A year after winning the Class 2 Women’s Cross Country State Championship, the Hermann Lady Bearcats returned to the podium.
Hermann placed second in the team standings Saturday at Gans Creek Recreation Area with 89 points.
North Platte took the honors with 64 points. Metro (159 points) and Lexington (162) also walked away with Class 2 state trophies, finishing third and fourth.
The Lady Bearcats were led to the podium by a pair of riders finishing in the top three.
Smithton senior Riley Bryan won the race in 19:04.4, but the next two runners to finish came from Hermann.
Senior Katy Menke was second in 19:28.3. Junior Amelia Uthlaut came third in 19:39.5.
Menke and Uthlaut were the team’s only two individual medalists in the race.
Rookie Elaina Uthlaut came in 43rd in 22:14.6. Seconds later, senior Alaina Worland (22:16) and rookie Alaina Heaney (22:19.9) finished consecutively in 45th and 46th.
Rookie Jocelyn Neill finished the Lady Bearcats run in 61st place, finishing in 22:34.1.
While Menke and Amelia Uthlaut placed second and third from the second checkpoint, the rest of the team had to climb many places to get the team onto the podium.
Elaina Uthlaut, Worland and Heaney were all outside the top 100 runners after the first kilometer. All three gained more than 30 places at the second checkpoint and continued to gain positions at each marker.
Neill, the team’s sixth runner, also gained 21 places from checkpoint one to second, then moved up another 20 places to third, finishing by taking five more places at the fourth kilometer and three before the finish line.
Hermann freshman Nolan Kopp placed 29th in the Class 2 boys race in 17:43.2. Sophomore John Hiatt placed 107th in 19:17.7.
Steelville senior Conner Diaz paced the field to win the individual title in 16:15.1.
In the Class 3 girls race on Saturday, second Owensville student Ilene Limberg took the podium with an 18th place finish in 20:11.2
St. James junior Vanessa Perona was 42nd in 21:14.0. Cuban junior Kaylee Fulliam (21:26) placed 50th and Cuban rookie Cadynce Basham (25:02.7) finished 148th.
Owensville junior Felix Guerrero was the lone area runner in the Class 3 boys race. He finished 55th in 17:46.7.
Southern Boone’s senior Connor Burns (15:01.3) and junior teammate Alexandra Volkart (18:40.3) were the individual Class 3 state champions.
St. Charles West was the state champion in Class 3 girls with 74 points, beating fellow trophy teams Centralia (137), Summit Christian Academy (167) and Lutheran Kansas City (175).
Tolton Catholic, the team with the shortest route from school to state competition, won the Class 3 boys title with 106 points, edging runners-up Herculaneum (111) by just five points. Only 14 points separated first place from fourth in class as John Burroughs (116) and St. Michael the Archangel (120) rounded out the top four in the team standings.
No zone teams have been assigned to Class 5 this season. These races took place on Friday, just before the Class 4 events.
Sage Wilde senior of Liberty North (15:05.9) and Grace Tyson senior of Lafayette (18:10.6) were the individual Class 5 state champions.
Wilde’s Liberty North Eagles won the men’s state title with 77 points. They were joined on the podium in the team standings by Rock Bridge (89), Kickapoo (106) and Jackson (154).
Jackson tied Raymore-Peculiar with 154 points apiece, but the Indians took fourth place thanks to a tiebreaker from the sixth runner.
Tyson was the first of three Lafayette runners to finish in the top five, propelling the Lady Lancers to the state title with 50 points. Other Class 5 girls trophy teams included Raymore-Peculiar (80), Blue Springs South (118) and Cor Jesu Academy (120).