First in State

Boys varsity team, Schroeder, take first in Sheridan


Photo courtesy Mike Dunn, Sheridan Press

Reid Schroeder, Encampment Freshman, takes first at state finals.

The Saratoga cross-country team was welcomed back to Saratoga with a police escort through town after taking first at state finals in Sheridan Saturday.

The Valley harriers had an impressive array of team and individual wins, with the boys' varsity taking first place and the girls' varsity coming in seventh.

The team, which has members from Saratoga High School (SHS) and Encampment High School (EHS), dominated the meet and won by margins nearly unheard of in the sport, according to the team's coach Rex Hohnholt. The boys' varsity team took first place and did it so resoundingly that the second place team was 35 points behind.

The Saratoga boys' team took first place with a score of 13 points-only three points away from a perfect score. The second place team, Wyoming Indian, had 48 points.

"The magnitude of their victory and how they won it hadn't been done at the state very often," Hohnholt said. "These kids are awfully amazing-the amount of work they put into it to be successful."

On the boys' team, EHS freshman Reid Schroeder took first place, earning the title of State Champion with his 17:39 5k run. SHS junior Jeremy Detterer came in second in the state with a time of 17:50. SHS junior Ben Fairbanks and EHS junior Jarom Herring finished fourth and sixth, earning All-State honors.

Rounding out the varsity boys' team, SHS senior Owen Mills came in 11th place, SHS junior Gage Bartlett placed 12th and SHS freshman Aaron Detterer finished 25th.

The boys' individual results were so impressive the team still would have placed first even if Schroeder and Detterer had not run.

"We were so dominant, we could have eliminated our first and second place in there and won with our fourth, sixth, 11th and 12th place kids." Hohnholt said. "That would never happen in the state championship."

The girls' varsity team fielded four runners and came home with a seventh place win. SHS senior Katie Loose placed fourth with a time of 21:24, good for All-State ranking. SHS junior Ashlynn Johnson also earned all-state honors with a fifth place performance.

Hohnholt was effusive in his praise for the team, and all the work they had put in over the season and at state finals to bring home such impressive results.

"I was very, very impressed with the kids' abilities to get the most performance when it counted the most, and how much they wanted this win for each other," Hohnholt said. "There was no kid that was going be denied in that whole bunch, they're a very impressive, hard working bunch of kids."

The cross-country team's performance is a capstone for the fall sports season in the Valley, a season that has had its fair share of success stories and disappointments. For Hohnholt, the cross-country team's accomplishment is something to be celebrated across the Valley.

"This is a Saratoga and Encampment combined team," Hohnholt said. "For the Valley and the two communities, it's a special deal to win one together and these kids are awfully amazing."

Photo courtesy Ben Ramsey, Buffalo Bulletin.

Katie Loose, SHS senior, takes fourth place at state, earning All-State honors.


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