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Sikeston, Kelly fare well in Notre Dame Invitational meet

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Sikeston''s Frankasia Howard (left) and Tyanna Townsend
CAPE GIRARDEAU - Freshman Matt Rushing, in his first varsity race barely missed medaling, (top 20) by finishing 24th in Saturday's Notre Dame Cross County Invitational.

Rushing made over a one minute improvement in his personal best time over the 3.1 mile course running 18.31.

"You can tell Matt deserves to be in the varsity because he would have won the 60 runner junior varsity race by 20 seconds," said Sikeston coach Gary Williams.

"Matt also competed well against runners from our own district that were in the meet. Matt looks forward to running most of the runners in our district next week in the Potosi Invitational."

Tyanna Townsend and Frankasia Howard continue to run well in the junior high division.

Both girls won their fourth straight medal in as many meets. Tyanna finished 5th in the 35 runner field on the 1.8 mile course in 13.08 and Frankasia was 6th in 13.09.

All of the runners that beat these two 7th grade runners were 8th graders.

"Usually the junior high division is dominate by the older runners, but Frankasia and Tyanna are the exception to the rule," said Williams.

Two other exceptions to the rule were Michael Botkin and Cody Anderson in the 41 runner junior high boys division. Botkin medaled in 15th place, running 12.37 with Cody finishing just out of the medals (top 15) in finishing 16th in 12.43.

"Most of the runners beating these two were older 8th grade runners," said Williams.

"All four of my 7th grade runners should really excel next year when all the 8th grade runners in front of them move on to junior varsity and varsity races."

Kelly ran in Saturday's Notre Dame Invitational without three of its top seven varsity runners due to injuries, but that didn't stop the Hawks from having a good showing.

"I was very pleased of the effort shown," said Kelly coach Rachael Groner. "

We had three first place individual winners out of four races that we competed in."

Chris Cooper won the junior varsity race with a time of 18:52.

Sarah Ruff took first in the junior varsity girls race with a time of 21:31, her second first place finish this year.

Dalton Miller, eighth grade, won his race with a new course record time of 11:02.

The junior varsity girls as a team finished in second place with 77 points.

The JV boys finished in third place with 69 points. Varsity and eighth grade boys didn't field enough runners for team points.

"Eleven of our 14 members earned medals and almost every member set a new personal record," said Groner.

"Although we have a few injuries, it really seems like the team is coming together and running faster every week. The kids are really looking forward to the conference meet."