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Van-Far cross country hosts second annual Invite event

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 9:39 am

Van-Far’s Sam Hazel gets ready to cross the finish line for first place in the Van-Far Invite last Thursday.

Sam Hazel won the Van-Far Invite after he finished first by more than 30 seconds in the race held last Thursday. It was second meet hosted by the school in two years.
Hazel’s finish helped the Indians take second in the team standings. North Callaway won the meet by nine points while Mark Twain also had several runners compete at the Invite.
Mel Troy placed fourth with a time of 21:59. Cayden Caldwell was eighth (24:09), Caden Wilburn took 11th (25:48), and Jayson Orr was the fifth runner.
Orr took 13th with a time of 26:40. Ennis Childs also participated as he had a time of 29:09.
“Jayson Orr really stepped up to be our No. 5 man running four minutes faster than he had at the meet previously, as did Mel Troy, who ran two minutes faster and placed fourth in the meet,” said Van-Far head coach Kris Cross.
In the girls race, Van-Far’s Maddie McAfee was fifth place overall with a time of 28:37.
Vanessa Martinez placed eighth with a time of 30:05.
“Overall, the kids did very well; most took time off from the first meet, which is always the goal,” Cross noted.
“I was very proud of how they raced since it was very hot and humid. The boys took second in the team standings. Both of our girls placed in the Top-10 at the meet and improved their times.”
Four days later, the boys squad traveled to the Linn Invite and ran hard in a race featuring 140 runners.
Troy had the Indians best time as he finished the wet and muddy meet in 85th place with a time of 21:54.
Hazel was right behind him in 93rd (21:54). Caldwell (22:17) and Childs (26:57), and Orr (28:22) also competed in the race.
Both Caldwell and Childs took a couple of minutes off their time running in the rain and mud.
The Indians, as a team, were 20th out of 21 teams.
McAfee led the girls program with a time of 27:33 for 87th out of 125 runners. Her finishing time was a few minutes faster than she had in her last meet.
Martinez was 96th with a time of 28:25, which was two minutes faster on a more difficult course than the one she competed on at Vandalia.
“I thought the kids worked hard, even in the uncomfortable conditions,” Cross noted.
“Times are slowly coming down and that’s the only thing that matters for now until districts and conference.”
Van-Far will race in Wellsville on September 17.