State cross country Lady Jays flying under the radar

The Jefferson City Lady Jays are entering today’s Class 4 girls cross country championships perhaps a little under the radar.

“We want to do some damage,” Jefferson City coach Brett Phillips said. “I think most people regard us as being a sixth-, seventh- or eighth-place team. I think we can finish higher than that.”

It will be a true team effort for the Lady Jays to finish in the top four teams to get a trophy in the championships at the Oak Hills Golf Center.

“Our 3-4-5 runners have to step up and have huge races,” Phillips said. “If we can get outstanding runs from them, that can be our ticket to the top four or making a run at the whole thing.”

The Lady Jays have two all-state contenders in senior Briana Watson and junior Conradette King, who both finished in the top 10 in last Saturday’s sec- tional meet in Camdenton.

“We want them pushing way up in the top 25,” Phillips said. “Those are their goals and those are our goals for them.”

Watson is looking for her third all-state performance in cross country. She finished ninth overall last season and was 11th as a sophomore.

“She’s one of the best runners we’ve ever had at Jefferson City,” Phillips said. “I’d really like to see her go out with an outstanding race.”

King just missed out on being an all-stater last year, finishing two spots out in 27th.

“She’s hungry,” Phillips said.

Watson and King are joined by senior Emily Crawford from last year’s state squad that finished just 12 points out of a trophy. The Lady Jays have two other seniors in Ashby Dunlap and Harley Bailey.

“They’re all good leaders and great kids who have been part of a successful program the past four years,” Phillips said of the four seniors.


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