The Hannibal boys and girls cross country team participated in the Mexico Invitational on Saturday, with both teams finishing second overall.
Hannibal Head Coach Charlie Newland said it was a good effort for a first time out this season.
"I was happy with the way the boys were able to run more as a pack. Keeping a low spread between the number one runner and the fifth runner is important to a low team finish," Newland said. "I think with the kids that we have, that spread will keep narrowing as the season progresses. Once the boys gain a little bit of experience, they should be a fairly strong team when the important meets roll around towards the end of the season."
The coach added: "Our girls are defending conference champions. Once we get a few more meets under our belts, I think they will start
climbing the leaderboard and hopefully will be in good position to race well at the conference and district meets."
The race was a 5,000 meter one with the top-15 finishers earning medals.
Medalists for Hannibal on the boys side were Paul Golian (4th, 18:48), Michael Vaia (6th, 19:06), and Tyler Janes.
Rounding out the group was Alex Brown (16th, 20:41), Nigel McIntosh (21st, 21:09), Daniel DeLaported (23rd, 21:10) and Kyle Allen (26th, 21:41).
Newland complimented his boys.
"Individually, I was pleased to see several newcomers and veterans race so well.," Newland said. "Paul Golian gave a typical good effort leading the way for us. Michael Vaia, our second runner, ran like a veteran. This is his first year out for cross country and I think he is going to turn some heads as he gets into running shape."
The coach added, "Alex Brown, Daniel DeLaporte and Nigel McIntosh are all new to cross country and it was nice seeing them have some success. All thee have a lot of ability and are only going to get better as the season progresses. Our last varsity runner, Kyle Allen, dropped several minutes over last year's race and will keep pushing to move up on the team."
For the girls team, who finished in a tie for second out of five teams, there were three medalists. Rachel Davis, Abbey Jeffries and Bailey Welch.
Davis finished first overall with a time of 22:05.
Having a runner finish in first at the first meet of the season is becoming something of a trend for the Lady Pirates.
"Our girls had the individual champion in Rachel Davis," Newland said. "This is the third year in a row that a Hannibal girl has won this meet. Two years ago Emma Burditt was the champion. Last year Abbey Jeffries won the race. If Abbey and Rachel keep running the way that they have, we will have a strong one-two punch at the top."
Page 2 of 2 - Jeffries finished fifth overall with a time of 23:03 with the other medalist, Welch, coming in at 12th with a time of 24:08.
The other girl runners were Olivia Mack who finished 19th with a time of 26:29 and Morgan Hall, who finished 25th with a time of 27:38.
Newland said that the performance of his girls lends promise to the future.
"With our freshman newcomer; Bailey Welch and our other three veterans; Olivia Mack, Morgan Hall and Cathleen Thorpe, they are going to be a decent team," the coach said.
The junior varsity team was also in action on Saturday.
Sean Jones had the quickest time for the JV crew, clocking in at 20:15 and placing at 2nd overal. Jacob Roisum would finish next for the Pirates, placing fourth with a time of 21:49. Isaac Licht finished fifth with a time of 21:47. Brad Curl finished 17th with a time of 23:33 and
rounding out the JV crew was Taylor Frantz, who finished 23rd with a time of 25:23.
Newland said the JV boys were impressive.
"Our JV boys had some of the best performances Saturday that I have seen since I have been coaching the team. Our varsity boys will need to keep pushing because there are some young kids that are gunning for their varsity positions," the coach said.
The next action for the cross country team is going to come quickly, as the next meet is on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Springfield, Ill., for the Lanphier Inivitational.