Lawrenceville Invitational (Lawrenceville Park) – 9/24/2016
9/24/2016 – Lawrenceville Invitational
As if last weekend wasn’t hot enough, this weekend was another scorcher. This was the first year we have ever went to Lawrenceville and after talking to the athletes I don’t think it will be the last time. The Foxes had everyone on the team except for Olivia Ragan who had a Football game which she had to cheer at that was too far away to do both. The Girls ran first and the team ended up finishing 7th out of 9 schools represented. The Boys ran next without Alex Soltanipanah, who was going to run the open due to recent illnesses he has had. The Boys ended up in 3rd place out of 9 schools represented. In the Open Alex Soltanipanah took the lone medal for the day with a performance that would have landed him in his usual 5th place on the varsity team. The Foxes as a whole had a great showing but will have to improve to make a run deep in the post season.
Up in the morning and leaving at 6:30 am with rain pouring down, exactly how you would like to start the day of a large meet. 22 of the 23 runners loaded on the new Hamilton County bus for the 1 1/2 Hour journey to Olney in Richland County. In the past few years, the Foxes have not ran well. On Friday night the parents of the Foxes runners fed the Foxes an amazing dinner of Spaghetti, Lasagna, pasta salad, bread sticks, salad and multiple deserts. The Foxes Football game also got postponed on Friday night which hopefully allowed most of the runners to get a good night sleep. I was nervous that I might over sleep and not have time to load the bus in the morning so I packed my car and laid everything out the night before and went to sleep at 10:30 pm, I think I woke up every hour throughout the night. This was our first big competition in a few weeks.
The Foxes girls were without two of their typical top five runners and without one other runner. Raegan Halley and Kaylee Chapman were both nursing foot injuries, but are looking to be back for next weekends competition in Lawrenceville. Mary Lee was also unable to compete due to a sickness she has had for a couple of days. The rest of the Foxes were looking to have a great race in the unfavorable conditions of a course that was assaulted by 3+ inches of rain the previous day. To say the course was saturated with water and slightly muddy were huge understatements. The Lady Foxes’ Olivia Ragan took off quickly and was looking to place in the top of the large field of 130 runners. Olivia Ragan ended up taking 50 place and the last medal spot, which is extremely impressive for a Freshman. Behind Olivia was Jasmine Coomes who took the 54th place, Jade Lemmons was also shortly behind finishing 61st. Abby Reyling and Leah Ragan battled out for the 79th place with Abby taking it and Leah taking 80th, both were followed closely by Jayda Johnson in 83rd. The Lady Foxes ended up in 13th place within reach of a couple other teams if they would have been in full force. Hopefully the Lady Foxes will be ready to go at next Saturday’s race at Lawrenceville.
The Foxes were up next with all except one boy ready to run. Clayton Cross was at his father’s wedding so he was unable to attend the meet. The Boys were looking to improve upon previous years with a good quality performance today. The girls’ race before hand had made the paths even more muddy and soggy for the boys race. Hunter Braden had been complaining that his legs were extremely tight before the race, which was not too surprising due to the fact this was the Foxes third race in 5 days. This meet is a strange meet compared to other due to the amount of green that takes part in it. Three teams have green as their primary color in this race (Hamilton County, Salem and Matton – the Green Wave). For 90% of the races that the Foxes compete in they are the only team that is green at all. Hunter Braden and the rest of the Foxes took off and under the bridge to start the tough Olney course. This race consisted of 188 runner of which 13 of them were Foxes. Hunter Braden finished first for the Foxes with a 36th place finish, he was followed closely by Clay Ragan with a 40th place finish. Matt Rubenacker was the final Fox to medal placing 45th. These three Foxes put in impressive performances and worked extremely hard throughout the tough conditions of the course. The Foxes top 5 ended with finishes by Logan Hunt in 57th and Trenton Butler in 66th. Alex Soltanipanah finished right behind Butler in 67th. Evan Shelton finished in 7th on the team with a 95th place finish. Evan looked great at the two mile but by the end of the third mile he said his feet were so water logged that he couldn’t even hardly lift them. The rest of the Foxes runners finished in the following order, Colin Meade, Raegan Irwin, Will Dylan, Clancy Bond and Blake Childers. This was Clancy Bond’s first ever cross country race and ended up running a great first race on a not so great course with not so great conditions. The Foxes finished up with a team score of 244 points. They finished in 10th place out of 21 teams, the top ten teams were made up of a lot of 2A teams and also teams from out of the state, the Foxes were one of the best A teams in the meet.
It’s always great to see parents making the long trip to Olney to cheer on their children!