SPRINGFIELD — Mud, heat and humidity Saturday greeted cross country teams attending the Northwestern Invitational on the outskirts of Springfield.
The heavy all-night rain Thursday turned the course to mud, but Northmont’s cross country teams still found success despite the conditions.
The girls team placed second overall out of 13 teams led by freshman Caitlin Hoyng who placed second overall with a time of 21:51. Clara Leedy placed sixth in 22:32, Aislynn Brant finished 22nd in 23:52 and Ali Brown finished 42nd in 25:11. Taylor Evans (26:07.48) and Aniyah Stanford (26:45.06) finished among the top seven runners for Northmont.
In the girls race Northmont was in about fourth of fifth place as a team, but between all the girls that each runner passed it enabled the Lady Bolts to move up to second place overall.
“I’m very happy with what my runners have done,” said Northmont Coach Joe Barnes. “The best part about it is that I didn’t have three of my top five girls available for the race.”
One runner ran a half-marathon the week before so Barnes felt it best to rest her and two of his freshmen runners were injured. Another runner who is just getting over an injury is planning to race this coming weekend.
“I am very pleased with how we performed,” Barnes added. “Going into that meet I had no clue what that course was going to be because of all the construction involved in tearing down all the buildings.”
Barnes said the course had changed from years past. This year the course had a 100-meter straightaway and then a ninety degree turn to the right.
“I told my teams that they had to get out fast to avoid getting boxed in. Everybody bought into it and they got out well and I think that is what led to them being successful throughout the whole race,” Barnes said. “I was very proud because at the end of the race every single one of them passed at least one runner.”
The boys team was led by senior J.T. Mackay who finished first overall with a time of 16:39, winning by 40 seconds ahead of the next fastest finisher, Justin Prack of Northwestern (17:20.34). With Mackay’s performance garnering big points Northmont placed fifth overall out of 13 teams.
Senior Tanner Garrison finished seventh overall with a time of 18:18 followed by sophomores Ethan Shade (20:06.87) and Jake Bowers (20:17.45), junior Jacob Coleman (20:45.94), sophomore Jordan Stoiber (21:09.04) and junior Robbie Spilker (21:31.56).
Northmont will compete in the Treaty City Invitational this Saturday in Greenville at 8:30 a.m.