The Holden girls cross country team won the Lone Jack Cross Country Invitational Meet on Wednesday, Sept. 20 by finishing ahead of the home team Lady Mules.
Holden runners Ava Young, Elsa Grange, Madisyn Talley, and Malea Brewington ran to top-10 medal finishes at the meet as they and teammates Abby Miller and Ashtyn Treece competed in the field of 23 total finishers.
“On the girls side, we were led by Ava Young finishing third,” said Holden cross country head coach Ben Kiger. “Obviously, this is the first team win in several years because we haven’t had a team in many of those years.”
Young clocked a time of 26:02 in the race in her third-place finish. Grange timed out at 26:50 to place seventh. Talley stopped the stopwatch at 27:27 to place eighth. Brewington turned in a time of 28:11 to place 10th as she returned to competition following an injury.
Miller finished in 11th place and was followed by Treece who placed 13th.
“Elsa continues to do really well considering she started in August when she got here,” noted coach Kiger in regard to the foreign exchange student Grange. “Madisyn had a good race and finished in the top-10. As a freshman, she is really coming on and will get better and better.
“Malea finishing 10th in her first race of the year coming off her rehab stint was pretty awesome,” emphasized coach Kiger. “She stated she felt good after the race. Abby was hurting a bit but still finished 11th, right behind Malea. Ashtyn is continuing to go through some nagging issues, but toughed out the race and finished 13th. So it was a really good showing for our girls.”
In the high school boys race, Eagle runner Rett Hankins paced the team by placing second for a medal finish in the field of 37 finishers. Hankins timed out at 19:34 on the course.
Oak Grove runner Jaxon Weber took the top spot in the race, finishing 19 seconds ahead of Hankins as Avery Barnes from Kingsville finished in the third spot with a time of 19:40.
“I looked at the entries, and I was ranked second,” said Hankins after the race. “The 100-percent goal was to get second…get my ranking. I was trying to stay with that kid in first. He’s got a really good start, and I couldn’t keep up with him.”
Hankins held off Barnes down the stretch.
“I had to out-sprint him in the finish,” said Hankins in regard to Barnes.
Coach Kiger summarized Hankins’s medal finish.
“Obviously, Hankins ran a great race,” said coach Kiger. “He really knows how to prepare for a race. He always has goals and he did a great job of meeting his goal. He wanted to finish in the top-two, and he did that.
The meet marked the first opportunity for competition for the Holden high school cross country teams since their last competition at the Husker Invitational Meet on September 5.
“I don’t like going two weeks without races. I like having at least a race or two a week. It keeps me in the race pace mentality.”
Holden runner Gerard Costa finished as the boys team’s number-two runner on the day in a 16th-place finish with a time of 23:16.
Noel Petitpiere placed 23rd, Evan Robinson placed 25th, and Joseph Samilin placed 34th as Samilin ran in his first-ever meet.
“I thought Gerard did a nice job of competing and being just outside of medaling,” said coach Kiger. “Evan and Noel keep on improving, so that is goal one. I was also very proud of Joseph. He started with us late and he finished his first race. This sport is so taxing and hard that it says something that he can join late and compete with people that had a summer running schedule.
It was a smaller meet, but I like going because most parents get to watch their kiddo run,” added coach Kiger. “That is important. Runners, due to having all away meets don’t get a lot of support outside of their families, so that is important to make it easier for them to be able to watch their kids run.”
Holden Middle School Results
The Holden middle school cross country runners competed at the Lone Jack Middle School Cross Country Invitational Meet on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
Lady Eagle eighth grader Jessy Stringer won the girls race with a time of 12:23 on the 2500m course. Peyton Koehn took the second-place spot with a time of 12:45 in the field of 17 finishers in the middle school girls race.
For the Holden boys middle school team, Liam Claxton led the Eagles by placing eighth with a time of 11:44. Braden Phillips placed 12th, nick Moore placed 14th, and Porter Eissler placed 22nd in the field of 33 finishers in the boys race.