Marquette produced two all-state athletes in the girls Class 4 state cross country meet.
Sophomore Katie Quade earned all-state honors in her first year with the program. She came in fourth in 19 minutes, 16.01 seconds.
“She has the fastest time in school history for a sophomore,” Marquette co-head coach Mike Ebert said. “She ran a smart first mile and she ran very smoothly after that. She had a nice finishing kick as well.”
Junior Vicky Penney also became an all-state runner in his second trip to the state cross country meet. Penney came in 16th with a time of 19:38.06.
Penny ran state meet in her freshman year. She missed last year because of an injury.
“She had a concussion the week of districts, otherwise she would have qualified for state again,” Ebert said. “Vicky ran exceptionally well. She started off the season with a bang by winning our first race. She just continued to improve from there, and after running awesome at sectionals.
“We knew she had a great chance to be all-state.”
As a team, the Mustangs finished fifth with 140 points.
“it was a fantastic race. We were very proud of all of them,” Burger said.
Blue Springs South was fourth with 131 points so Marquette missed bringing home a trophy by nine points.
“Finishing in the top six to eight was a definite goal,” coach co-head coach Missy Burger. “We knew if they ran well they could finish higher.”
“With so many runners new to the course, your expectations are tempered a bit,” Ebert said. “But they had a great day—all seven runners.”
Junior Kate Pogue came in 55th in 20:34.13 for Marquette. Junior Anna Warren was 67th in 20:45.66. Senior Eva Morrison was 111th in 21:17.52. Senior Elyse Koop finished in 21:46.61 to wind up 142nd. Sophomore Riley Goring was 155th in 22:12.24.
“All of these girls ran so well,” Ebert said. “Kate Pogue was at state for the first time and really stepped up to the challenge. Anna Warren was in her second state appearance and finished with such a strong kick. Eva has been one of our best team leaders, and was running in her first time at state and after the first mile she just moved up a ton.
“Elyse really set a good pace for the first mile for her teammates and being in her first State race she did great. Riley battled through a lot of knee pain the last month of the season. She had a fantastic season, and even though not feeling 100 percent physically, she competed so hard at state, and being just a sophomore it was great experience for her to have.”
The coaches were pleased with the girls finishing fifth as a team.
“Now, we are training for a trophy and can’t wait to see what 2019 holds,” Burger said.
“Last year we were seventh at districts. This year, our ladies won the All-Suburban Meet with 30 teams, finished second at sectionals, and just keep defying our expectations. It was a pretty special season.”
It was the first team trip to state since 2013 for girls program.
“We felt we had some good momentum building from the spring in track and state performance at track with many girls improving, and they kept that momentum going into the fall,” Burger said. “With five of the seven girls returning, we’re excited about next year, but we know our toughest competitors also return many of their runners as well.”
The best finish as a team was second in 2002. Eight of the top 11 girls will return next year, including five of the seven who raced at state.
So, the future look good for program.
“We have a group of driven and eager young women who have really come together to reach new heights,” Burger said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the character and leadership of our seniors — Eva Morrison, Elyse Koop, and Melissa Price. Now, it comes down to training and team-manship for a great 2019.”
Ebert said this team was a good one to coach.
“We had a great groups of veterans like Melissa Price and younger kids in Audrey Tanzola, Ally Fitzgerald, and Mega Morrow, who filled in all year long and helped push our top seven to new heights.”