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By Chantel March
“Lots of contact today” was how Grant County High School senior Jared Baker described his race Sept. 29 at the Pendleton County Cross Country Invitational at Sharpe Middle School.
Baker was describing the elbows and spiked shoes flying as the boys’ varsity runners completed their 5K race.
Freshman Jordan Rose stood beside him wearing a jersey covered in burrs from a wooded portion of the course. In spite of these conditions, both runners felt they did their best and were pleased with their performances.
Rose finished in sixth place and Baker in 20th, each receiving a medal for their efforts. Also competing in this race were: Austin Haubner, 26th; Derek Gouge, 40th; and Kevin Howell, 46th. Normally competing in middle school events, Gouge and Howell stepped up at this race to fill varsity spots, and Coach Craig Chaplin was pleased and appreciative of their spirit.
The boys’ varsity team finished in fifth place overall.
In the boys’ middle school race, Grant runners were as follows: Cameron Beavers, 8th; Peter Kirk, 20th; and Aaron Flick, 51st.
On the girls’ varsity team, freshman Hayley Leach continues to lead, finishing in sixth place in the 5K race on Saturday. Following her was Elizabeth Robinson, 16th; Summer Dearing, 17th; Whitley Calhoun, 23rd; Adriana Robinson, 28th; Amber Lunsford, 38th; and Alexis Dearing, 39th.
Overall, the girls’ team finished third.
The girls said when they run they are competing against each other, but they also said that pacing yourself, setting individual goals and giving it their all as keys to being successful at cross country.
Grant will be competing at the Williamstown Invitational Oct. 6, but they are also beginning to set their sights on regionals in November. Their stamina has improved over the season, and the team is currently working hard on improving speed as well.
“We’ve got 35 days until regionals, and we’re going to use every one of them,” Chaplin said.