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story.lead_photo.caption Fatima's Dawson Woehr runs toward the front of the field during last fall's Class 2 state cross country championships at Gans Creek Cross Country Course in Columbia. Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.

It was a different course with the same result.

With the state cross country championships moving to Gans Creek Cross Country Course after spending the past several years at Oak Hills Golf Center, the Fatima Comets and Lady Comets continued their Class 2 dominance up Highway 63.

The Fatima girls won their seventh straight state championship, edging Father Tolton by 10 points in the team standings, while the Fatima boys won their second consecutive state title — and ninth straight state trophy — by a wider margin of 38 points against runner-up Steelville.

The Fatima girls tied the Herculaneum boys (1977-83) for the most consecutive state titles in Missouri cross country history.

Three Lady Comets received all-state honors. Kendall Haller led the way with a sixth-place finish, followed by Alexis Fischer (16th) and Sierra Sankey (19th).

Brookfield's Alex Sharp won the girls individual title, snapping a streak of five straight years a Lady Comet had been crowned champion. Brianna Haller won state each season from 2014-17 and Kendall Haller won in 2018.

For the Comets, Dawson Woehr finished in seventh place and Lucas Laux was ninth to earn all-state honors.

III

Nobody had to tell the Calvary Lutheran Lady Lions how difficult it would be to get back to the volleyball Final Four.

But with new head coach Kandace Cook taking over for the Lady Lions, who were coming off a Class 1 second-place finish in 2018, they were able to do just that.

Calvary Lutheran followed its district championship with a 25-22, 25-19 win against Greenfield in the Class 1 sectionals. Their next hurdle proved to be a tough one, needing to get past the Sedalia Sacred Heart Lady Gremlins, a program that has won two state titles.

In their quarterfinal matchup, Calvary Lutheran lost the first set. In the 2019 season, prior to that matchup, the Lady Lions had an 0-5-1 record when losing the first set of a match.

They finally added one to the win column. Calvary Lutheran bounced back to win 19-25, 25-23, 25-14 to reach its second straight Final Four.

Leading the Lady Lions in the three-set win against Sacred Heart were Sarah Johnson, who had 12 kills and 24 digs, and Jaelyn Engelbrecht, who had 11 kills and 12 digs.

Calvary Lutheran went on to finish fourth in Class 1 and ended with a 23-9-4 record.

III

The eventual Class 1 runner-up in boys basketball almost didn't make it out of sectionals.

The fourth-ranked St. Elizabeth Hornets ran into a tough and physical matchup against the fifth-ranked Northeast: Cairo Bearcats at Harrisburg.

The Hornets, entering the game averaging more than 67 points, trailed 20-15 at halftime.

"We told them, 'This is your guys' story. How do you want it to end? Do you want to be the team that could have done something special or do you want to be the team that had a shot and kept playing?'" St. Elizabeth coach Dillon Tenholder said after the game.

St. Elizabeth adjusted and led by as many as seven in the fourth quarter.

Cairo had a chance to tie or win in the closing seconds, but St. Elizabeth used physical play to force the Bearcats into a long contested 3-pointer that was off the mark.

Ross Strumeph led the Hornets with 17 points and eight rebounds.

St. Elizabeth finished with a 25-6 record, falling 59-49 to Dora in the state title game.

III

It was an evenly matched game, and it was only fitting for it to be decided in overtime.

The Eugene Eagles handed the fifth-ranked New Franklin Bulldogs only their second loss of the season, escaping with a 70-64 victory in front of a capacity crowd at Rackers Fieldhouse in the Class 2 boys basketball state sectionals.

Eugene had led the way most of the game, and the entire second half, until Tyler Perkins made a pair of free throws, after he was inexplicably fouled with :00.9 remaining, to tie the score at 57 and force overtime.

Perkins scored the Bulldogs' first five points of overtime, but Dyson Samson made his fifth 3-pointer of the game midway through overtime to give Eugene back the lead for good.

Steals and layups by Tre Kempker — who finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds — and Colin Wunderlich in the final two minutes of overtime helped seal the win for the Eagles.

Eugene, however, came up just short of its first Final Four appearance since 1992, losing 71-65 to Milan three days later in the quarterfinals, finishing with a 20-7 record in Craig Engelbrecht's 30th and final season as head coach of the Eagles.

III

Jessica Keilholz saved her best for last during the 2019 softball season.

The Linn pitcher tossed her second no-hitter of the week, leading the Lady Wildcats to a 10-0 win in five innings against New Haven in the championship game of the Class 2 District 8 Tournament.

Keilholz struck out 10 of the 17 batters she faced and walked two batters, carrying a perfect game through the first 10 batters she faced. She helped her own cause at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two doubles and three RBI.

Keilholz' other no-hitter that week also came against New Haven in the team's penultimate game of the regular season.

Linn lost 6-1 to Father Tolton in the Class 2 sectionals, ending the season with a 17-12 record.

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