Rolla’s few runners stood out among Hickman’s on Saturday. Although the Kewpies won the meet and had almost twice as many runners, Rolla’s Kim Shank and Jake Garner were the individual winners at Bethel Park.
Hickman’s girls scored 23 points and Rolla’s had 39. Hickman won the boys’ meet 38-43 after a tiebreaker that added each team’s six runner.
The teams tied at 29, but Hickman won because Zach Chapman finished ninth, and Rolla’s Beau Brown was 14th.
In the girls’ race, three runners broke away from the rest in the first half-mile. Hickman’s Brianne and Aileen Gallagher fought with Shank for the leading position. By the end of the first mile, Shank pulled ahead of the Gallagher twins. Through the rest of the race, Shank’s lead grew larger. She finished the race in 18 minutes, 53 seconds.
“(The Gallaghers) have been racing competitively for us at a high level, so we’re pleased with how things are going for them,” Hickman coach Steve Kissane said. “They got out early, forced the pace and got in a position to do well.”
Brianne took second place (19:33), and Aileen was third (20:17).
The boys race began with a tight pack and the leaders took more time to establish their positions.
Hickman’s Eli Burks and Ian McLeod fought for positions against Garner and his teammates John Stoecker and Alex Mulia.
“My team motivated me and Rolla was good competition for a dual meet,” Burks said.
Garner and Burks broke away from the others, exchanging the lead several times early. Garner stretched the lead and Burks slowly fell behind. Stoecker caught Burks at the second mile. The distances among the three runners grew during the rest of the race.
“We’re been working on being aggressive on the boys’ side, and we got that out of some today, Eli Burks in particular,” Kissane said.
Garner finished in 16:30, Stoecker in 17:03 and Burks in 17:31.
“I was pleased with all our runners, the front runners and the entire team,” Rolla coach Don Knapp said.
The meet was organized in preparation for the sectional meet, which will be Nov. 1 at Bethel Park.
“It was a nice way to see what I can expect at sectionals,” Brianne Gallagher said.
Several of Hickman’s leading runners, including Tim Cornell, Alex Sable-smith and Matt Richmond, did not race.
“They did a training run today getting ready for districts next week,” Kissane said.