Eagles cross country runners Michael Rinella, Logan Yoder, Brian Johnson, and Zack Willis each ran to medal finishes at St. Mary’s Invitational Meet last Saturday.
The Eagles boys team placed sixth with 144 points, just behind Knob Noster with 125 points.
A two-hour delay due to lightning after a morning of heavy rain made for a muddy course, and less than ideal running conditions for Holden’s first regular season meet of the year.
“That was a unique meet of all the meets I’ve ever had,” said Holden cross country head coach Dale Wescott.
“We had ideal running conditions. After they waited, it got really humid. “I was pleased with four of our runners getting medals.
Basically, we call that our first meet since last week at Warrensburg was a two-mile race.
“For the first time at three miles, it was about getting a time in,” said coach Wescott.
Rinella topped the Eagles team on the day by clocking a time of 21:50.2 to finish in 24th place. In a side-by-side sprint to the finish line, Yoder finished six-tenths of a second ahead of Johnson.
Yoder’s time of 22:40.3 put him in 31st place. Johnson led all Eagles runners early in the race before dropping back, then fought back in a strong finish.
“I think at these early meets it’s about challenging yourself,” said coach Wescott.
“Brian was leading us through the two-mile mark. He got a second wind, and battled. “Michael and Logan are always consistently right there,” added coach Wescott of the two runners who regularly placed highly for the Eagles last season.
Zack Willis picked up Holden’s fourth medal finish with a 35th-place showing in a time of 22:44.5. “Zach started off…he was about 30 seconds off our guys, and he moved up as the race went,” noted coach Wescott who highlighted Willis’s consistent performance and pace at meets.
Rounding out the Eagles’ finishes were Wyatt Doutt in 62nd place, Chase Vogler at 65th, and Lucas Hunt finishing 66th.
As the season progresses, coach Wescott emphasized, “We have to have someone step up as the fifth runner.”
The Eagles have an open week this week before competing at the Drexel Invitational Meet next Wednesday, September 16.
“I would like to think we’ll go over there, and compete to win,” concluded coach Wescott.