FRC Championship Sweep

Will Johnson

Having the annual Four Rivers Conference (FRC) Cross Country meet back on the home course proved advantageous for Matt Candrl’s Owensville Dutchmen and Dutchgirls.

Topping the team standings in all four high school races last year at St. Clair, OHS looked for the same feat again last Tuesday at Owensville Golf Course.

Kicking off the afternoon of racing last Tuesday was the varsity girls.

Leading the race from the opening gun to the final stretch, Dutchgirl sophomore Sophia Ashner won her second individual FRC title in as many years with a race-winning time of 20:20.44

“I was really happy with my first mile running a 6:15,” Ashner said. “I’ll keep working hard to get my time under 20 minutes at districts.”

Helping Ashner and the Dutchgirls take four of the top five spots were fellow sophomores Kendra Hults (2nd, 21:05.43), Alesha Shockley (4th, 21:22.90) and Paige Heckelmann (5th, 21:48.44).

“Those girls are really awesome at what they do,” Candrl said.

Passing Pacific’s Faith Gerling towards the end of the race, Dutchgirl freshman Katie Candrl earned All-FRC honors with a ninth-place time of 22:15.46.

“Any time you place your top five runners in the top 10, that shows you how strong your team is,” Candrl said.

Also running for the FRC champion Dutchgirls was the senior quartet of Adriene Aubuchon (16th, 23:00.62), Joyce Stewart (24th, 24:00.40), Zoie Bertagnolli (24:25.81) and Emma Nicks (42nd, 28:18.84).

“It’s been a bittersweet year for us as seniors watching these girls grow up into the runners they’ve become,” Aubuchon said. “It’s been a huge honor to be their captain the past two years.”

With Carter Brocato now in a Columbia College uniform, Candrl’s varsity Dutchmen knew they had to step up their game if they wanted a fourth straight FRC title.

Led by Graham Dunlap (3rd, 17:55.75) and Jacob Giedinghagen (4th, 18:11.76)), Owensville avenged their loss to Pacific a week earlier edging them by three points atop the team standings.

“We’re excited that we were able to beat Pacific for a fourth straight conference title,” Giedinghagen said. “Now we’re looking forward to districts and doing well there.”

Passing Hermann’s Dalton Gleeson, Dutchmen senior Michael Lahmeyer grabbed the 10th and final All-FRC spot with a time of 18:26.95.

“Michael ran a great race to grab the 10th all-conference spot,” Candrl said. “We needed two guys to get in the top 10 and we had three.”

Also helping OHS keep the conference title in town was senior Brannon Brocato (12th, 18:43.34) and freshman Austin Terry (16th, 18:51.33).

“It is a huge accomplishment for the boys to win four conference titles in a row,” Candrl said.

Seniors Bryan Candrl (18th, 19:01.81), Dane Thompson (19th, 19:03.18), Chase Finley (39th, 20:56.29), Tony Terry Jr., (21:14.81) and Kory Bauer (44th, 21:40.77) also ended their OHS cross country careers as FRC champions.

“It meant a lot to run my final cross country race with my brother,” Tony Terry Jr., said. “The fact I got to leave everything I had out on the course and run with Austin was really cool.”

Similar to their varsity counterparts, the junior varsity Dutchgirls also looked to defend their FRC title from last year in St. Clair.

Seeing five finish in the top eight, Owensville topped the team standings led by Abby Koepke’s race-winning time of 24:01.94.

Macy McKinney (2nd, 24:29.11), Christyna Zheng (5th, 26:20.19), Julianna Watkins (7th, 26:20.19) and Kyra Binkhoelter (8th, 27:01.18) all earned medals for their top-10 finishes.

“Abby and Macy going one-two was an awesome performance for them,” Candrl said. 

Other JV Dutchgirls running to a team title included Molli Gross (14th, 28:07.88), Almudena Imedio (19th, 30:20.55) and Tara Schnelting (21st, 30:50.35).

Going into the junior varsity boy’s race, Dutchmen freshman Paul Tyree was looking to become the latest OHS harrier to complete the Gasconade County hat trick.

Winning the Hermann and Owensville Invitational races the previous two Tuesdays, Tyree appeared on his way to making it three in a row early in the race.

Making a move to the front, fellow Dutchmen freshman Aden Steineker went on to win the JV boy’s race in a time of 18:50.54.

Following Tyree’s second-place time of 19:12.11, the JV Dutchmen duo of Cameron O’Neal (4th, 20:15.87) and Christian Lowes (8th, 20:48.78) also earned All-FRC medals for their top-10 finishes.

“Aiden and Paul did a lot of work to finish one-two in the conference in the JV boy’s race,” Candrl said.

Fellow JV Dutchmen harriers running to another team title included Treyden Williams (13th), Chayse Doerr (14th), Devon Farris (15th), Dylan Fudge (20th), Jacob Luther (29th), Brandon Allen (31st), Jacob Hall (39th) and Tristan Heflin (41st).