Cross Country finishes in third place

Brianna Carmack, Print Editor-and-Chief

Manhattan High Cross Country placed third at Washburn Rural last Saturday and impressed themselves through running faster times and setting new personal records.

“We competed really well and we had many kids that ran faster than they have run yet this season,” head coach Susan Melgares said. “It was shocking a little bit to see how fast we ran that we, you know, did not win but just speaks to the competent level of competition there.”

Varsity girls and boys both lost to Washburn Rural who ultimately came out in first place for both divisions. However, boys Varsity came in at third following St. Thomas Aquinas while the girls team placed second. With that being said, the competition levels at the meet were high in comparison to past meets this season.

“[the competition still takes nothing away from what our kids did,” Melgares said. “They got out, they competed hard and did the best they could, so [coaches] we’re really proud of them.”

Senior Daniel Harkin and junior Jenna Keeley continue to be MHS’s top runners for their divisions, Harkin with a time of 15:41.9 and Keeley with a time of 19:11.6. 

Junior Max Bowyer set a new personal record of 16:26.7, which now makes him the second fastest boy runner on the Varsity team.

“I saw [setting a new personal record] when I was coming right across the line, so I kind of knew it was coming and felt really great,” Bowyer said.

Bowyer set several new PRs last year, but this meet’s time was a 20-second improvement over his previous PR. 

“This was a more drastic one,” Bowyer said. “I think I got 20 seconds faster. This is definitely a big [personal record] for me. Probably my biggest one.”

Sophomore Marshall Garren also impressed himself, as this was his first time competing in a Varsity meet. He was the seventh MHS boy runner to cross the finish line with a time of 17:28.8. Garren officialized his spot on the Varsity team quickly after the race due to his time.

“[Running Varsity] was a lot different because usually on J.V. we have a pack of three other people and we were usually in the front,” Garren said. “So, it was nice having other people run the same speed as me and pushing me.”

Garren was challenged with some faster runners from other teams, giving him some tough competition to work with.

“In the beginning there was a Topeka West student who would try and pass me and wouldn’t let me by, but soon enough I got past [them],” Garren said.

MHS hopes to perform as well as they did during the meet at Washburn for future meets. As for improvements, they aren’t really in need of improving anything.

“[We] just got to keep working and maybe just kind of tweak things a little bit,” Melgares said. “[We just need to] keep working and then rest and then be ready for throwdown at the end.”

MHS will travel to Junction City for their next meet this Saturday.