Dora cross country runners earn medals at state meet in Columbia
Building on a multi-season climb to continued success, the Dora Falcons and Lady Falcons cross country teams clawed their way to the state summit again this year, ending the season by claiming three coveted medals and several other admirable accolades at the Nov. 3 class 1 state cross country meet held at Gans Creek cross country course in Columbia.
Dora Falcon frontrunner Cade Nold narrowly outran Michael Parrigon of McAuley Catholic High School by just a millisecond, claiming his stake as the third fastest class 1 runner in all of Missouri. Cade ran his fastest time yet on the cross country’s 5k race, setting a personal record (PR) of nearly 23 seconds less than any other race, ending his run at 16 minutes and 26.9 seconds. His split results show that he started strong, running the first 1,000 meters in 3 minutes 15.1 seconds, the second stretch in 3 minutes 32.6 seconds, the third in 3 minutes 21.6 seconds and then giving it all he had, blazing through the last 1,000 meters in just 3 minutes and 8.7 seconds.
The race was exciting, and people took notice of the tight finish. “...but seriously Cade had the best close of anyone on Friday,” Instagram user @MissouriRunning was quoted as saying after the race.
Cade is a junior at Dora School and one of two twin sons of Dora cross country coach Sheree Nold and her husband Shelby. He’s competed in the class 1 state competition for three years as a Falcon runner, first qualifying for the race as a freshman in 2021 running the same course in 17:46.10, a PR at the time. He returned as a sophomore in 2022, running another PR of 17.12. His time last week of 16:26.9 earned him another PR and the third place medal to go along with it.
In the class 1 girls state race, showing everyone she’s one to watch, freshman standout Dora Lady Falcon Isabelle Martin earned the 12th place position in the class 1 girls race. The 14-year-old ran the 5k course in 20 minutes 58.8 seconds. Isabelle is the daughter of Ozark County Sheriff Cass Martin and his wife Andrea.
Joshua Nold, the Nolds’ son and twin brother to Cade, also came home with a nearly 23 second PR and his own hardware after grabbing the 15th place position in the class 1 boys race with a time of 17 minutes 31.9 seconds. Joshua competed in last year’s state meet, claiming the 38th position that year with a time of 18 minutes and 41 seconds.
The Dora Lady Falcons girls team took home fifth place in the team division, which is calculated based on individual runners times averaged. The team consisted of Isabelle Martin, Emma Martin, Kinley Luna, Kara Anderson, Haley Perkins, Chloe Barton and Kayden Jones.
Dora Falcon and Lady Falcons state qualifiers that competed and placed outside of the medals, which were given to the top 30 individual competitors and top three teams), were:
• Daniel Tomlinson, 79th place with a time of 18 minutes 54.1 seconds.
• Emma Martin, 31st place with a time of 22 minutes 3.3 seconds;
• Kinley Luna, 39th place with a time of 22 minutes 43.5 seconds;
• Kara Anderson, 61st place with a time of 23 minutes, 28.7 seconds;
• Haley Perkins, 75th place with a time of 23 minutes, 48.5 seconds;
• Chloe Barton, 83rd place with a time of 24 minutes 10.4 seconds; and
• Kayden Jones, 123rd place with a time of 25 minutes, 52.0 seconds.
Mia Gray and Shelby Causey are also members of the state-qualifying girls team but did not run at the state meet, as only seven runners can compete per team.
It’s no coincidence that the team is led by tough and dedicated coach Sheree Nold, who came to the Dora School District as the high school math teacher in 2020. The Nolds, along with their children Cade and Joshua and their older siblings Gunnison and Autumn, moved to Dora in 2015. Sheree, who had a background in agriculture, came to the teaching and high school coaching profession later in her career and in a non-traditional way. She was hired by the school district in 2020 for a full-time high school math teacher position, and she worked to earn her teaching certification through the ABCTE program, which allows a teacher to teach with an existing bachelor’s degree while pursuing college education to become certified.
“It was my privilege to coach such a group of athletes this year as those within our Dora cross country team. Our team environment was cultivated and watched out for by those within the team. I do believe that the team culture that we have stimulates the students to reach their personal goals.
“The team cheers each other on and helps to encourage the team to work hard, stay focused and to accomplish great feats within their own realm of performances. I look forward to the idea that this team will be back with nearly each runner next year to strive for new goals,” she said.
The team is a young one. None of the runners who qualified for state are seniors this year.
With so much talent, dedication and promise returning next year, it will be interesting to see just how high the Dora Falcons can climb. But before that season starts, we’ll get another look at the Falcons and Lady Falcons athletes next spring, as many of the competitors are already looking forward to track season, which begins in mid-March, Nold said.