Cross country juniors race strongly at state

Mariah Blassi (Tiger Paw)

(From left) Elvir Sarajlic (11), Brandon Meyr (11), and Melissa Brown (11) stand in front of cross country coaches Kevin Neidringhaus, Emily Baker, and Carena Heilich at the state meet in Jefferson City.

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Three OHS cross country runners competed in Jefferson City on November 3 for the chance to win a state title and medal. Although no seniors competed, three juniors strongly finished the 2012 season and the last meet of the year.

Melissa Brown (11), the only girl to make it past districts this season, came in 12th place in the Class 4 girls run with a time of 19:18, earning her a state medal. (The top 25 runners earn medals at state). Although last year she qualified for state and placed 8th, this year she improved upon her previous 19:41 race time.

“I was hoping for better,” Brown said about her finish, “but my time improved by 24 seconds, so I’m happy with it.”

Out of almost 200 male runners from across the state, Elvir Sarajlic (11) came in 54th with a time of 17:04 and Brandon Meyr (11) came in 98th with a time of 17:25. Neither runner had competed at state before.

“It was a good experience,” Sarajlic said. “I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, but I still had fun.”

All three being juniors, they look forward to the chance of competing at state again next season. Brown already has tactics in mind to improve next season.

“I just need to not give up and stay with the top girls and just push myself,” Brown said.