WARRENSBURG - Knob Noster’s Haley Robles was distraught as she crossed the finish line of the Class 2 District 7 race on Saturday, Nov. 2.
The sophomore had finished 17th, two spots outside of the top 15 needed to qualify for the state meet as an individual as she did as a freshman.
“Not making it at first, I was really sad,” Robles said.
Her teammates came through with the save as the Lady Panthers finished runner-up in the team standings, sending all five Knob Noster runners to state.
“We are probably the closest team out of all the cross country teams, I will vouch for that,” Robles said.
The Lady Panthers five runners - all wearing streaks of orange hair paint for the district race - combined to tally 60 points, six ahead of third place finsher St. Paul.
“I am super proud of the girls for what they did,” Knob Noster coach Bridgette Carpenter said.
Sophomore Christine Sturgill was the top finisher for the Lady Panthers, claiming 13th place in a time of 23:10.8 and earning All-District honors.
Robles, who finished with a time of 23:41.6, led a trio of Knob Noster runners in 17th through 19th place. Junior Abigail Collier follow Robles with a time of 24:22.2 while junior Carinne Fundaburg finished off the group with a 24:38.8.
Freshman Caylie Holyfield-Mikko rounded out the team scoring in 25th in 25:03
This is the first year in the three years of Knob Noster that the girls team has had the numbers to compete for team title
“It’s awesome, words can’t describe it,” Carpenter said. “I am excited for them, I am proud of them. It’s awesome.”
On the boys side, junior Sam Wilhelm qualified for his third-straight trip to the state meet with a second place finish in 16:58.
Senior Colby Zink took 13th for an All-District finish in 18:21.2.
The Lady Eagles senior duo of Valorie Slack and Camille Gudde punched their tickets to the Class 2 state meet with a pair of top 10 finishes.
Slack secured a bronze finish, taking third in 20:56.6, four seconds behind the first place finisher.
Gudde checked in at sixth with a time of 22:09.1.
The Lady Eagles finished fourth as a team with 72 points.
On the boys side, Michael Rinella finished one-spot outside of cutline for state, taking 16th in 19:06.8
The Class 2 state meet will take place on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Gans Creek cross country course in Columbia. The boys race is set to start at 9:35 a.m. with the girls race to follow at 10:50.