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November 9, 2011
Cass Midway High School

Four seems to be a significant number for the Cass Midway Lady Vikings’ cross country team, and one seems to be Mackenzie Weis’ individual number.


The Lady Vikes had four senior runners. The Lady Vikes were seeking their fourth state trophy in four seasons when they competed at the MSHSAA Cross Country State Championships on Saturday, November 5 at the Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City. And, when all was finished at the state championships, the Lady Vikings returned home with their fourth state trophy in four years by placing fourth as a team.


Russellville repeated as the MSHSAA Class 1 girls’ state championship team with a score of 86. Salisbury was second with a team score of 99. Plato had a third place team score of 108, and Midway was fourth with a team score of 123.


Midway’s defending individual state champion, and state championship meet record holder, Mackenzie Weis held on to her individual state championship with a first place time of 20:12.24 on the 5000 meter state championship course at Oak Hills. Mackenzie was seventeen seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.


Josie Riggs ran a twenty-seventh place time of 22:52.10. Kayla Robinson was thirty-eighth in a time of 23:15.59. Dee Stark ran a time of 23:51.75 to place fifty-eighth.


Caitlin Chaffin was ninety-first in a time of 24:42.13. Hannah Mills ran a ninety-eighth place time of 25:06.53, and Caroline Bynum was one hundred twenty-seventh in a time of 26:13.54.


One hundred sixty-one Class 1 girls raced in the challenging 5000 meter state championship race at Oak Hills.


“We discussed the fact that we could be anywhere from first to fifth as a team before we left for Jefferson City and the state championships,” said Midway head coach Doug Carder. “The day was cool, the course was tough, and the competition was excellent. Placing fourth at the state championships is a remarkable accomplishment.”


The Lady Vikings will graduate four seniors from this year’s squad: Hannah Mills, Josie Riggs, Kayla Robinson, and Mackenzie Weis. This was Hannah’s first season on the team, but Josie, Kayla, and Mackenzie have been in the program four full seasons.


“I was glad to have Hannah join us this season,” said Coach Carder. “She added depth to the squad and worked very hard for the team.”


When speaking of the other three seniors, emotion radiates from Coach Carder’s face and is obvious in his words. “I said at the outset of this season that I felt as blessed as any coach to have had the opportunity to coach these three (Mackenzie, Kayla & Josie) young women. I’ll treasure the time I got to spend with them always.”


Coach Carder had high praise for the returning Lady Vikings’ runners.


“There is a good group of girls coming back,” added Coach Carder. “Dee (Stark) and Caitlin (Chaffin) raced really well this season. Caroline (Bynum) is set to have a break though season, and Allie (Hayes) has so much potential. Zoe (Eberle) could get there if she’ll build her base, and Tessa (Mills) just needs to let herself become the athlete she could be.”


Conor Hayes was the only Viking boy racing at the state championships. He placed one hundred twenty-second in a time of 20:39.01. One hundred sixty-nine runners raced in the Class 1 boys’ state championship race.


“Conor went in to the race with a plan,” said Coach Carder. “He didn’t run as fast as he would have liked to have run, but he was right on target with the athletes he has competed with this season. He had a good day.”


Midway returns all nine boys from this year’s third place district team.


“The guys raced well as a team the second half of the season” continued Coach Carder. “If they will build their base (mileage in the off-season) they will have a lot of fun in 2012.”



This article appears courtesy of The Adrian Journal and The Drexel Star.

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