Demons place 1 girl, 2 boys in top 15
MT. PLEASANT — The Washington, Columbus and WACO cross-country teams competed at the Mt. Pleasant Invitational, Tuesday, at Midwest Threshers Campgrounds.
Washington finished third with 92 points.
“The boys hadn’t scored in the 90s in a long, long time,” said head coach Steve Roth. “They were real excited about that this morning.”
Roth said there were nearly 10 runners who posted personal records from the boys’ and girls’ sides.
Senior Austin Latcham had the top time at 18 minutes and 28 seconds for 14th place in the 5K. Junior Curtis Vest was a spot behind him and nine seconds slower.
“Austin is a great leader,” said head coach Steve Roth. “Before we started last night we talked about our first mile being too slow. We need to have six-minute mile. Austin did that.”
Freshman Owen Horak finished 19th with a time of 19:18. Sophomore Jarek Brown finished 21st with a time of 20:06.
The Demons’ average time was 19:22.
“The competition at Mt. Pleasant was very good,” Roth said.
Yesterday was the start of one race a week for Washington the rest of the way.
“They looked a lot fresher and really competed well, both girls’ and boys’ side,” Roth said.
The girls’ team finished in fourth place in the 4K. It averaged a time of 19:56.
The team was missing its top runner, sophomore Emme Keith, and sophomore Emma Wood. Keith has an ankle injury and Wood was sick.
Freshman Mariah Howard garnered 13th place with a time of 17:35.
“The freshmen are really stepping up,” Roth said. “I think that is coming with the competition the upperclassmen have given them. We know Mariah has been doing this for a long time.”
Junior Stephanie Loy took 23rd with a time of 19:01.
The WACO team was led by freshman Cheyenne Sedlacek on the girls’ side and freshman Mitchell Shaffer for the boys’. The Warriors are focused on improving individual times in their first season back as a cross-country team.
Sedlacek led the Warriors with a 37th-place finish in a time of 19:24, followed closely by junior Jennie Greene, 38th, 19:30. Freshman Michaela Shaffer took 62nd in 23:05.
“It wasn’t one of my favorite meets,” Greene said. “Running up and down the terraces is not very fun — it’s a tough course.”
On the boys’ side, WACO was led by Mitchell Shaffer, who took 59th overall with a time of 20:33.
Dillon Douglas was 75th in 23:25, and freshman Trevor Lynn was right behind him. Lynn finished in 76th with a time of 23:28.
The WACO teams did not have a team score; it takes five runners to score for each boys’ and girls’ team, and WACO has just three boys and three girls.
Last year, the Warriors didn’t have a team at all — WACO athletes interested in cross-country ran for Washington. Greene was among them.
“It was fun running for Washington — I got to meet new kids and a new coach, and run for a bigger team — when I run for a team, I’m running for everyone, not just myself,” she said. “But I’m much more comfortable wearing my own jersey, running for my own school.”
Without a team score to run for, the WACO athletes focus on their own times, and improving in every meet.
“(My goal for the season) is to do a lot better than past years,” Greene said. “I don’t think I’ve been as strong as I could be. This year, my times have gone down, and I’m really happy.”
The Columbus boys’ cross-country team finished fourth and the girls’ fifth.
The Wildcat boys placed three runners in the top-11 of the Class B race. Senior Eli Sents was fifth, sophomore Josh Keller sixth, and senior Efrain Barajas 11th .
“Our top three boys were very strong again tonight,” coach Steve Riley said. “We would like to see numbers 4-7 close the gap.”
The girls were led by senior Taylor Hills, who placed 12th in the Class B race.
“The girls didn’t run up to par partly because of injury and sickness, but we can and will run better,” Riley said.
In 22nd was Claire Hamilton with a time of 20:33.