The Saratoga Sun -

CC runs faster

Four runners beat last year’s top times

 


At the Green River Invitational Cross Country meet, “We had four guys run faster than our top guy ran last year,” said Saratoga cross country coach Rex Hohnholt. Though the Panthers rested several athletes, the team saw big improvements in times across the board, leading Hohnholt to describe the team as being two weeks ahead of where they were at the start of last season.

The Panthers’ best finisher, however, was newcomer Encampment freshman Reid Schroeder, who blazed into a second place 5k finish with a time of 18:01. It was a tone-setting entrance to high school athletics for the young runner, and Hohnholt described him as part of a solid group of young performers. “We have quite a few freshmen, and Joey Gonzalez had quite a good meet, as did Logan Wells,” Hohnholt said.

“(Another) big standout was that the kids that returned from last year, on the same course, improved tremendously,” Hohnholt said. Particularly faster runners Hohnholt cited included Bel Oiler, who shaved three minutes off her 5k time from last year and Katie Loose, who took off about 45 seconds. Loose finished fourth in the event with a time of 20:37 and Oiler finished in 16th with a time of 23:37. Jeremy Detterer, last year’s top finisher for Saratoga, finished in eighth among the boys with a time of 18:45. That was almost a minute faster than Detterer’s time last year.

Despite the strong showing, Saratoga wasn’t yet hitting on all cylinders. “We didn’t run a whole lot of kids because we thought there was too much pavement and cement (on the course),” Hohnholt said. Calling the Green River route “not an enjoyable course,” Hohnholt said he rested Ben Fairbanks and Haylie Wells over ankle concerns and benched Kaylyn Hunter to save her knee. Hohnholt said Gage Bartlett was still rebounding from an injury last year and had a slow start, but “When the chips are down, Gage is going to be ready to go and be a big part of our success.” He likewise predicted a good season for Fairbanks but said the Panthers were using him cautiously because “We want to make sure he’s sound before we put him on a course.” Fairbanks was one of the fastest Panthers last season.

Overall, it was a solid beginning to the season for Saratoga. “We’re excited. Excited about what we have right now and excited for the future,” Hohnholt said. Fans can get another glimpse of that future at the Panthers next meet 11 a.m. Sept. 2, at the Sinclair Golf Course.

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