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GCHS runners race under the lights

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By Ryan Naus

Looking for a change of pace, the Grant County High School cross country teams decided to sleep in.

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The Braves were able to because instead of waking to race early in the morning, they were going to run at night under the bright lights at the Adidas Saturday Night Lights IV in Centerville, Ohio on Sept. 26.

“It was an experience that the runners will remember,” coach Marlon Kinsey. “They have worked hard and they deserved to have a little fun, but the main goal was to perform at our best. Running at night is a unique experience.”

The boys’ team finished 11th out of 16 teams, but took advantage of the fast, flat course to run some of their best times. Junior Jordan Cummins finished 14th by running 16:31.98. He was followed by sophomore Chris Ellis, who finished 23rd with a time of 16:47.27. Junior Michael Schultz finished 71st and was followed by sophomore Tyler Edmondson (86th) and senior Shannon Fabela (94th) to round out the Braves’ scorers.

“It was a lot different,” Fabela said. “I wish I could have done better because I still had a lot left. We’ve got a lot of runners who are doing well. The competition we faced makes us want to try harder and push ourselves.”

The girls’ team finished 14th out of 14 teams, but Kinsey believes the experience of running against competitive teams will show the girls what they need to do to be successful.

“The girls were nervous, which was a good thing because I could tell they cared about their performance and were there for a reason,” Kinsey said. “All of our girls’ ran bests for the season and they performed outstanding.”

Senior Emily Thomes, who continues to improve in her first year running, led the girls’ team. She finished 60th and was followed by senior Jackie Roche (65th), sixth grader Haley Leach (73rd), seventh grader Katelyn Simons (74th) and junior Rebekah Brewer (88th).

“Running under the lights was exciting and it was definitely different,” Thomes said. “Coach Kinsey told us that it would be a fast course and that we would be competing against good runners. It pushes us to get better.”

Complete results from the Adidas Saturday Night Lights IV:

Boys' varsity - Jordan Cummins (14th), Chris Ellis (23rd), Michael Schultz (71st), Tyler Edmondson (86th), Shannon Fabela (94th), Dylan Jackson (100th), Justin McGough (102), Kiefer Jones (124th), Dakota Whalen (128th), Jarred Baker (132nd)

Girls' varsity - Emily Thomes (60th), Jackie Roche (65th), Haley Leach (73rd), Katelyn Simons (74th), Rebekah Brewer (88th), Kaylie Ezell (94th), Alli Flick (95th), Rebekah Stanley (119th)