JEFFERSON CITY — It took the Hickman girls’ cross country team 13 years to reclaim the district championship.
Hickman’s girls’ team and the Kewpies’ Tim Cornell won titles at the Class 4 District 5 cross country meet Saturday at Cole County Park.
Eight schools and 113 runners competed for spots at the sectional meet. The top four teams and the top 30 runners will race Nov. 1 at Bethel Park.
Hickman’s girls claimed the district championship for the first time since 1990. The Kewpies beat Fort Zumwalt South 45-50.
“We had heroes lined up on the girls’ side today,” Hickman coach Steve Kissane said. “We didn’t have Diana Meyer running today who is one of our top five runners when she’s healthy, so it’s awesome that our team did so well.”
Meyer was out with injured tendons in her left foot.
Brianna Gallagher came in second in 19 minutes, 42 seconds, a minute behind Fort Zumwalt South’s Jennifer Reekie. Gallagher was unable to run last year with a lower leg injury.
“I haven’t been able to race really well my whole high school career so this is exciting,” Gallagher said. “I knew Jennifer Reekie was really good, and I knew I could get second.”
The Hickman boys’ team placed third with 71 points. Fort Zumwalt South won with 34 points and Jefferson City had 58.
Cornell, a junior who placed second last year, won in 15:54.
“Tim is a real strong runner,” Kissane said. “He has raced real well all year.”
This is the third consecutive year Hickman claimed the boys’ individual championship. Nathan Smith, who has graduated, won the past two seasons.
“I wanted to keep the (individual) district championship in Hickman hands,” Cornell said. “We wanted to come in real aggressive and anytime you advance to the next level or win it’s great.”
Rock Bridge’s boys’ team placed fifth, and the girls finished sixth.
Jimmy Keown (10th), Brian Cooksey (13th), Ryan Deason (21st), Anne Case-Halferty (13th) and Sarah Phillips (21st) advanced individually for Rock Bridge.
“We’ve had a tough season with injuries,” Rock Bridge coach Neal Blackburn said. “We qualified some individuals and that’s good.”
Several of the Kewpies’ runners said a heavy rain didn’t hinder their time.
“If anything, the rain gives you energy,” Hickman’s Matt Richmond said. “It takes your mind off the pains of your body.”
He finished third.