Eagles Win Wendy’s Meet
By JOHN HOLLIDAY
MHS Cross Country Teams
Footballs were not the only thing flying around for the Blue Eagles this weekend.
The Blue Eagle Cross Country teams made the early morning ride to Brooke High School Sept. 12 for the annual Wendy’s Invitational and did some flying of their own, with the boys coming away with an exciting one-point victory over last year’s champion East Liverpool, 38 to 39.
In a solid team performance, the guys placed fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, sixteenth and thirty-third. That would be Joe Feeney, 17:38; Nathan Harshberger, 17:46; Alec Hinerman, 17:47; Bill Feeney, 17:54; James Haught, 19:24; and Kyle Lancaster, 21:07, respectively.
I knew from my scouting we could run with East Liverpool as a team, but sometimes running “with” is not the same as beating them. Our first four runners all beat the two through five runners on that team and that just does not happen to them.
They are a very solid and deep team, and our boys just took it to them from the beginning. I like our aggressiveness and I like our ability to group and run together. That makes us a better team. A little school like us is not supposed to be able to run with these triple-A teams like today because of depth problems. But here is a little warning to some teams out there: we are just now getting into racing shape!
Freshman James Haught supported the effort in his first race with a hard-fought 16th place. His time for a first-time racer was astounding. If he continues to work and improve this team could be something special. And Kyle, another freshman, took three minutes off his first race and ran a very good sixth position race. Both these boys are also playing soccer and doing double duty, Kyle since the beginning of August and James more recently. They are hard workers and we are expecting more from both of them.
On the girls side, junior Rachel Hoffpauir held second place until the final 100 meters and was bumped to fourth in an excellent time of 22:30. Also medaling with a top ten finish was Christa Harshberger in 23:04. Julieanne McIlvain crossed the line in 56th place in 34:34.
It’s a shame we don’t get a girls team score because we don’t have the minimum of five runners. The three girls we have are very competitive and two more runners would allow us to compete for team honors. It is difficult to have one runner finish in the top ten, and here Rachel and Christa both made it. We are still recruiting to get these girls some help, but I’m very proud of their accomplishments.
The Blue Eagles next competition will be Tuesday at the Doddridge Invitational at 4:30 p. m. With little time to recover, this will involve most of the Region I competition as well as several of the top teams in the state of West Virginia. Then, a week later, the Blue Eagles will host a meet for the first time in years at the old golf course and marina.
I hope everyone can come out and support our runners for our home meet on September 22. It would mean a lot if the school and community came out and supported these boys and girls. They have all worked so hard.