The Holden cross country teams worked through hot temperatures and rain showers at the Husker Cross Country Invitational Meet at Higginsville High School Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Eagles runner Rett Hankins led the Holden boys team with a top-10 finish. Lady Eagles runner Ava Young led the girls team in a top-20 placing with the top 20 finishers receiving medals.
“Higginsville was the type of race that you can throw out the times and look at the place instead,” said Holden cross country coach Ben Kiger. “This was the first time we have ran in extreme heat.
“On the boys side, (Rett) Hankins ran a 19:59, but finish in seventh place. He ran a really good race.”
Hankins’s seventh-place showing came in a field of 90 runners. Teammates Noel Petitpierre in 60th place, and Evan Robinson in 65th rounded out the Holden boys team’s showing.
“Noel in his first race ever turned in a 27:09,” said coach Kiger. “Again, it’s not about the time as much as getting through the tough conditions that we had to run in. Evan ran a 27:49. That definitely was a product of the conditions. Overall, I was happy with the boys that ran.”
Young’s 15th-place finish in the girls race occurred as the junior year runner paced a complete Lady Eagles team, an opportunity she has not had the opportunity to experience in her first two seasons of racing.
The Lady Eagles team placed third among the four full teams competing.
“On the girls side, it was amazing to see a complete team out there,” said coach Kiger. “Right before the race I had them look around and notice that it is the first time in a while we have had a complete team, and we still have a couple of girls dealing with injuries who will be back so that was exciting.
“Ava ran a 27:14,” said coach Kiger. “She finished in 15th place. Next for our team was Elsa Grange in her first 3.1-mile race. She ran a 28:43 and finished 22nd. Abby Miller was able to run a complete race this week and finished 25th overall. Ashtyn Treece ran her first 3.1-mile race and finished 34th. Madisyn Talley finished 37th overall.
“We had a couple of girls who probably think they can run better, and I would agree with that. But overall, I am very happy with the ladies and how they competed through the heat.”
The next meet for the Holden high school cross country teams is the Lone Jack Meet scheduled for Wednesday, September 20, at 4 p.m.
Middle School Cross Country Results From Higginsville Meet
The Holden Middle School Cross Country team members turned in several top finishes at the Middle School Husker Cross Country Invitational Meet on Tuesday, Sept. 5, with Lady Eagles runner Jessy Stringer taking the top spot in the girls race.
Stringer paced the field of nine runners with a time of 12:24 on the 2400m course. Peyton Koehn placed third in the girls race with a time of 12:47.
“Jessy finished first overall in the girls race,” said coach Kiger. “She really pushes herself, and she ran a good race. Peyton finished third overall. She did great in her first race ever. She is really a tough girl. I am super proud of them both.”
Liam Claxton led the middle school Eagles boys team with a third-place finish. Trevor Snively placed fourth, Nick Moore placed seventh, and Porter Eissler placed 15th for Holden with 17 runners competing in the boys race.
“On the middle school boys side we had Liam in his first race finish third, and right behind him was Trevor who really is showing a lot of improvement from last year,” said coach Kiger. “Nick in his first race finished seventh. That was a really good finish for him. I expect him and Porter to both get better as they get used to what the competition looks like, and the mental and physical toughness it takes to compete day in and day out.”