Paring down times

Heavy practices help produce improved times, Saratoga hosts invitational Friday


The Saratoga Middle/High School Cross Country Team returns home after two weekends spent running in Colorado to host the Saratoga Invitational on Friday.

Last Friday’s performance at the John Martin Invite in Fort Collins saw improvement from many runners, Rex Hohnholt, the team’s coach, said. “We had a hard week of practice this (last) week,” Hohnholt said. ‘When I saw how they competed I was very proud.”

The team had taken things easy the last couple week in light of the work they did training, Hohnholt said. The team backed off a bit during the Liberty Bell Invite in Littleton, Colo., and the John Martin Invite in Fort Collins because the runners were a bit heavy-legged because of training, according to Hohnholt.

But Hohnholt still praised the performance of the athletes and pointed out the improvements he is seeing, saying not only has he seen drastic improvements in seasoned runners, but is noticing marked improvements for athletes that are new to the sport.

This weekend’s outing saw Katie Loose of SHS turn in a 5th place finish in the Girls’ Open 5K run, with a time of 21:59. For the Boys Varsity, Reid Schroeder also put in a 5th place effort with a 17:35 run of the 5K.

In the middle school boys competition, Gavin Bartlett, Grant Bartlett and Grady Bartlett swept 12th, 13th and 14th places in the 2.4 mile run. Gavin Bartlett had a time of 14:18 and Grant and Grady Bartlett each had a time of 14:26.

Regardless of place, Hohnholt stresses that the most important thing is that the athletes have a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment of the sport is key for the athletes.

“I think they’re having a lot of fun,” Hohnholt said. “I’m really proud of the effort the kids are putting in, being part of a sport where there’s not a lot of recognition.

“We’re just awfully proud of them.”

The next cross country meet will be the Saratoga Invitational at 1 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Saratoga Resort and Spa. The event will host between 300 and 400 runners from across the region, including the Saratoga team.


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