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Rebello claims first all-state finish

Tigers sophomore Michael Rebello competes in the Missouri Class 3 Cross Country Championships at Oak Hill Golf Center in Jefferson City. Rebello finished 13th in the race in a personal best time of 16 minutes 49 seconds. (Submitted photo)

November 10, 2017 – For the first time as a Tiger sophomore, Michael Rebello eclipsed the 17-minute mark and he picked a great time for his first sub-17 minute 5K at the Missouri Class 3 Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Rebello finished with a time of 16 minutes 49 seconds and finished in 13th place, well within the top 25 runners who each earn all-state honors.

Senior Noah Birkeness finished 42nd in the race, just 40 seconds behind Rebello in the tightly-contested race, and 20 seconds behind the final all-state finisher.

Edward Wilhite, a senior from Warrensburg, won the race with a time of 15:42.

Rebello missed out at running the state meet as a freshman after a broken foot in the first race of the season sidelined him for the rest of the year. Birkeness qualified a year ago and Rebello was able to tag along at the state meet to see what the race was like.

Birkeness improved his time at the state race by nearly a minute after he finished the course at Oak Hills Golf Center in 18:19 a year ago and finished in 116th place.

The cut in time moved him significantly up the leaderboard, but fell short of setting a personal best at his final high school race. Birkeness finished 6 seconds off of his pace from a week prior at the Smithville Dam Course, which earned him a seventh-place finish at the Class 3 District 8 meet.

The team nearly was able to run at state but missed out on a second place team finish by eight points to Cameron after an injury and family emergency forced younger runners to step up at the district race. The Tigers lose two seniors, Birkeness and Joel Courtney who injured his knee the week before the district race.

By Bryce Mereness • bryce@esstandard.com

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