Hardwork pays off! After a few races to shake off the rust and practice racing the cross country team finally got to see what they were made of at the prestigious Liberty Bell Invite. The team elected to run up a division as preparing for championship season it is important to race a high level of competition. Friday was an opportunity for the athletes to learn about themselves and what they were capable of.
The meet started for the Wolverines with the Varsity Boys taking the course. Determined to run a great team effort after being challenged the previous week the entire Varsity Boys team PR’ed. This effort was led by Senior Levi Chambers running a new school record in 16:07 shattering the previous school record of 16:18 by Alumni Cody Jones. This finish placed him second overall. After Levi the rest of the Wolverines quickly followed in pursuit. Next across the line in fifth place was Sophomore Jaden Davis in 16:36. His time was a PR of over a minute. Scoring was rounded out by Senior David Garcia running 17:20 (15th), Senior Jayden Howell running 17:53 (27th), and Junior Keegan Wiles running 18:05 (35th). Jayden’s time was his first time dipping under the 18:00 mark. Also running Varsity and showing great maturity beyond their freshman status was Baylor Lewis in 18:09 and Sylas Chambers in 18:37. Once the race was over and the scores tabulated the boys came out victorious with a team score of 83 points.
A little over three minutes later the Varsity Girls followed the boys on the same course. The varsity girls were able to earn a 6th place finish. Girls were paced once again by Senior Hannah Ellis in 19:00, good enough for a third place finish. After Hannah it was a pack of three running in close unison with Junior Aleigha Street running a PR of 21:32 (35th), Sophomore Julia Brown running a PR of 21:34 (36th), and Sophomore Sami Angus running 21:42 (39th). The fifth runner for the girls team was Sophomore Sarah Ellis finishing in 51st place, good enough for a new PR of 22:21. Also running Varsity was Junior Bailey England finishing 63rd in 22:43 which was also a new PR for her. As a young Varsity team the girls are quickly gaining experience and becoming more competitive by the week. The rate of improvement has been astounding for the girls.
The strength of a team is defined by the depth of their JV team. Yesterday was no exception to that rule. Both JV teams showed poised after a delayed start due to an injury in another race. Once they were able to race they showed they would not be outdone by the Varsity.
The JV boys took to the course and earned a 2nd place finish. They were led by Junior Jesse Hayward in 17:30. Having a huge improvement since his last outing was Senior Brenden Worley. Brenden finished the race in a PR of 19:01 which was good enough for a 6th place finish. Just missing a top 10 finish was Senior Beau Shenkenberg finishing in 12th place and a time of 19:20. Other runners earning new PR’s on the day were Sophomore Cory Shea 19:33, Sophomore Adian Frey 20:15, Freshman Bert Daniel 20:25, and Senior Will Hamlett 27:21.
The JV girls finished the day with a sixth place finish as well. They were led by the one two punch of Sophomore Aaliyanah Hubert-Combs in 23:10 and one second behind Sophomore Pauline Boulenger in 23:11. Both times were huge PR’s for both ladies. On the day every JV girl PR’ed including Sophomore Therali Merry 24:46, Sophomore Kaylee Howell 25:31, Senior Krista McAllister 25:42, Sophomore Codie-Lynn Daniel 26:22, Sophomore Kayla McAllister 27:16, and Freshman Kate Noce 29:07. Success like that speaks volumes to the work ethic and effort of the girls as they push their limits and exceed their expectations.
Needless to say the day was very successful. The team relished the opportunity but they also understand this is just another step toward much bigger goals. The team will be back to practice and ready to grind another day. You can see some of the team in action next Friday at the Wolverine Invite at Monfort Park.