Sharps lead way as BHS cross country running season begins

Freshman claims Chillicothe meet title ahead of senior sister

By PAUL STURM, LCL Sports Editor
With what appears to be a hint of a wry smile after striding through the finishing chute of the 2021 Chillicothe Invitational cross country running race in Simpson Park in Chillicothe Tuesday, Sept. 7, senior Alexandra "Alex" Sharp of Brookfield High School strides toward the winner, her freshman sister Samantha "Sam" Sharp, lying on the grass after flopping down in exhaustion.

By PAUL STURM, LCL Sports Editor

CHILLICOTHE — Brookfield High School distance running star and former cross country running state champion Alexandra “Alex” Sharp called it late last May.

After winning another individual state championship and claiming three more state medals in track and field, the 2019 cross country running state champion predicted her freshman-to-be sister Samantha eventually would supplant her in the Brookfield record books and challenge and sometimes defeat her in races during the 2021-22 school year competitions they’d get to share.

Whether she thought, at that time, “Sam” would do so in her first opportunity only the older sister knows. Tuesday at Chillicothe’s Simpson Park, however, the younger sibling demonstrated she’s not interested in waiting around.

Freshman Samantha "Sam" Sharp of Brookfield High School's cross country running Lady Bulldogs immediately seizes the lead, right ahead of senior sister Alexandra "Alex" going up the initial incline in the Tuesday, Sept. 7, Chillicothe Invitational meet. The Lady Bulldogs duo not only was 1-2 at this extremely-early stage of the 5-kilometer race, they still were in that order at race's end with Sam winning and Alex runnerup.

After spending much of the 5-kilometer race that, despite being contested largely in the shade of the park’s many trees, came in hot enough conditions that at least a handful or more competitors of both genders required on scene medical attention from ambulance personnel, ninth grader “Sam” Sharp out-legged 12th grader “Alex” up the hill to the finishing chute to capture the varsity girls’ division individual title in her first high school meet.

S. Sharp crossed the finish line in a whisker under 21-minutes flat, her official electronic clocking being 20:59.5. Trailing her up the final incline by about 30 yards or so was A. Sharp, who completed the approximately 3.1 miles in 21:14.1 in the season opener.Despite the Sharp sisters’ 1-2 finish, since they were the only two BHS entries in that division, Brookfield was not involved in the team competition claimed by champion Lexington and second-place Glasgow. That probably was to the chagrin of the several larger schools, including the hosts, who had been expected to be challengers for the girls’ team crown.

Not only did Lexington’s girls prevail in the distaff team standings, but LHS’ Minutemen made it a sweep, claiming the crown behind a 1-2 finish led boys individual champ Kerrick Adkins. Kirksville was second in the varsity boys’ team standings.

Brookfield’s only two boys’ runners were in the JV division – Luis Morales-Espiau finishing seventh among 25 in 26:27.5 and Cooper Clarkson 10 in 27:37.

Meadville’s Kevin Tsikoyak ran in the varsity boys’ race and finished 66 out of 92 finishers in 25:43.4.

Next on the Brookfield harriers’ schedule was a Sept. 11 meet at Columbia, hosted by Father Tolton Regional. Then will come a trip even farther south to Mokane for the South Callaway Invitational on Sept. 17.

VOLLEYBALL

BROOKFIELD — The host Brookfield High volleyball Lady Bulldogs began their season Tuesday evening with a straight-games setback against the visiting Chillicothe Lady Hornets.

After being thoroughly dominated 7-25 in the opening game, the Lady Bulldogs responded stoutly before losing the second game of the best-of-5 match 19-25. Chillicothe then closed out the match fairly emphatically again by a 25-10 margin in game No. 3.

While BHS came away with an 0-1 record, the visiting Lady Hornets improved to 2-0, having routed Trenton last week.

No details or comments on the varsity Lady Bulldogs spikers’ composite performance were available prior to initial publication of this review.

Chillicothe also took last Tuesday’s junior-varsity best-of-3 action in decisive straight games, 25-7, 25-6.

The BHS volleyball schedule next had it hosting Kirksville this past Thursday and Carrollton on Monday.