up for the meet were amazed by the support and attention this sport generates. Yet another reason why many more Sikeston students need to try cross-country next year."
Kelly also had two runners compete in the state meet. Sophomore Michael Glastetter finished in 56th place with a time of 18:59. Junior Trey Simmons took 65th with a time of 19:06.
"They didn't run quite as well as they normally do, but they had a good day," said Kelly coach John Merrick. "I don't think either one of them were too pleased with their times, but that's just part of it. We are very excited that both of them will be back next year."