Blue Eagle Cross Country Teams Picking Up Momentum
The Magnolia boys’ and girls’ cross country teams launched into the core of the season with fine showings at the giant Scenic Hills Invitational in Vincent, Ohio, this past Saturday, Sept. 3.
Running against 20 of the largest and most accomplished programs in Ohio, the boys came away with an impressive fourth place in the meet. They also had three medalists, led by senior Bill Feeney with a seventh place finish. Not far behind was fellow senior Alec Hinerman (11th place) and a steadily-improving junior, James Haught (20th place). Supporting the team score were junior letterman Kenny Headley (50th place) and freshman David McIlvain (64th place).
Division I power Lancaster took the boys’ championship for the second year in a row, followed by cross-country powerhouses Marietta and Warren Local.
MHS Head Cross Country Coach John Holliday explained, “This was a strong showing for our boys and it really exemplified the team depth we have. There are big challenges this season yet to come, but this was a good start in what will be a very difficult schedule.”
Holliday went on to add, “As an example of the quality of this meet, the young man that finished third overall was an Ohio state champion in the mile in track, and a midwest all-star champion in the same event.”
The girls’ team also showed some balance by finishing 14th, led by junior Christa Harshberger, who brought home a medal for her 20th place finish. Supporting her was first-year runner Sarah Goddard (68th place), sophomore Shelby Sands (74th place), freshman Katie Ensinger (78th place), and junior Julianne McIlvain (86th place).
“The heat index was listed as 100 degrees when we ran Saturday morning and the finish times were indicative of that,” continued Holliday. “Regardless, everyone did their best. Both the boys and girls are very competitive, so I just have to keep pushing them. The goals we have set require us to get even better. Some of our boys that are not in our scoring top five need to move up to help out our other runners. If that happens, we can be a very good team.”
The Eagles’ next competition, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 6, at the Tyler Invitational, has been postponed to Sept. 20. Next up on the schedule for Magnolia is the Brooke Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 10, Then, on Sept. 17, the Blue Eagles will host their own invitational.