JEFFERSON CITY — There was no monkey business at the state cross-country championships Saturday morning at the Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, even if some spectators wore monkey masks.
Rock Bridge freshman runner Chandler Bramstedt didn't qualify to run Saturday, but decided to wear a monkey mask while cheering for the Bruins.
"It's just for fun, and to show our support for the team," Bramstedt said.
Other Rock Bridge runners not racing Saturday painted themselves green and gold. Sophomore Asa Lora made up his hair with crazy spikes.
"Coach told us to go crazy, so we dressed up. It really helps encourage the runners," Lora said.
The unique efforts certainly didn't hurt. Rock Bridge placed second in the Class 4 boys race with 89 points, trailing only Lee's Summit North, which won with 66 points.
Rock Bridge juniors Caleb Wilfong and Jordan Cook led the Bruins, with Wilfong finishing 13th in 16:17.12 and Cook finishing 15th in 16:18.71. Rockhurst's Zach Herriott won in 15:30.55. Wilfong placed 15th at last year's state championships.
Rock Bridge senior Griffin Humphreys said he was happy with the Bruins' accomplishment, but he was still hoping for a little more.
"We wanted to be first, but we did better than we did last year, and that's all you can ask for," said Humphreys, who finished 63rd and out of the scoring.
Rock Bridge coach Neal Blackburn had no complaints about his boys team's finish, an improvement on last year's third-place performance.
"I am happy with that," Blackburn said. "We are just going to try to do even better next time."
The Rock Bridge girls team finished 11th in its race with 236 points. Megan Schulte led the Bruins, finishing 19th in 19:32.53. Lee's Summit West won the girls team competition with 52 points.
Hickman, which qualified two runners to the state championships, saw sophomore Nicole Mello turn in an impressive run in the Class 4 girls race. Mello, who placed 19th last year, finished 11th this year in 18:59.83. All runners in the top 25 receive all-state honors.
"I was nervous, and really had no expectations," said Mello, who ran with a foot injury. "I think I did good, especially after everything that has happened this year."
Hickman junior Devin Sander placed 57th in the boys competition in 16:56.92.