All-GVC XC honors for county foursome

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 10/27/21

STEELVILLE — Finish in the top seven.

That was the goal Friday afternoon for Belle and Vienna harriers during the annual Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) Cross Country meet held at …

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All-GVC XC honors for county foursome

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STEELVILLE — Finish in the top seven.

That was the goal Friday afternoon for Belle and Vienna harriers during the annual Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) Cross Country meet held at Steelville Community Park.

First up on the course in southern Crawford County were the varsity girls.

Hovering near the top seven, Belle sophomore Natalie Gehlert passed Bourbon’s Mia Gebhart at the halfway point of the race to eventually secure the final All-GVC spot with a seventh-place time of 24:16.9.

Fellow Lady Tiger Tajel McDaniel rounded out the top 10 with a 10th-place time of 26:12.9.

Placing second as a team behind Steelville (15) with 40 points, Vienna’s Lady Eagles were led by junior Danielle Murphy’s 14th-place time of 28:36.3.

Other Lady Eagles on the course for VHS were Ava Kloeppel (15th, 29:17.2), Madeleine Novak (16th, 29:20.3), Andrea Novak (18th, 30:56.8) and Kiera Hollis (20th, 33:25.1).

Next on the course from Steelville were the varsity boys.

If not for Vienna sophomore Duncan Wilkinson placing third in 18:40.2, it would have been a sea of red in the top seven.

That is because Steelville had runners place first, second, fourth and fifth.

Rounding out the top seven earning All-GVC cross country honors were the Belle duo of sophomore Baylar Smith (6th, 18:59.5) and Corey McDaniel (7th, 19:12.8).

Smith had sixth-place secured halfway through the race while McDaniel was still battling to get into the top seven.

Able to pass Cuba’s Dustin Henke in the final moments, McDaniel was able to add an All-GVC medal to his collections of medals.

Along with their Lady Eagle counterparts, Vienna’s boys were also able to place second in the team standings behind Steelville (18) while edging out Bourbon (60).

Eagles competing in addition to Wilkinson included Cooper Auten (11th, 19:40.5), Jackson Kilmer (24th, 23:48.3), Kamden George (25th, 23:50.1) and Danniel Casey (27th, 24:16.7).

This upcoming weekend for Vienna and Belle will mark their respective Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) district cross country meets.

Fortunately for both schools, they only have a short trek to get to their respective Class 1 and 2 meets at the Osage County Fairgrounds in Linn.

David Martin’s Eagles will be competing against boys teams in Calhoun, Chamois, Climax Springs, Clopton, Columbia Independent, Community R-6, Crocker, Glasgow, Green Ridge, Hermitage, Jamestown, Lakeland, Macks Creek, Marion County, Montrose, New Franklin, New Haven, Otterville, Prairie Home, Sacred Heart, Silex, Smithton, Stoutland, Van-Far, Wellsville-Middletown and Westran.

Vienna’s girls will compete against the same list of schools with the exception of Calvary Lutheran taking Calhoun’s place in the Class 1, District 3 girls field.

Jacob Walton’s Belle Tigers will compete in their Class 2, District 3 meet against Calvary Lutheran, Christian (O’Fallon), Clark County, Dixon, Duchesne, Elsberry, Hermann, Highland, Laquey, Licking, Linn, Mark Twain, Missouri Military Academy, Monroe City, New Bloomfield, Russellville, Skyline, South Callaway, South Shelby, Stover and Tipton.

Harrisburg’s girls will also compete in the Class 2, District 3 girls meet in addition to the list of boys teams mentioned previously.

At Vienna’s home meet last Monday, Wilkinson and Auten were fifth and 13th respectively for Vienna in the varsity boys race.

Smith (6th), Corey McDaniel (7th), Gehlert (7th) and Tajel McDaniel (13th) also earned medals at the Vienna Autumn Classic held last Monday.

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