Liberty North cross country runner Ty Hughes missed most of his sophomore season because of an injured knee. It cost him a chance to compete in the Missouri Class 3 state championship meet.
Now, a year later, Hughes was unsure how his knee would respond to a full season of running.
Turns out, pretty well.
“I wanted top-five, and I don’t think I got that, but I’m satisfied with my race,” Hughes said. “I think it made a (difference) these other guys were here last year, and I wasn’t.”
On the hilly course, Hughes started slowly, kicked up the pace in the second mile and expended all of his remaining energy for the final leg — a stretch that includes “Heartbreak Hill” over the final 200 meters.
Hughes finished the race in 16 minutes, 47 seconds.
“It was hard. That last mile hurt really bad,” Hughes said.
Liberty North junior Logan Kavanaugh took 33rd, Austin Cassel finished 44th, Danny Blackwell placed 58th and John Barry was 65th. The Eagles compiled a team score of 133. Festus won the event with a team total of 58, followed by Warrensburg.
Also competing in the Class 3 race, Pembroke Hill finished seventh, led by Evan Peterson, who took 30th. Platte County was eighth, helped by a strong day from senior Jacob Olsen who was 36th. Pleasant Hill placed 16th among the 16 qualifying teams. St. Pius X runner Billy Drake took 32nd.
- West Platte won the Class 1 boys’ meet — the day’s tightest team race. The Blue Jays finished with 87 points, Linn took second with 101.
Once again, West Platte was led by reliable Spencer Hudson, who rounded out his notable high school career with a third-place finish, crossing the finish line in 17 minutes.
“I wanted to get second, but mostly I just wanted to run a tough race,” Hudson said. “I thought I did that today, so I’m pretty satisfied with my race.”
Several other West Platte runners out-kicked opponents at the finish line. Junior Keaton Johnson (19th) and Nathan Wilson (29th) crossed the line less than two seconds in front of a pack of three other runners. Jack Cogan finished 47th and Jacob Cogan took 67th for the winning Blue Jays.