The Saratoga Sun -

Running into firsts

Boys team takes first in 2A Cross Country, Jarom Herring takes individual first in varsity at State meet in Sheridan


October 24, 2018

Photo courtesy Zach Schmidt

The Saratoga Cross Country team got a police and fire escort back into town Saturday.

While competing at the State Cross Country Championship in Sheridan, the boys team pulled off what was, in the words of head coach Rex Hohnholt, "the shocker of the season" as they took 1st place for 2A Boys State Cross Country. This win marks the second victory within three years as the team had also won in 2016.

It wasn't just the boys team that was victorious over the weekend, however, as Encampment's Jarom Herring took 1st in varsity after finishing with a time of 17:29 and became a back-to-back state champion and earned him his third All-State honor.

"Realistically speaking," said Hohnholt, "the boys team entered the state championships as probably the third or fourth best team. After getting beat very handily by arch rival Wyoming Indian at our home meet, the boys were able to turn the tide in winning the state title."

Along with Herring becoming state champion for the second year in a row, the other members of the boys team also performed considerably well. Joey Gonzales placed 9th after finishing with a time of 18:11 and Logan Seahorn placed 10th with a time of 18:16. These placings earn both runners All-State honors, the second for Gonzales and the first for Seahorn.

"Individual accolades will fade from the memories of everyone except, possibly, the individual, but winning a state championship will live on forever," Hohnholt said. "This group of men created a memory to last a lifetime and that is what brings the athletes and coaches so much satisfaction."

The other members of the boys team also contributed to the overall victory at the State Championship as Jeremiah Debar finished 29th with a time of 19:39, Gavin Bartlett completed the race with a time of 20:05 putting him in 32nd place and Kelton Johnson placed 41st with a time of 20:36.

On the girls team, lone runner Kaitlyn Campbell finished 31st with a time of 25:33.

Photo courtesy Jonny Clinton, Buffalo Bulletin

Jarom Herring took an individual first place in Sheridan.

"I can't believe how far this young lady came in just a little over two months of training," said Hohnholt. "After starting the season off with a 30 minute performance to where she knocked over five minutes off her time by the state championships. Remarkable performance from a remarkable young lady."

As the team arrived in Saratoga on Saturday night, they were greeted by a police escort in honor of their championship win and, in Encampment, the path up to the school had congratulations for both the boys team and Herring written in sidewalk chalk of varying colors.

The victory in Sheridan brings another exciting cross country season to an end as fall sports end. With not a single senior on the boys team, Hohnholt may not have much to worry about for next season as he will have returning All-State athletes and a returning back-to-back state champion.


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