Cross Country is Running Wild!

JV Boys finished 2nd overall to earn a trophy and beating both Gainesville and Chestatee High Schools.

JV Boys finished 2nd overall to earn a trophy and beating both Gainesville and Chestatee High Schools.

The cross country team had strong showings at the War Eagle Invitational at Chestatee High School last week, as well as the North Hall Invitational this week. The War Eagle Invitational is known for its difficult course full of switchback hills in the woods. The North Hall Invitational is known for hosting as many as 25 schools at a time, and for being a preview for the Hall County Championships. The cross county team has had early success this season. 

The War Eagle Invitational finished with the JV boys coming in 2nd place out of 10 schools. Leading the JV boys was Ivan Maldonado, a junior, who finished in 10th place out of 140 people. Ivan won his first medal of the year, broke his personal record, and explained how he “felt surprised that [he] received a medal and that it means a lot to him”. The cross country team is doing fantastic so far, and the team is feeling it. Ivan remarked coyly at the end of the interview: “[This last race] shows that I can keep going and that’s what I need to prove to myself”. 

Ivan Maldonado seen here with his medal for finishing top 10 in his race at the War Eagle Invitational.

The girls’ JV team last Saturday came in 7th place overall, which was an improvement from the season opener. At each practice the girls’ team runs 3 to 5 miles in order to beat their personal records. Overall, the JV teams shined at Chestatee: there were three athletes that broke their personal record time: sophomore, Xochitl Lopez Hernandez, senior, Danny Galvez, and freshman, Zeke Rodriguez.

In the girls’ varsity race, one athlete rose above the rest. Senior Alondra Rivera was the number one runner for the varsity girls. After missing the first meet of the season, she was nervous to make her delayed debut. Coach Wilson remarked on Alondra’s early success, “It’s great to see her continue to improve. Alondra has truly become a leader for the team, and she is only going to get faster”. 

Seen here is the varsity girls before their race. From left to right, senior Leslie Cabrera, sophomore Sarines Urizar, junior Soledad Garcia-Montes, and senior Alondra Rivera.

On Thursday, East Hall competed again at the North Hall Invitational. The weather allowed for a cooler run, and the team fought hard and strong against multiple schools that are considered to be state championship contenders. The boys’ JV team once again finished towards the top earning a 4th place finish out of 12 schools. Leading the boys’ JV was freshman Quintin Harris who finished 3rd overall out of 165 competitors. When asked about the difference in Thursday’s race, Quintin explained, “It felt like I was pushing more to meet my goal” and he stated that his next goal is to finish in the top 20 in a varsity race. Overall, there were 25 runners on the cross country team who set new personal records for the season. 

Freshman Quintin Harris finished 3rd overall at the North Hall Invitational, and earned his spot on varsity in the next race.

East Hall’s cross country is making noise early in the season, and other schools are paying attention. Their next cross country meet is September 24th for Hall County Championship at North Hall Community Center.