BHS' 'Alex' Sharp fifth in final state cross country run
Places fifth in Class 2 race Saturday, her fourth top-5 finish in state race
COLUMBIA — There likely was a hint – or more – of sadness in Brookfield High School senior distance running star Alexandra “Alex” Sharp as she strode around the Gans Creek Cross Country Running Course, just southwest of Columbia, during last Saturday’s Class 2 state-championship race.
The 2019 state champ, 2020 third-place finisher, and 2018 fifth-place runner at state had long anticipated she’d be able to share her final high school race in the sport with – and potentially have to be chasing – her younger sister Samantha, a 2021-22 freshman at BHS.
However, come race day, despite having come back from an ankle injury to run well enough in the previous weekend’s state-qualifying district race to earn the right to join her sister in competition at state, “Sam” apparently was not well enough to answer the bell at state, leaving “Alex” to pursue another individual championship and/or top-5 finish alone, rather than – to a degree – in tandem.
With her younger sibling reduced again to observer and fan, “Alex” Sharp incredibly came within 0.1 second of matching her third-place junior-year time at state, completing the 5-kilometers distance over the same Gans Creek course this year in 20:03.8 after running a 20:03.9 a year ago.
State champion on a different course with a time about a minute faster as a sophomore, the Brookfield senior – also a multiple-times state champion in prep state track-and-field distance running – departed the state cross country running scene just as she began it as a frosh, as the fifth-place finisher. She just didn’t get the chance to have her sister, who out-performed her in most of the races the first half of this season before fading a bit and then getting hurt, joining her in the medals-presentation ceremony, as she’d believed she would.
While A. Sharp unexpectedly turned out to be Brookfield’s only state-meet runner, fellow Linn County school Meadville and southern county neighbor Mendon: Northwestern each had multiple participants in the Class 1 race at Columbia last Saturday.
Faring best among the two Northwestern qualifiers was freshman Lady Eagle Jaden Mauzey. She ran the approximately 3.11 miles in 23:05.4, giving her 59th place out of about 160 entrant.
Her sophomore teammate Taylor Fry came through the finish chute not quite a minute later in 87th place in 23:56.9.
Meadville’s best of three showings came from sophomore Korrie Holcer, who took 110th in the girls’ race in 24:26.3. Another 50 seconds back in 124th was another Lady Eagle, Kendra Meyers, clocked in 25:16.1.
A MHS boy, Ethan Burnett, ran at state also. His time of 21:20.6 left him near the back of the field in 152nd place.