The Lafayette Junior Lancers Gold young girls softball recently won the Feeder League’s seventh grade championship. The league is set up and run by the athletic associations of Kirkwood and St. Charles.
The Junior Lancers had more than 40 girls try out for feeder league teams. Coaches formed four teams. Three teams made up of sixth and seventh graders. One team is made up of eighth graders.
The Gold team, which went undefeated, won 12-0 over Hillsboro in the championship. The squad had 12 hits in 22 at bats while holding Hillsboro to one hit over four innings. Taylor Nania hit a home run. Abby Carr, Avalyn Long and Nora Oswald all hit doubles. Addison Penn and Josie Alspaw each had multiple hits.
The Gold team scored a total of 46 runs over four tournament games, while allowing only two runs. The top pitchers throughout the tournament and year were Alspaw, Penn, Carr, and Clare Carroll.
Gold team players were Nania, Long, Alspaw, Penn, Carr, Oswald, Carroll, Mary Hails, Ali Branson, Sophia Dhanani, Sydney Berger and Aubrey Sinn.
“It was a big moment for the girls,” coach Gary Long said. “They came together from different club teams in mid-July and worked hard during practice and games for several months. Throughout the year, they were confident and focused, yet still played the game with the kind of excitement and joy that is often lost in youth sports. They were very excited to finish the season undefeated and with a championship in hand.”
Also coaching with Long were Ben Branson, Cory Penn, Kenyon Hails, Diane Long and Megan Weidner.
The Lancers Gold were 14-0 on the season. The Junior Lancers Black finished 10-2 overall. That team reached the semifinals, losing to Hillsboro 8-2.
High school girls cross country
The Eureka Wildcats won the recent Suburban Conference Cross Country Championships at McNair Park, and Lafayette freshman Grace Tyson was the medalist.
Tyson claimed the champion with a time of 18 minutes, 56.89 seconds in the 5-kilometer race.
It was the fourth year for the meet and the first Suburban team championship for Eureka. The Wildcats won with 68 points, far ahead of second-place Parkway West’s 102-point total.
Sophomore Leah Kleekamp came in second in 19:12.22 seconds. Junior Anna Lombardo finished fifth in 19:17.84. Junior Kayla Voelker wound up 11th with a time of 19:46.85. Sophomore twin sisters Erika and Haley Wrob, finished 26 and 27 with respective times of 20:27.29 and 20:27.57.
High school boys cross country
The Parkway West Longhorns finished second in the Suburban Conference Cross Country Championships. The 5-kilometer race was held at McNair Park.
The Longhorns finished with 90 points. Kirkwood won with 87 points for its third consecutive title in the meet. Marquette finished fourth with 125 points followed by Parkway South in fifth with 138 and Lafayette in sixth with 155.
Parkway West’s Thomas Andersen came in third in 16 minutes, 13.75 seconds. He was followed in fourth place by Lafayette’s Aiden Murphy, who finished in 16:16.30.
Coming in fifth was Marquette’s Stone Burke in 16:18.59. Ethan Koop came in sixth in 16:20.70.
Winding up seventh was Parkway Central’s Andrew Ahrens with a time of 16:21.40. The other local runner in the top 10 was Parkway West’s Ryan Caton, who was 10th in 16:29.36.
Eureka setter reaches milestone
Senior Avery Crowder reached 1,500 assists in her volleyball career with the defending Class 4 state champion Eureka Wildcats.
Coach Jodie Fowler noted 1,500 career assists is a big deal.
“It’s a tough accomplishment. It’s a sign of consistency,” Fowler said.
Crowder earned 862 last season running the 5-1 offense. In her sophomore year, she earned 433, splitting time in a 6-2 offense.
“If a setter earns about 700 a year [on average] and they start as a freshman they could earn much more,” Fowler said. “That is rare, but it happens. A setter from an Austin, Texas, suburb high school had over 2,000 assists a month ago, but she’s been setting a 5-1 for all four years.”
Fowler said Crowder did not know she was reaching the milestone.
“She had no clue,” Fowler said. “Her teammates spent some time making a poster and kept the secret.”
Crowder has all the traits a good setter needs, Fowler said.
“She’s competitive, patient and a natural born court leader,” Fowler said. “She’s a smart setter, too, keeping everyone [and], at times, even me on their toes. She has really turned up another level the last couple of weeks and that’s always exciting to see.”
High school girls wrestling
The Cole sisters continue to hold down impressive positions in the recent national high school girls wrestling rankings.
At 106 pounds, Lafayette sophomore Faith Cole is ranked No. 2 in the nation. Her older sister, Emma, a senior, is No. 17 at 144 pounds.
The preseason rankings were developed by USA Wrestling, Flowrestling and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.