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Thursday at Willard, Republic high school runners traveled to Willard, not to compete but to supoprt the middle school runners participating in those races. Photo by Lexie Gallion. (See below)

Purcell and Troester Lead Republic XC at Stampede

Junior Brady Purcell and Sophomore Gracie Troester were the top two finishers for Republic at one of the biggest cross country meets of the year, the Missouri Southern Stampede. Troester finished 26th overall in the girls race with a time of 19:53.65. Purcell was 41st in the boys race with a time of 16:32.99.

Cooper Davis finished 82nd in the boys race in the field of 350 runners, with a time of 17:13.27. Joey Mullins (18:29.57), Hayden Mitchell (18:36.59), Kaesei Wilcutt (18:47.52), Dak Henning (18:54.60), William Payne (19:03.10), and Cannon Underwood (20:22.60) also competed for Republic.

Among the girls, Kristin Probst finished 63rd with a time of 20:28.58. Misora Nambara (21:17.61), Brooklyn Douglas (22.24.73), Kennidy Verheyen (22:29.10), and Mylee Ramsey (24:56.72) also ran for Republic.

Two days earlier, Republic’s varsity cross country runners had traveled to Willard, but didn’t compete. They were there two cheer for the middle school cross country runners from Republic. The high schoolers even made signs to hold along the course in support of their younger counterparts.

First-year coach Lexie Gallion said that kind of team-building is important for the program.

“I think it is extremely valuable for the middle schoolers to make connections with our high school runners,” she said. “Not only does this encourage leadership among our high schoolers, but it also gives the younger kids an opportunity to feel welcomed into our program in the future.”

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