Two Bears, two Tigers leave New Haven with cross country medals

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 9/10/20

NEW HAVEN — Saturday morning at New Haven City Park marked the opening of cross country season for Jacob Walton’s Bland Bear and Belle Tiger squads.

Once all six races were in the …

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Two Bears, two Tigers leave New Haven with cross country medals

Posted

NEW HAVEN — Saturday morning at New Haven City Park marked the opening of cross country season for Jacob Walton’s Bland Bear and Belle Tiger squads.

Once all six races were in the books, a total of two Bears and two Tiger harriers left Franklin County with medals from the New Haven Cross Country Invitational.

Race number one of the day featured the middle school girls.

Even with not enough runners for a team score, all three of Bland’s Lady Bears finished within the top 18.

Eighth-grader Tajel McDaniel posted an eighth-place time of 16:09.12 just ahead of Owensville’s Abbie Gibson who finished ninth in 16:21.18

Four spots shy of the medals, Piper Marsee took 14th place in a time of 18:14.90 for the Lady Bears.

Rounding out the trio of Lady Bears at New Haven was Aubrey Rehmert with an 18th-place time of 19:09.40.

Next up from New Haven were the middle school boys.

With five boys competing, the Bears were one of five full teams competing along with New Bloomfield, Union, Owensville and New Haven.

Sneaking in just under the 14-minute mark, Bland seventh-grader Hank Stratman paced the Bears with a ninth-place time of 13:59.98 making him the lone medalist for Walton’s Bears.

Landon Finn (brother of Owensville High School junior Kierra Finn) was next across the finish line for the Bears with a 28th-place time of 16:14.05.

About a minute behind him was Garrett Gehlert finished 32nd in a time of 17:00.79.

Rounding out the contingency of Bears was Kaegan Kinsey placing 41st in 19:56.83 and Avery Craigmiles finishing 42nd in 20:25.39.

With 102 points, Bland placed fourth as a team behind New Bloomfield (40), Union (45), Owensville (102) and ahead of New Haven (120).

Beginning the high school portion of racing from New Haven was the junior varsity girls.

Belle had a trio of harriers that also make up a third of the Lady Tiger softball team.

Quickly racing to the front of the pack, freshman Natalie Gehlert placed second with a time of 24:45.79 behind New Haven’s Gracie Steele (24:21.01).

Also earning a medal from Shamrock land was fellow freshman Nevaeh Kinsey with a fourth-place time of 27:02.30.

Rounding out Belle’s trio of junior varsity girls racers was freshman Emma White finishing 25th in 39:03.79.

With no Lady Tigers competing in the varsity girls race, Belle’s next action from New Haven was the junior varsity boys race.

Keeping up with the lead pack throughout the first half of the race, freshman Baylar Smith earned his first cross country medal with a ninth-place time of 21:40.48.

Spending his freshman year last fall at Belle, Trenton Burnett moved to Linn and finished three spots ahead of Smith in a sixth-place time of 21:11.57.

In the final race of the day, Belle had one harrier in the varsity boy’s race.

Nearly a minute shy of medal time, Cory McDaniel posted a 23rd-place time of 20:11.60.

Bland and Belle’s next action will be today (Wednesday) at the Vienna Eagle Invitational Cross Country Meet at Vienna City Park.

Races will begin at 4 p.m., with the junior high boys followed by the junior high girls, JV boys, varsity girls and varsity boys.

Teams competing in Vienna alongside both county squads include Bismarck, Bunceton, Bunker, California, Chamois, Cuba, Crocker, Dixon, Laquey, Lone Jack, New Bloomfield, Plato, Russellville, St. James, South Callaway, Southern Boone, Steelville, Stoutland, Stover, Tipton, Versailles and Viburnum.

Belle and Vienna will both also compete this weekend at the Linn Cross Country Invitational. Racing at the Osage County Fairgrounds will begin at 9 a.m.

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