First Manhattan High cross country meet takes lead

Taryn Robinson, Staff Writer

The Junior Varsity boys cross country dominated at their home meet Sept. 7 at Warner Park. This was the first meet of the season and there were a lot of “really solid efforts” according to head coach Susan Melgares.

“I felt like the boys were maybe in fierce mode and the girls were in grind mode,” Melgares said.

The J.V. team started off the meet with a 5K around the park. Full of twists and turns, the J.V. team pushed through to give the team a lead at the start.

“You want to get a fast start because you want to get ahead of the pack so you don’t get trampled over,” freshman Kaden Dunlap said. “Naturally your body can run as fast as you want it to for seven seconds before you start to feel anything.” 

Dunlap did not run on Saturday, but was there to support the team.

Due to the weather and the course that Warner Park provides, the team faced a challenge full of hills and slopes.

“A lot of them were running in adverse conditions,” Melgares said.

Besides this challenge, sophomore Jackson Tanner, who placed first, junior Gavin Erickson, who placed second, and freshman Marshall Garren, who placed third, helped lead the team to the finish line.

“My uncle and my family and just running motivates me,” Tanner said. “I usually go off by myself before races and just get my mind set straight to get ready to run.” 

Tanner’s first place was from a 17:35 run, along with Erickson at 17:52 and Garren close behind at 18:38. With this as the top 3 scores, the J.V. team scored 19 points in their race all together. 

“I think it’s just the competition that motivates me, and I like how the scenery is,” Garren said.

He makes sure to be at his best at all times during both practices and meets.

“The top seven runners are on Varsity and the next seven on J.V. and fluctuate every week. It depends on how fast you run and not only that but how many practices you attend and how much effort you put in,” Garren said. “I really started to run in the eighth grade, and found out I was good. ”

Besides the boys J.V. team win, MHS Cross Country swept the home meet with all five first place teams.

“I see a lot of positive energy out there, and a lot of team unity where the kids are really working together in the group,” Melgares said. “I’m very excited for this season.”

The next meet for MHS Cross Country is Sept. 21 in Joplin, Missouri.