Cross Country finishes in first, third win of season

Brianna Carmack, Print Editor-and-Chief

For the third time this season, the boys Varsity cross country team earned first place, taking the Bob Schmoekel Invitational on Saturday by 27 points. Varsity girls finished in second.

“Based off of what I saw while cheering and while racing, for people not feeling well, I was one of the faster guys,” senior Gavin Erickson said. “We had some people who weren’t the best. So, I’m pretty pleased with how the race lands and the results we got even though some people weren’t doing their best.”

According to Erickson, many of the boys Varsity runners weren’t feeling their best that day, ultimately affecting their performance during the race.

“Well for people and how they were feeling, the effort was really good,” Erickson said. “Sean [Anderson] was sick, Ben [Mosier] had a hurt calf, Max [Bowyer’s] shoulder was messing with him, yet we all played pretty for ourselves.”

Senior Daniel Harkin, who is the top runner for boys Varsity, was out sick from racing in the meet. Taking his place, junior Max Bowyer finished first for Manhattan and third overall with a time of 17:17.3. Claiming the victory once again for girls Varsity was junior Jenna Keeley who finished first overall with a time of 19:20.0, 55 seconds ahead of the second place runner. 

The weather also had a huge impact on the performance of the runners, with some even calling it the “ideal running weather.” However at times, the wind was chilly and harsh. And specifically when running over hills, harsh and chilly wind required a bit more energy than some of the runners were expecting.

“Not everyone, but most people enjoyed the chillier weather,” Erickson said. “The wind combined with the chills made the race require a bit more energy than we were… than I was expecting, which meant that we probably should’ve gone out a bit slower. But we did what we did and we powered through it.”

This meet differed from previous meets in regards to the fact that one spectator was allowed per runner. Because of COVID-19 guidelines, fans aren’t allowed at meets, which doesn’t allow the runners to have the same experience before COVID-19. Allowing fans to cheer on the runners helped provide that same experience that the runners are normally used to.

“There’s one visitor per runner competing,” Erickson said. “That was a nice change because in all the past meets we weren’t allowed any spectators. It was just teammates and coaches. Even though it wasn’t many, I do think that helps people perform because there’s a more familiar environment to the past season.”

Some of the team’s strengths during this meet included applying mental toughness. 

“We did a good job of applying the mental toughness and strength that we have been working on in practice,” sophomore Amelia Knopp said. 

MHS doesn’t have clear improvements that they are wanting to make for future meets. Their main goal is to try and do the best they can and become the best team that they can be.

“We need to keep pushing ourselves and pushing our teammates to become the best team we can be,” Knopp said.

The next MHS Cross Country race will be held at the Baldwin Invitational this Saturday.