Brookfield senior cross country runner Leslie Dean was the only remaining fall athlete in Linn County when she traveled to compete in the state meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. As always, the competition was held at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, a course notorious for its narrow, windy stretches and challenging climb in the latter part of the race called "Fireman's Hill."
Dean finished 66th of of 164 Class 2 competitors with a time of 22:35. She defeated 21 runners by 30 seconds or less, and was just 21 seconds away from placing inside of the top 50.
At race time, the conditions were 60 degrees and overcast.
Brianna Haller of Fatima won the meet with a time of 18:50, 28 seconds better than runner-up Allie Gibbs of Steelville.
Dean's times have consistently improved in the past weeks. Her mark on Saturday was seven seconds better than she ran in the district meet a week prior on a less difficult course, and in the three meets predating that, she was unable to break 23 minutes.
Her time in Jefferson City was 33 seconds better than her finish at last year's state meet as a junior.