Cross country places first and second at Shawnee Mission South Invitational

Cross country team finishes strong in first meet of season on Thursday Sept. 3


By Morgan Nelson

With a determined look on his face, senior Grant Roach pumps his arms to gain speed in the cross country meet on Thursday, Sept. 3 at Johnson County Community College. The boys team placed second after a tie breaker, and the girls team placed first.

Sydney Parker, JAG copy/managing editor

The cross country girls finished first and the boys finished second in the Shawnee Mission South Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 3 at Johnson County Community College. The boys had initially tied for first place with Olathe South in overall team points, but lost the tiebreaker based on individual finishes. The meet was the season opener for the cross country team. The team had four boys and four girls that placed in the top 10.

Sophomore Justin Grega, who placed second overall, was the first runner from the team to cross the finish line, with a time of 10:50.85. Grega felt the team’s successful performance at this meet will help members prepare for future meets.

“[The meet] shows us what we need to do to get ready for the next meet and prepare for the rest of the season,” Grega said.

Junior Anna Clayborn finished third overall with a time of 13:14.05. The team had to compete in temperatures over 90 degrees, which Clayborn said had an impact on the meet.

“It was really hot, but my team kept pushing me,” Clayborn said. “I had to come out strong.”

After running in the first meet, the team was able to gain momentum and develop team chemistry.

“[The race] was a big confidence booster because our top four finishers all finished together,” Clayborn said. “We’ve never had a group like that.”

The cross country team’s next meet will be the Paola Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Paola course, which is located at 32846 Block Road, Paola, Kansas.

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