Lake County’s middle school cross-country team had to divide and compete in two different cross-country meets last week because of COVID-19 entry restrictions. Part of the team raced in Eagle-Vail on Thursday, Sept. 3, and the other half participated in the Lake County Invitational on Friday, Sept. 4.
The meet on Sept. 3 was hosted by Homestake Peak Middle School and the Panthers faced off against much of their Peaks League competition under hot and sunny conditions. Eighth grader Jaren Peters led the boys team with a third place finish and a time of 13 minutes and 3 seconds. Seventh grader Jake Cairns finished 13th in 14:16. Jude Peters, a sixth grader, placed 21st with a time of 15:14, and Wes Sandoval, a seventh grader, ran 16:13 to place 26th.
On the girls’ side, sixth grader Chloe King ran a strong second half of the race to take fourth place in 15:09. Indigo Olsen, an eighth grader, took 19th place with her time of 17:19. Sixth grade newcomer, Layla Horning, ran 17:57 for 21st place. Seventh grader Aimee Lenhard finished in 18:40 and 26th place. Eighth grader Amara Olsen and sixth grader Daphne Duran pushed each other to 34th and 35th respectively and times of 20:05 and 20:11.
All of the Lake County girls that competed in the Lake County Invitational have been running for a year or two, but each of the boys that raced are brand new to the sport.
Ella Bullock was Lake County’s first female finisher. The eighth grader completed the course in 16:43 and took fifth place. Her twin sister Susie Bullock dropped 2.5 minutes off her time from last year, placing 13th in 18:46. Tal Sheleg, another eighth grader, improved on her 2019 time by 50 seconds, running 21:13 and taking 16th place. Seventh grader Faith Pongrekun was 25th with her time of 25:45.
Matthew Quinn, a sixth grader, took 14th place in his first cross country race. Quinn’s time was 16:45. Fellow sixth grader, Ben Woodcock finished 21st in 20:17. Leo Bloodgood, a seventh grader, ran 22:18 and ended up 26th. Itai Sheleg, a sixth grader, and Merritt Baker, a seventh grader, turned in times of 24:31 and 24:53 respectively and placed 29th and 30th.