By CONOR NICHOLL
The Missouri Southern Stampede, held in Joplin, is one of the largest regional cross country meets of the fall. The competition features multiple races of high school and college. This year’s competition took place Sept. 17.
Girard boys finished seventh in the 24-team competition that featured 209 runners. The Trojans were the top finishing Kansas school. Trojan senior Tanner Ulbrich was second in the race in 16:31.
Sophomore Houston McGown was 15th in 17:27, and senior Gavin Doubrava was 17th in 17:30.
Freshmen Seth Wilson and Izaiah Adolph finished 138th and 139th in 20:52 and 20:58, respectively. Senior Leo Bass, sophomore Tye Humble and freshman Mason Adolph also competed.
Girard girls showed improvement, too. The Trojan girls competed in a race with 166 runners.
Girard junior Claire Stevens was 57th in the race in 23 minutes. Senior Johanna Walker was four spots behind at 23:09. Walker has dropped nearly two and a half minutes from her time earlier this season.
On Sept. 1, Walker was 30th in the Anderson County Jerry Howarter Invitational in 25:34.61.
Walker has substantially improved from her Southern Stampede time in 2021. That year, Walker was 78th at the Southern Stampede in 25:38.76.
In the spring, Stevens qualified for the Class 3A 800-meter run and finished 14th in 2 minutes, 32.39 seconds. Stevens was 13th in the 1,600 relay with 4:21.27. Stevens and Walker ran on the state qualifying 3,200-meter relay that took 15th in 11:16.25.
Last year, Girard boys finished seventh in 3A state cross country. Ulbrich was seventh in the race. Doubrava was 21st. McGown was 46th. Andy Clark, Memphis Knox, Bass and Ty Humble rounded out the team. Two years ago, Girard boys finished fourth, and the Trojans girls 11th at state cross country.