For the first time since 1993, the Harrisonville boys cross county team won the MRVC Conference championship with five runners placing in the top 20 at Richmond Oct. 20.
It may have been 28 years since Harrisonville last won, but Harrisonville head coach Shawn Gibbs felt confident this would be the year.
“Its been a five-year process,” Gibbs said. “The kids have put a lot of work and gave us a chance. It felt weird, knowing we hadn’t won in so long, that if everything went like they should then we had a great chance to win.”
Harrisonville had three runners earn allconference honors: Alex Barta, 18:38 (second); Steven Overbay, 19:52.8 (ninth); Garett Peterman, 19:52.9 (10th).
The top 10 finishers earn all-conference honors. Jaxon Menshing finished 12th with a time of 19:56.9 while Connor Everhart finished 17th with a time of 20:36.9 to round out the top five finishers.
Gibbs said one of the reasons this team was able to accomplish this goal is because of the leadership and closeness of the team.
“Most of our upperclassman have taken on that leadership role,” Gibbs said. “I think a lot of guys look to Jaxon Mensching, but we’ve had several guys step up and are good leaders. What’s special about this group is they respect everyone’s opinion, regardless of times and listen to what they have to say.”
The next step for the cross country team will be qualifying for state. Saturday, the team will travel to Nixa to compete in the Class 4 District 4 Meet.
With the sectionals round no longer in cross country, the district consists of one-fourth of the Class 4 teams in the state.
Harrisonville currently has the fourth best times, but Kearney is seconds behind them.
“It’s going to be interesting, challenging, exciting,” Gibbs said. “We can celebrate this conference championship, but we need to prepare for districts. It’s going to take everyone’s best effort and going out there and doing what we need to do.”