Saxon Teubner saved his best for last.
With his high-school cross country career coming to an end, the Jefferson City senior knew it was time to make his move.
"I just had it in my head that it was the last race of my senior season," he said, "and I've got to go out with a bang. I've got to do it."
And go out with a bang he did. Teubner jumped three spots in the final tenth of a mile Saturday to finish 17th in the Class 4 state championships at the Oak Hills Golf Center. It was Teubner's first all-state finish.
"It's something I've wanted to do since I was a freshman," he said. "I'm just very happy."
Teubner said running the same race last fall paid off in his senior season.
"Last year was just a real shocking experience," he said. "I wasn't really ready for all the people and all the competition."
Teubner finished 65th in last year's race, and he had some work to do Saturday to break his way out of the pack.
"At first, I was around 30th, and I was kind of worried," he said. "I was like, "There's no way I'm going to get this,' but I just kept thinking it's not over until the finish line, so I'll just keep trying to go for it."
Teubner, who finished in 16:27.58, was 24th after one mile and 25th after two.
"And then, 1,000 meters to go, I got a lot of courage and just went for it, and started passing people. It felt good."
Jefferson City finished 14th as a team. Cole Biesemeyer came in 84th, and Jackson Schwartz was 90th.
Lafayette was the Class 4 state champion, claiming four of the top 11 spots. Devin Meyrer led the way with a run of 15:25.42.
In the Class 4 girls race, the Lady Jays finished 16th. Caitlin Ruth led Jefferson City with a 64th-place finish, and Lindsey Biesemeyer took 93rd.
Lafayette took the Class 4 girls title as well, with Anna West (17:46.72) the individual champion.