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After Winning Sectionals, Nicholas Stewart Eyes State Cross Country

By Jim Wieners

First it was the Suburban North Conference Championships, second it was the Class Four, District Three title and third it was the Class Four, Sectional Two title.

Now McCluer North senior Nicholas Stewart seeks the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class Four Boys State title in his final race of his prep career this Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Oak Hills Golf Center, Jefferson City. Stewart will be in the second race of the day as the Class Four Boys will run at 9:35 a.m. Last Saturday, Oct. 27 at Forest Park, St. Louis, Stewart won the Class Four, Sectional Two title as he ran the course in 15:57.19, about 4.34 seconds ahead of runner up Matt Nicholson, who helped St. Louis University High win the Sectional Two team title.

Stewart, who will compete in state as an individual, is not the only McCluer North runner that will race Nov. 3 in Jefferson City. Junior Nicholas Taylor advanced to state after finishing 12th in Sectional Two.

In addition to Stewart and Taylor in Class Four Boys State Cross Country HAZELWOOD WEST will send the Boys Team after finishing third in Sectional Two at Forest Park. While SLUH scored 30 points to win and Webster Groves took second with 86, Hazelwood West scored 116 points, Fort Zumwalt East will go to state after finishing fourth with 117 and Wentzville-Timberland missed out  on sending their team to state after finishing fifth 118 and only the top four teams from Sectionals qualify to compete for state team points. Leading the way for the Hazelwood West Boys is senior Travis Staebell after a seventh place finish (16:29.97) in Sectional Two at Forest Park.

CLASS TWO, LUTHERAN NORTH GIRLS WIN DISTRICT TWO — Lutheran North and Whitfield will be sending their Girls Cross Country team to Jefferson City for a 12:25 p.m. Class Two race Nov. 3 after the two teams ended up tied for first-place points, 37 each, in District Two Oct. 27 at Spanish Lake Park. According to MSHSAA rules only the first five runners help their team score points but in case of a tie the finish of the sixth runner will decide the team title. Lutheran North’s sixth runner, Amber Stout, finished 16th but would have scored 14 points while Whitfield’s sixth runner, Tessa Varvares, finished 19th and would have scored 17 team points so Lutheran North wins the Class Two, District Two team title.

Leading the way for the Lutheran North Girls is freshman Zoe Hamber, who finished fifth in 21:03.24 while Whitfield senior Julie Candau (19:33.90) won District Two. On the Boys side Lutheran North will send seniors Joe Bachmann (second place-16:54.92) and Nicholas Gaeke (12th-19:01.7) to state and will run Nov 3 at 11:10 a.m. after the Crusaders finished third in District Two (65) but only the top two qualify to compete for team state points.

CLASS THREE GIRLS — INCARNATE WORD TO STATE — Instead of competing in Class Four Incarnate Word Academy will be competing for the Class Three Girls State title Nov. 3 in Jefferson City and will open the state championships with a 9 a.m. race. On Oct. 27 at Spanish Lake Park IWA scored 41 points in finishing second to Clayton (34). Leading the way for Incarnate is senior Maddie Orf, who finished second (20:04.43) to Rosati-Kain junior Gabby Hantak.



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