Picking up right where they left off last fall, the Manchester High School and Junior High cross-country teams, affectionately known as the “Dog Pack”, turned in an impressive performance in their first outings of the 2014 campaign. Battling hornets and heat, the teams traveled to Chatfield College to compete in the 2014 Fayetteville Invitational and came back to Adams County with quite a bit of hardware.
In the high school races, both the Manchester boys and girls captured first place team finishes, and in junior high action, the Manchester girls grabbed second place overall.
In that junior high girls race, the Lady Hounds placed three runners in the top 10, paced by seventh grader Taylor Morrisson who placed fourth in a time of 16:42.05. Eighth grader McKenzie Smith was seventh overall out of the 26 runners, crossing with a finish time of 17:12.69. Seventh grader Caymden Hughes was 10th in the race with a time of 17:46.69. Rounding out the Lady Hounds’ runners were Alexus Barlow (12th) and Kenzie Bell (17th). As a team, the Manchester girls placed second overall, just three points behind first place Felicity.
In the junior high boys race, Manchester finished fifth and their top runner for the day was eighth grader Dalton Williams, who finished in fifth place with a time of 13:03.24. Seventh grader Declan Huron was 15th in the race and classmate Dylan Adams was 21st out of the total of 56 runners. Also on the course for the Hounds were Matt Hughes (42nd), Logan Bryant (47th), and Daryan Rigsby (54th).
As they tend to do, the Manchester girls totally dominated the high school girls race, placing five girls in the top 10 runners, led by the race winner, sophomore Shyanne Tucker. Tucker ran the 3.1 mile course in a winning time of 21:58.61, besting her teammate and junior Amanda Farthing who finished second with a time of 22:52.07. Sophomores Kelsey Friend and Lydia Lopez took the third and fourth spots respectively, with times of 23:28.38 and 23:45.40. Classmate Xena Crummie was seventh in the race of 42 runners with her time of 24:58.49. Freshman Karemiah Brooks made her “Dog Pack” debut, finishing 41st.
As a team, the Lady Hounds easily outdistanced second place Whiteoak and third place Amelia.
“It was good to get the season started again,” said Manchester head coach Vic Bowman. “Our girls did well for the first meet of the year. One through five all performed well and are all capable of improving even more. Any one of them can finish in the top five at any time.”
In the high school boys race, the Hounds made it a clean sweep when their young squad of male runners pulled off a first place team finish, rather easily topping second place Felicity. The Hounds were led by two freshmen, Logan Hanson and Ethan Pennywitt. Hanson placed third in the 59 runner field, turning in a time of 19:17.26, while Pennywitt placed fifth with a time of 19:43.19 in his first high school race.
Junior Rickey DeAtley grabbed a top 10 spot in the race, placing seventh in a time of 19:53.05. Manchester also took the 13th, 14th,and 15th slots in the final results with those slots occupied by Austin Stamper, Brendon Kessler, and Gage Lucas. Junior Jacob Purdon was 23rd, senior J.D. Stamper was 44th, and senior Michael Crummie was 54th.
“The boys were a pleasant surprise today,” said Coach Bowman. “I know we have good talent but we are young and inexperienced so I expect much improvement as the season progresses. Logan Hanson ran very well as did Ethan Pennywitt, who actually got stung by a hornet during the race. Everyone else performed well and will only get better so I am excited for our future.”
“I still have two runners, Jamie Combs and Ryan Dryden, to add to the mix. We will get a better test of where we are this week when we go to Hillsboro and compete against some of the top teams from our area along with some higher division teams.”
There was another county squad represented in the two high school races as the North Adams Devils were also on hand. The Lady Devils had a top 10 finisher in the girls race as freshman Laranda Piatt placed ninth with a time of 25:10.56. The Lady Devils and head coach Jennifer Adams also had on the course sophomores Veronica Day and Megan Gorman, who finished 33rd and 34th respectively, and sophomore Katlyn Porter who placed 40th.
The top finisher for the North Adams boys was junior Jesse Hall (27th). Hall was followed by Eric McCaw (40th).
Junior High Girls Team Scores: Felicity 32, Manchester 35, Amelia 54,
Junior High Boys Team Scores: Whiteoak 20, Ripley 75, CNE 82, Felicity 99, Manchester 105, Lynchburg 138
High School Girls Team Scores: Manchester 18, Whiteoak 44, Amelia 72, Fayetteville 92
High School Boys Team Scores: Manchester 40, Felicity 68, Ripley 74, Amelia 84, Lynchburg 108, Fayetteville 154