Kadence Shipers of Lady Hornets placed 23rd Tuesday in 24:31

Freshman Kadence Shipers of the Lady Hornets was the only Chillicothe High School cross country runner to place in the top 25 and earn a medal in the annual Chillicothe Invitational meet Tuesday.
Shipers, part of a rare, full, 7-members CHS girls’ roster for the 2018 event, covered the five kilometers (approximately 3.1 miles) in 24:31. Girls’ varsity champion Ashley Riley of tiny South Nodaway won the division in 19:32.5 with Alex Sharp of Brookfield second in 20:45.
Moberly was the girls’ team champion with 47 points, followed by St. Joseph Christian, Kirksville, Chillicothe fourth with 113, South Nodaway, Salisbury, St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond, and Savannah.
The boys’ division, which was won individually by Preston Thomas of Princeton in 17.22.4 and team-wise by Kirksville with 31 points, saw a sophomore pace the hosts’ showing.
Despite the more-slippery and humid conditions following a brief rain a couple of hours ahead of the meet, Hayden Simmer shaved 12 seconds off his freshman-year time of 20:21 to place 28th individually.
“I’m so glad we were able to get in the races,” Tim Riekena, Chillicothe head coach and meet organizer, commented, referencing the earlier rain. “The course was slow and soggy.”
The meet drew around 250 total entries (varsity or sub-varsity level) from 22 schools. There were 14 boys’ teams, with Chillicothe placing ninth with 245 points, and eight girls’.
The Lady Hornets had a second top-30 finisher in junior Callaway Chapman, but her 29th-place time of 25:59 was a minute slower than the 25th-best clocking.
The rest of the CHS girls who ran in the varsity division and their times and place finishes were: Emma Burk, 35th out of 67 in 26:45; Kathryn George, 41st in 27:41; Mayenna Wood, 62nd in 32:37; Olivia Lamp, 64th in 32:54; and Emma Bernskoetter, 65th in 33:01.
On the boys’ side, the next Hornet to reach the finish chute after Simmer was Logan Asher. The junior finished 33rd out of 97 harriers in 20:33, 37 seconds faster than he ran the home race last year.
Next for CHS came senior Peyton Forck, 41st in 20:57; Stephen Parkes, 72nd in 22:56; Brady Bernskoetter, 81st in 23:56; Eric Kleinschmidt, 82nd in 23:58; and Connor Douglas, 92nd in 26:08. Parkes, B. Bernskoetter, and Douglas all are freshmen.
In the junior-varsity race, in which both genders ran simultaneously, Chillicothe had two entries of each gender.
Its best placement was Tristan Forck’s 10th place in 24:16, earning him a medal. Teammate Nathan Toole was 17th in 29:21, while Lady Hornets Kiera Bosley (39:36) and Grace Bligh (46:10) were 19th and 20th, respectively, in their race.
The Chillicothe High runners are slated to compete at Platte County next on Sept. 13.
For the first time Tuesday, since Chillicothe just began its program this year, the meet included a middle-school division, although there was no team or individual competition, per se, since St. Joseph Christian – with one girl and one boy – was the only other school with a participant besides Chillicothe Middle School’s five boys and four girls.
“We are very excited to have finished our first meet and run our first race after over a month of practices,” reflected CMS coach Inger Young. “The athletes did a fantastic job and ran great races! It was most exciting to see the satisfaction the athletes showed after such great effort and dedication.” 
CMS will compete in four more meets this season, coach Young reports, including at Cameron Sept. 11 at 4 p.m.
CHS coach Riekena expressed appreciation to all who helped organize and execute the meet in the city’s Simpson Park, citing KCHI Radio, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Chillicothe and Brookfield, the city Parks and Recreation Department and on-site ambulance personnel, Ed Douglas and Amy Supple of the Greater Chillicothe Visitors’ Region, and “all the supporters of cross country (running).
“We couldn’t do it without them.”