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The Richmond cross country squad got some help from a pair of newcomers in the opening meet of the season Thursday at Oak Grove. Cody Gorham placed second and Savannah Nobile placed 19th as the two sophomores earned medals in their first-ever meet.
Gorham’s second-place time of 18 minutes, 26 seconds in the 5K race was the highest varsity finish for a Richmond runner in several years – placing behind Ben Barrows, a Class 3 all-state runner from Smithville. Nobile’s time of 26:01 put her in 19th spot and was the top finish for the Lady Spartan varsity runners, with LaToya Johnson placing 23 with a time of 27:27.
The Spartan varsity runners placed fourth overall with a total of 129 points, ahead of league rivals Odessa and Oak Grove and just behind Pleasant Hill’s 101. Smithville captured first with 29 points. The Spartan finish was the best among the Class 2 squads competing.
Stephen Smith was the remaining Spartan medalist with his 17th-place time of 19:48.
Damon Goodall had the top Richmond junior varsity finish in the 2-mile race with a time of 12:35, which placed him fifth, with freshman Justin Persell taking 11th and a medal with a time of 13:01. The JV placed third with 75 points.
The Lady Spartan JV also brought home a pair of medalists as they placed second with 37 points – just a point behind first place Odessa. Senior Deanna Barger ran in the shorter JV race as she recovers from a knee injury and covered the distance in 15:10, which put her in fifth. Freshman Nicole Palmer ran her first-ever cross country competition and placed 9th with a time of 15:38.
The Richmond runners will be at Platte Ridge Park near Tracy on Thursday to compete in the Platte County Invitational.