MHS runners take a step up
The Bluejay cross country team made serious strides in Thursday’s Marathon Invite.
Both the boys and girls squads grabbed runner-up finishes in the eight-team meet.
Sydney Harris paced the team with her fourth-place finish in 16:43, and Garrett Schmelling led the boys in fifth in 18:27.
The boys scored 61 points to trail their hosts’ 34 and undercut Wittenberg (74) and Auburndale (75).
Schmelling was backed up by Andrew Seaman (8th, 19:35), Seaman (11th, 20:00), Jake Jensen (17th, 20:14), Andrew Koch (20th, 20:27), Marcus Reinhardt (25th, 20:55) and Matt Dewar (27th, 21:18).
“This was a hot, but beautiful course to run,” MHS coach Kurt VandenHeuvel said. “It was mostly downhill and I was expecting the boys to do well. Some stepped up, and some the heat got the best of them.
“I stressed to the varsity guys after the meet that we need to commit to the next month and work hard together as a team. I would like them to start running in a pack and finishing up with our top two runners. It is now up to them to put in the work at practice. The varsity team has been established it is now getting all the guys together under 20 minutes and it will take some serious pack running.”
Pushing the girls’ pack were Ashley Berton (9th, 17:53), Kate Williams (17th, 19:10), Kendra Andreska (20th, 19:21), Christa Schleif (21st, 19:22), Stephanie Champleau (23rd, 19:35) and Kelci Peterson (32nd, 20:32).
“The girls ran incredible races,” VandenHeuvel said. “All varsity girls had their best performances at this meet so far this season. Sydney Harris ran a strong first half of her race but lost a couple of spots at the finish. I am disappointed with Sydney’s finish because I know she is an under-16 minute runner, but I am confident she will be their come crunch time. She is just that hard of a worker.
“Ashley Berton worked on her stride this week and finished a nice 9th place. The other varsity girls were what got the team into second place they ran in a strong pack all finishing in the top half of the girls.”
Team standings-Girls-Witt/Birn 41, Merrill 71, Pittsville 74, Auburndale 76, Marathon 111, Three Lks. 122, Startford 189, Athens inc…….Boys-Marathon 34, Merrill 61, Witt/Birn 74, Auburdale 75, Athens 134, Pittsville 158, Startford 189, Three Lks. inc.