At the cross country state meet at the Oak Hills Golf Course in Jefferson City on Saturday, the Linn County area was well represented.
In her first-ever state championship appearance, Brookfield freshman Alex Sharp finished fifth in the Class 2 division with a time of 20:57. The state champion from Fatima finished just 35 seconds ahead of her, and she was eight seconds ahead of the sixth-place finisher.
A Clarence Cannon foe that Sharp has gotten to know well, Clark County freshman Grace Buschling, finished third. The three other girls who topped Sharp were all sophomores or older.
Kayleigh Moore, the fourth-place finisher from North Callaway who beat Sharp by less than two seconds, had the hottest final tenth of a mile in the entire race, coming down the home stretch in 40.5 seconds. Sharp's final tenth was six seconds slower.
Sharp was in the front of the pack throughout the race. At each mile mark, she was within the top four until Moore shot down the last stretch to catch her at the bitter end.
"She broke every goal we set at the start of the season," Brookfield coach Holly Matzen said. "She's the kind of athlete all coaches love to have on their roster. She's hard-working, determined, and humble.
"She'll be fun to coach the next three years."
At the Class 1 level, Meadville had a fair deal of success. In his final cross country race, senior Dillon Seckington bettered his 13th place finish last season by finishing ninth on Saturday. His 18:01 put him thirteen hundredths of a second behind eighth. He was 50 seconds behind the winner.
Meadville finished ninth of 16 qualifying teams. Senior Tanner Berry finished 61st at 19:23, Jace Jacobs' 20:07 earned him 102nd place, juniors Dominik Gannan and Parker Burton placed 119th and 124th, and freshman Kevin Tsikoyak was 162nd.
The Eagles' lone female qualifier, sophomore Krysta Meyers, finished 58th at 24:40.