Bolivar cross country started the season by hosting a field of 1,400 athletes Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Southwest Cross Country Coaches Association Richard Clark Invitational. The Liberators and Lady Libs finished second at the meet, held at Bolivar Municipal Golf Course.
The BHS boys had two runners in the top-10, with senior Caleb Pyle grabbing the bronze in 16 minutes, 42.16 seconds on the 5K course. Junior Peter Bowling came in seventh at 17:10.27. Senior Spencer Feugate was next at 18:07.37, in 34th place. Two more Bolivar runners cracked the top-50, with junior Will McCracken and sophomore Hunter Davis 43rd and 44th place respectively. McCracken crossed in 18:25.22, followed by Davis at 18:26.17.
Remaining Liberator runners included junior Tanner White (18:43.69), freshman Cale Thiessen (18:45.18), sophomore Brett Pollock (18:59.87), senior Tracen McKinney (18:45.18), sophomore Ethan Billingslea (19:19.49), senior Trevor Conley (19:42.80) and junior Gavin Barnard (20:51.57).
Polk County schools Pleasant Hope and Humansville also had varsity runners at Bolivar. For the Pirates, freshman Zane Hull was the top finisher at 21:52.10. Sophomore Noah Sherrer followed at 22:14.99 and sophomore Andrew Page at 22:23.63. Humansville’s Mason Wheeler also ran in the varsity 5K with a time of 22:33.75.
Bolivar finished second to Webb City at the meet with 125 points. The Cardinals won with 64 points, including three finishers in the top 10. Glendale senior Nicholas Ondr was the boys winner at 16:23.42.
In the girls varsity 5K, a pair of Bolivar runners led the way in the top-15. Senior Anna Bandy was the top finisher for BHS at 20:56.14 in 10th place. Sophomore Mackenzie Duncan was a spot behind at 21:00.55. Sophomore Cora Stimpson finished 18th at 21:15.68, with junior Sarah Green four spots behind her at 21:44.66.
Junior Jillian Porter crossed in 30th place at 22:03.67, and sophomore Emily Bandy was 37th at the opening meet crossing in 22:20.26.
Other Bolivar varsity runners included junior Alice Meadows (23:58.08), freshman London Wilson (24:15.81), sophomore Shaylee Goodman (24:19.49) and freshman Haley Taylor (24:41.54).
Humansville senior Lilly White crossed in 25:43.11 for the Lady Tigers.
The Lady Liberators finished with 81 points, second to meet winner Carl Junction. The Lady Bulldogs won the title with 67 points. Ozark runners swept the top-two spots with senior Alexis Barber winning in 19:43.64. Senior Brocklyn Barber was the silver winner for Ozark in 19:59.36.
BMS runner Blake Goodman won the middle school 2,500-meter boys race at Bolivar Saturday. He had a winning time of 8:25.56.
Bolivar heads to Carthage Thursday, Sept. 6, and hosts the Bolivar Invitational Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Southwest Baptist University. All the Polk County teams are scheduled to attend the Bolivar meet.