Sep. 24—Neosho cross country runner Kaden Cole and Nevada girls golfer Emree Cameron have been named the Joplin Globe's prep athletes of the week for the week ending on Sep. 18.
A senior at Neosho High School, Cole put together a strong week for the Wildcats' cross country team. He was the individual champion in the Class 4-5 race at the Monett Richard "Whitey" Mettlach Invitational with a time of 17:16 to top Monett's Julio Cruz by nearly a full minute on Sept. 14.
Then at the Missouri Southern Stampede on Sep. 18, Cole (15:37) was the highest local finisher with a fifth place showing out of 262 runners in the large division boys race.
"Kaden has been working really hard throughout his entire career to reach his goals in running," Neosho coach Emily Abell said. "Monett was a very tough course, but he ran a really smart race that day and worked the hills not only for an advantage, but also for great training.
"At MSSU, he ran an extremely fast race and broke his end-of-season goal, which was to run at 15:40. He also shattered his previous PR by about 40 seconds. I'm really proud of how he has grown throughout his years in the cross country program. I'm excited to see where the rest of the season will take him."
Cameron is just a few golf tournaments into her prep career, and the Nevada freshman phenom is racking up individual titles like a professional. She started her career by shooting a 72 to win her first individual title at the Seneca Invitational on Sep. 9.
On Sep. 15, she shot a 74 and finished four strokes in front of runner-up Avery Chappell of Cassville to capture medalist honors at the Joplin Lady Eagle Invitational at Schifferdecker Golf Course.
"Emree is very consistent off the tee box," Nevada coach Brian Leonard said. "She is long off the tee and that gives her a big advantage over a lot of high school girls. She short irons rather than hitting hybrids into the greens. That is a big advantage. She is very poised on the golf course. She has played a lot of summer events and that helps her a lot, too. Just being consistent. That is key right now. She is going to be mid-to-low 70s almost every time."
Cameron's 72 on the par-74 at Eagle Creek Golf Course wound up being two strokes fewer than MSHSAA's state record for an 18-hole round on a par-74. The record was previously set by Meghan Mueller of Rock Bridge in 2008.
"She has had some really good rounds," Leonard said. "With her shooting in the 70s, the rest of the girls can shoot 95 to 100s, and we are all trying to get together and win the district tournament and get to state as a team. She is doing all she can to help out with the team."
COACHES CAN NOMINATE athletes of the week by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 p.m. Tuesday. Please attach a close-up head-and-shoulders photo of the athlete to the email. Awards on Oct. 2 will be based on performances from Sep. 20-25.