CHS harriers fare well in another lightly-attended meet

Volleyball Lady Hornets go 1-2 in tournament Saturday

As reported to C-T

Chillicothe High School’s cross country runners made the most of being in another lightly-attended meet this past Saturday, technically sweep the team titles and having both three boys and three girls earn personal medals for top-10 finishes.

The Hornets were the only boys’ team with enough finishers for a team score, so they took the Savannah Invitational crown by default.

Chillicothe and tiny North Andrew were the only schools with at least five girls running in the varsity division and CHS out-pointed the NAHS squad 22-34.

Medaling for the CHS boys were Cain Evans (third), Austin Lyford (eighth) and Stephen Parkes (10th). Doing so for the Lady Hornets were Kadence Shipers (third), Yoo Jung Lee (sixth) and Juliann Gabrielson (seventh).

Also Saturday, CHS’ volleyball Lady Hornets competed in an 8-teams tournament hosted by Bishop LeBlond at St. Joseph. Chillicothe won only one of three matches, dropping its season record to 9-10, coach Bob  Long reports.

CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING

At Savannah, there were only 34 entrants in the varsity boys’ division and 28 in the girls’.

On the boys’ side, freshman Evans finished in under 19 minutes for the first time in his young career, CHS coach Jennifer Dickson relates, crossing the finish line after five kilometers in 18:49, 51 seconds behind winner Keaton Zembles of Mound City and 19 back of St. Joseph: Benton’s Cole Spackler.

Lyford likewise eclipsed a milestone time, Dickson notes, the sophomore going below 20 minutes for the first time with a 19:30.

Senior Parkes bested his previous-fastest race ever by a considerable amount, the coach reports, approaching sub-20 territory himself with a 20:11.

While not medaling, junior Clayton Savage wa 12th overall in 20:31, freshman Alton Keller was 17th in 20:59, freshman Carter Shipers 18th in 21:10, and junior Logan Gregory 5th in 22:51.

On the girls’ side, K. Shipers’ 22:56 was only a second away from second place. Winner Kayte Pankau of Mound  City won in 22:34.

Frosh Yoo Jung Lee had a personal-best time of 24:07 to claim the sixth-place medal and Gabrielson finished next in 24:17.

Rounding out the Chillicothe championship squad, junior Aliyah Briner ran a 25:25 to place 11th, one spot away from a medal, sophomore Alice Hurtgen was 14th in 25:54, freshman Karissa Fostek took 22nd in 28:08, and junior Kaylynn Cranmer was 24th in 29:09.

Chillicothe had the top three finishers in the 6-runners boys’ junior-varsity division – Ashton Baker, Landyn Peterson and Cutter Parkes, in that order. All knocked at least a minute off their previous “PRs” (personal records), Dickson shares.

The next cross country running meet for the Chillicothe harriers was slated for yesterday (Tuesday) at Excelsior Springs.

VOLLEYBALL

While the day at St. Joe didn’t generate a winning result on balance, it did feature what figures to stand as a season highlight for the CHS spikers.

Matched against Oak Grove in its opening 2-games match of “pool” play, the Lady Hornets trailed by what seemed practically an insurmountable 8-21 margin, CHS head coach Bob Long reports.

However, after winning the next rally to gain the serve, sophomore Maci Johnson stepped behind the baseline to serve and fired in-play serve after serve, with she and her teammates following up those serves that were returned by OGHS with crisp play that won the rally.

Soon, the margin was down to 15-21, then 17, 18 and so on until a 12th-consecutive winning point with Johnson serving incredibly tied the score at 21-21.

Not satisfied with that, the Lady Hornets took the lead on the next point and, even with stunned, rattled Oak Grove finally halting the run and tying things again at 22-all, Chillicothe’s momentum and confidence carried it to wins on three of the next four points, allowing the Lady Hornets to prevail remarkably, 25-23.

The second game against OGHS was equally close, but the Lady Hornets had what it took at “crunch time” again to grab a 25-22 triumph.

That proved to be CHS’ last game win of the day.

In the second  “pool” match, Cleveland: Midway dispatched the Lady Hornets 8-25, 15-25, leaving Chillicothe third in the pool’s final standings.

That meant a third battle this season with tourney host Bishop LeBlond. Having fought off the Lady Hornets for the title of the Chillicothe Invitational a couple of weeks earlier, the Lady Golden Eagles had to go into overtime to win the first game of the best-of-3-sets duel with CHS, but came out on top 27-25 before dominating game two 25-12 to close the match out.

Statistically on the day, junior setter Jessica Reeter produced 26 assists and had seven defensive “digs,” hitter Anna Fisher paced the net attack with 14 “kills” (spikes) and defense with three blocks, and Johnson had five serving aces among her many points won.

Chillicothe had matches at Trenton Monday and St. Joseph: Lafayette Tuesday, giving it opportunities to climb back on the high side of .500 before returning to Midland Empire Conference action for the first time in 2-1/2 weeks with a visit to Savannah Thursday.