The Saratoga Sun -

Panthigers back-to-back champions

Saratoga's Grant Bartlett finishes 1st in 2A State Cross Country Championship, varsity boys win championship for second year in a row

 

October 30, 2019

Photo courtesy Jason Campbell

From left, Brayden Barkhurst, Kelton Johnson, Grant Bartlett, Joey Gonzales, Jarom Herring, Grady Bartlett and Calvin Condict pose with the 2A Cross County State Championship Trophy in Afton.

The combined Saratoga/Encampment team of long distance runners showed up at Afton for the State Cross Country Championship on Saturday with a win in their sights, and they didn't let the winter-like weather or elevation stop them from doing just that. The Boys Cross Country team secured a back-to-back 2A State Championship with three of their runners placing in the top ten.

The cross country team also returned home with four All-State runners due to top finishing while in Afton.

"This group of kids never ceases to amaze me," said Rex Hohnholt, head coach for cross country. "Every single one of them performed so well this weekend and worked so hard for Mary (Hohnholt) and I all season. More importantly, however, they worked hard for one another. By doing so, there was no way that they were going to let one another down."

With just two runners in the girls varsity, the Panthigers did well as Encampment's Amber Stubbs finished in 10th place with a time of 22:42. Stubbs' placing put her on the podium and earned her All-State honors. Following Stubbs was Saratoga's Katilyn Campbell, who finished in 22nd with a time of 24:26, nearly a second away from her own personal record.

Throughout the regular season, nearly every meet that Saratoga has attended has seen the Bartlett twins, Grant and Grady, finishing in 1st and 2nd place and within mere seconds of each other. The championship was no different. Finishing with a time of 17:04, Grant came in 1st and won the individual State Championship along with earning All-State honors. Grady, with a time of 17:37, came in shortly behind him in 2nd place and earned All-State honors.

Photo courtesy Jason Campbell

From left, Brayden Barkhurst, Kelton Johnson, Grant Bartlett, Joey Gonzales, Jarom Herring, Grady Bartlett and Calvin Condict pose with the 2A Cross County State Championship Trophy in Afton.

Encampment's Jarom Herring, who came into the season as a back-to-back state champion for Saratoga, finished in 5th place with a time of 18:08. Herring's finish in the top 5 earns him All-State honors for the fourth time in a row. According to Hohnholt, he is only the second boy in the history of the Saratoga program to earn All-State honors all four years.

Following the Bartlett twins and Herring, Joey Gonzales finished in 17th place with a time of 19:00, Encampment's Brayden Barkhurst finished with a time of 19:22 and placed 19th, Kelton Johnson placed 24th with a time of 20:21 and Calvin Condict came in 25th place with a time of 20:36.

"These kids are so selfless," said Hohnholt. "Team success is definitely influenced by a culture established by our athletes."

With Afton behind them, the Panthiger Cross Country team ends the season with a back-to-back 2A State Cross Country Championship and a new 2A Boys State Champion.

 

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