There were several new faces among the runners at the Show-Me State Games cross country event Saturday morning.
Those faces also were young.
The cross country event at Bethel Park featured runners of all ages from around the state.
Annual competitors such as Jorge Taracido, 51, said it was nice to see some new participants at the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race.
“The high school age groups were a lot larger this year,” Taracido said. “I was happy to see there was a lot of young people.”
Taracido, the track and cross country coach at Rockhurst High in Kansas City, won the 50-54 age group in 22 minutes, 53.59 seconds.
He said he likes to see young runners from a coach’s perspective as well as a competitor’s.
Not only was Taracido’s time good enough for a win in his division, but also he finished 25th overall.
Taracido said the uphill climb to the finish line was the toughest part of the race.
“Other than that, there was a couple of hills, nothing really troubling,” he said.
Taracido said he hopes the format for the event changes next year to allow team competition.
“I would like to bring down some alumni and guys from the team,” he said.
Taracido said he thinks team competition will help the event draw more interest.
Before he took up running, Taracido coached fencing at Missouri for 11 years while he earned a doctorate in romance languages.
He said he enjoys the games because it’s a chance to come back to Columbia.
“I’m a Tiger at heart,” he said.