Kingsville senior cross country runner Talitha Hart will return to the state championships for the fourth time in her career after turning in a top-30 finish at the Class 1, District 4 Meet hosted by West Platte High School at Platte Ridge Park on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Sophomore Tiger runner Brayden Barnett from the Tiger boys team will join Hart in his second state meet appearance after earning an all-district finish, as freshman Lady Tiger Ally Sosa will look to compete in her first state meet.
Six total Tiger runners competed on the district course with Jack Jagow, Jack Yeaman, and Julian Molina closing out their seasons on the day.
“Everybody ran well today,” said Kingsville cross country head coach Lee Smith.
Hart placed 19th in the field of 55 finishers by posting a time of 24:59.
Sosa broke into the top 30 finishers to take the 27th-place all-district medal in a time of 26:10.
“On the girls’ side, Talitha, I felt pretty confident to get out, but Ally was on the bubble,” said Kingsville cross country head coach Lee Smith.
The senior Hart steadily worked her way through the competition on the way to her fourth all-district medal finish.
“She started out a little slower, but she finished strong,” said coach Smith of Hart’s race. “On the backside after a mile, she was about 28th. She’s kind of been battling injuries this season. For her to be a four-time state qualifier, that was her goal coming into today, and for her to that is a pretty awesome feeling.”
Sosa surged out of the chute in a fast start before settling into the race, and an all-district finish.
“When she came around to that backside after that mile, she was placed about 33, 34,” said coach Smith. “She slowly battled her way up. Other girls were dropping off on that back hill, and she just battled. I’m so happy to see…happy always to see hard work get rewarded. I didn’t know what to expect. I had her ranked 40th coming in. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She ran the perfect race. She focused on each jersey, moved her way up, and then just…she earned it. It’s really exciting to see a freshman in our program have a lot of success.”
Barnett turned in a time of 20:11 to place 17th in the boys race.
Sophomore Jack Jagow placed 37th in a time of 21:32, senior Jack Yeaman placed 66th in a time of 26:41, and freshman Julian Molina placed 72nd in a time of 31:36 to complete Kingsville’s showing at the district meet.
“Brayden came in today and did exactly what I thought he was going to do, and placed well,” said coach Smith. “Brayden’s a two-time state qualifier. Jack (Jagow) was right on the edge there. We have a lot of future possibilities with that group, especially next year coming up.
“I’m super proud of all three of them who got out, and really all six that we had compete here today,” continued coach Smith.
“I’m very proud of them. I’m real excited for not only state, but as we work into the offseason into next year, as well.”
Hart, Sosa, and Barnett now advance to compete at the Cross Country State Championships at Gans Creek Cross Country Course in Columbia this Saturday, Nov. 5. The Class 1 girls race begins at 1:30 p.m. The Class 1 boys race begins at 2:15.