Smithville XC competes at State.

On Friday, November 4, 2022, the Smithville Warrior Cross Country team woke up in Columbia, MO, ready to race at the MSHSAA State Championships.  They made the 2 hour drive from Smithville to Columbia the day before so they could preview the course at Gans Creek Recreational Area.  

The girls Class 4 race started at 11:15am with temperatures in the lowers 70’s and a strong south wind.  Athletes faced the wind straight on as they started the race.  The girls were determined to run a smart race.  They came through the first 1000m conservatively and then began to move. Collectively, Smithville’s top five athletes passed 60 runners between the 1000m and 2000m mark.  Throughout the race, the girls continued to move up one athlete at a time.  

When it was all said and done, the girls finished in 13th place as team.  They were led by sophomore, Naomi Hunter, who ran 19:36.2 and finished with all-state honors in 14th place.  Here are the Smithville girls individual results…

  • Naomi Hunter (SO) - 14th place; 19:36.2
  • Lilly Richardson (FR) – 75th place; 21:26.7
  • Bailey Cutler (SR) – 91st place; 21:52.7
  • Genevieve Kochanowicz (SR) – 124th place; 22:42.0
  • Jessica Baker (SR) – 131st place; 22:59.6
  • Danica Ballard (FR) – 140th place; 23:24.2
  • McKinley Massie (FR) – 161st place; 26:01.4

The last race of the day was the Class 4 boys with a 12:00pm start time.  Increasing winds led to the sun starting to peek out from behind the clouds with waves of heat.  With a fast, competitive field, Smithville knew the race would be challenging.  With a similar strategy to the girls, the boys made a strong move from the 1000m to 2000m mark with their top five boys passing 78 runners.  That move took them from 13th place to 11th place where they stayed until the 4000m mark when they collectively passed 16 more runners to move into 9th place…just one place behind the only team to beat them at districts one week earlier: the Platte County Pirates.

The last 1000m of the race showed what Smithville was made of: tradition, grit, and pride.  At the conclusion of the race, the Smithville Warriors edged out the Pirates by one point to land 8th place at the state meet.

The team was led by sophomore Liam Adair, who ran fearlessly with the front pack from the beginning of the race.  Leaving it all on the course, Adair finished in 5th place with a time of 15:57.1.  Next on the boys team was senior, Asa Kellner, who accomplished his season goal of earning an individual state medal with his 25th place finish in a time of 16:48.9.  Here are the Smithville boys individual results…

  • Liam Adair (SO) – 5th place; 15:57.1
  • Asa Kellner (SR) – 25th place; 16:48.9
  • Nolan Pestano (SR) – 71st place; 17:45.4
  • Merik Wilson (SO) – 110th place; 18:20.4
  • Colin Miller (SR) – 115th place; 18:26.1
  • Trent Hallett (JR) – 132nd place; 18:55.9
  • Braxton Hays (SR) – 135th place; 18:57.9

A congratulations to both boys and girls teams on a successful season!