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Two Junior Rocket Harriers Qualify for State Meet

The Okawville Junior High cross country team ran regionals at Albers/Damiansville on Thursday. 

The Rockets are in one of the hardest regionals in Southern Illinois but that didn’t stop them from having personal records and state qualifiers. 

Qualifying to advance to state were: Kaden Buehler 5th place, with a time of 11:36 and Emil Galliano, 7th place, with a time of 11:42. 

Coming in at 32nd with a time of 14:04 was Clay Maynard; Ransom Lugge, 35th, 14:06; Gabe Charles, 39th, 14:44, Brendan Hendrix, 43rd, 16:10. 

In the girls race Okawville’s top runner, Emma Hokeness came in 22nd with a time of 14:24. That was two spots ahead Taylor Statler (14:35). Petra Galliano, 29th with a time of 15:07. Other runners were: Mallory Epplin, 33rd, with 15:11; Kaylie Behrman, 35th, 15:20; Delaney Viehl, 36th, 15:26, Lydia Waltrip 43rd, 17:20. 

The teams celebrated 8th Grade Night with a “carb loading” party at the home of coach Abby Riechmann and her father, Keith. The runners had a dinner spaghetti and fettuccine before their big race. They enjoyed playing kickball and a night of fun with their teammates. 

Eighth Graders Honored

Honored at Eighth Grade Night were Kaden Buehler, Emil Galliano, Clay Maynard, and Gabriel Charles. Bella Muniz, Izzabell Howard, and Kaylie Behrman.

“I enjoyed my first year of coaching cross country and want to say how amazing this group of athletes are,” said coach Abby Riechmann. “They are hard workers, supportive of others, and most of all genuine and kind individuals.”

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