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The Richmond Spartans finished in the middle of the pack at Thursday’s Smithville Invitational cross country meet. Richmond runners earned two medals as the Spartans placed 6th in the 12-team field with 142 points. The host Warriors ended the afternoon with 54 points to take first, with Staley finishing as the runner-up with 73.
Pleasant Hill grabbed third spot, followed by West Platte. The Spartans finished 6-points ahead of Lawson, followed by Pembroke Hill, Oak Grove, Winnetonka, O’Hara and Odessa.
Cody Gorham had another top-five finish for Richmond, and in the process, pulled to within 10 seconds of Brayce Forshaw’s school record set in 1996. Gorham covered the 5K course in 16 minutes, 46 seconds to finish as the runner-up to Ben Barrows of Smithville who was timed in 16:38. Stephen Smith improved his personal-best time by 30 seconds with a 13th-place time 17:52 to earn the other Spartan medal for the day.
Luke Bailey bettered his personal mark by 30 seconds as well with a time of 19:28 to finish 43rd. Three other Richmond runners, Damon Goodall (20:17), Zach Sanders (20:20) and Dylan White (20:27), also set personal-best times.
The Lady Spartan runners did not field a full team. Richmond’s three representatives did have a good day with two runners turning in their best time of the year, and the other set a personal-best. Deanna Barger had her best run of the season as she earned a medal with a 19th-place time of 22:40. Savannah Nobile ran her personal-best of 22:51 to place 21st, and LaToya Johnson ran her best of the season with 24:21 to place 40th.
Justin Persell had the top Spartan junior varsity finish for the day with his 12th place and personal-best time of 20:18 to finish just ahead of teammate Josh Isgriggs with his season-best clocking of 20:22. The JV Spartans placed fourth in the team event with 90 points, while Staley grabbed the top spot with 22.
T.J. Ramsey finished 18th with his personal-best of 21:01 to place 18th for the Spartans, while Cody Horton was 24th with his best-ever time of 21:27. Daniel Bridges set his personal-best time of 21:53, while Ben Moses had a season-best of 22:55, with Nathan Sickle also turning in his personal-best with 25:26.
The Lady Spartan JV had three runners set new marks, with a fourth turning in her best time of the season. Setting personal-bests were Natalie George, who placed 10th with her time of 26:21, Ashley Dodson with 28:29 and Rian Souders with 30:09. Lauren Peck set her season-best with 32:48.
PHOTO: Deanna Barger, front, and Savannah Nobile, at right, continue to lower their times at Thursday’s Smithville Invitational. (Photo by Steve Hitchcock/For The Daily News)