Belle, Bland cross country open seasons at New Haven

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 9/9/21

NEW HAVEN — Opening the Samantha Eads era of Bland Middle School and Belle High School cross country, both the Bears and Tigers were greeted with rainy weather Saturday at the New Haven …

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Belle, Bland cross country open seasons at New Haven

Posted

NEW HAVEN — Opening the Samantha Eads era of Bland Middle School and Belle High School cross country, both the Bears and Tigers were greeted with rainy weather Saturday at the New Haven Invitational held in New Haven City Park.

Racing began with the middle school girls race from northern Franklin County along the Missouri River.

With Cylee Reed in quarantine, Piper Marsee was the lone Lady Bear competing in Shamrock land.

Marsee registered a 17th-place time of 17:15.21 putting her just over a minute outside of the top 10 and medal position.

In the second race from a soggy New Haven City Park. Bland’s Bears hit the course represented by the duo of Garrett Gehlert and Kaegan Kinsey.

Getting off to a good start, Gehlert was able to keep the leaders in site throughout the entire race before crossing the finish line in a fourth-place time of 13:20.18 securing him a medal for a top-10 finish.

Kinsey wound up finishing 43rd in a time of 18:14.31.

Without runners in both the junior varsity boys and girls race, Maries County R-2 harriers had a two-race break before varsity action.

Due to injuries and other circumstances, Eads’ Belle Lady Tigers had only two runners on the course at New Haven in sophomore Natalie Gehlert and freshman Tajel McDaniel.

Gehlert just missed breaking the 25-minute mark finishing in a 44th-place time of 25:10.86.

McDaniel just missed the top 50 in her first high school cross country race with a 52nd-place time of 27:32.91.

Closing the long, wet day of racing from New Haven was the varsity boys.

Two Belle Tigers were also in the field with senior Corey McDaniel and sophomore Baylar Smith competing for BHS.

Placing 33rd, McDaniel was able to break the 20-minute barrier in a time of 19:52.78 on the 3.1 mile course at New Haven.

McDaniel was about a minute and 13 seconds shy of the top 15 and a medal.

Smith narrowly finished in the top 40 with a 39th-place time of 20:16.11.

With one meet under their belts, Belle will have two chances during the coming week to drop their times with dry weather in the forecast.

Staying in Maries County today (Wednesday), Belle and Bland will compete in the 22nd Annual Vienna Eagle Invitational Cross Country Meet at Vienna City Park.

Racing will begin with the junior high boys at 4 p.m., and conclude with the high school varsity boys at around 5:10 p.m.

Medals will go to the top 20 in each race with the exception of the JV boys race in which 10 will medal. 

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