Cross Country competes in State

Brianna Carmack, Print Editor-and-Chief

Manhattan High’s boys and girls cross country teams placed second and sixth at State on Saturday, with 2019 6A boys champion Daniel Harkin retaining his title for another year. The boys team’s second place came with a final score of 57, while the girls earned sixth with a final score of 187. 

“[The runners] competed really hard,” head coach Susan Melgares said. “I asked them going in to give their best effort and to leave knowing that they did all they could and did the best they could.”

The race was held at 4-Mile Creek Resort in Augusta last Saturday. The wind was a factor against the runners, contributing to some runners’ slower times than usual.

Manhattan raced against 11 other teams. For boys Varsity, Free State was one of their toughest competitors, which is evident considering they placed first at State.

“Free State just just ran a little bit better than we did on that day,” Melgares said. 

The girls Varsity team was up against stronger teams this year, making it more difficult to come out with a win. However, the team is still proud of their effort and hopes to do continue practicing in order to place better in the future.

“We’d like to place a little bit higher, but we still ended up beating a lot of solid teams,” Melgares said. “[By] the way the girls race played out, it was gonna be pretty hard to land on the podium this year, so [there was a] very quality girl field this year.”

Harkin finished first overall for the boys Varsity race with a time of 16:17.18. Harkin has been the top runner for the MHS boys Varsity team since the beginning of the season. Now, he stands as the top runner in the State for boys Varsity. Harkin also competed in State last season and won individually. This now means that he holds the title of the State Champion for two seasons in a row.

“For [Harkin] to get the win is awesome, especially for the second year in a row,” Melgares said.

Junior Jenna Keeley finished fourth at state for girls Varsity with a time of 19:12.05. Individually, Keeley has been the top girls Varsity runner since the beginning of the season. Comparatively to last season, Keeley jumped 16 spots ahead of where she was at last year at State. 

“[Placing fourth] motivates me to work hard for track season and cross country season next year,” Keeley said.

Other notable runners this season includes junior Ben Mosier who placed 12th at State, junior Max Bowyer who ran throughout some of the season as the second top runner for Boys Varsity and sophomore Marshall Garren who moved up to the Varsity team mid-season.

It is impressive to the coaches that the team has progressed so much for the better throughout this season.

“I’m just really proud of our kids and how hard they work to stay healthy and to take the steps that would allow us to get ahead and get this season in the book,” Melgares said. “They went the extra mile.”