HCHS cross country begins season with two tough meets

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By Mike Aldridge

The Harrison County cross country teams ran at Asbury College Tuesday in the Chick-Fil-A Invitational and again Saturday at Ryle High School’s Invitational Meet.  
The weather for both events was hot, brutally so, and very humid causing some asthma and allergies to make things difficult for the runners.
The Asbury College meet had several quality opponents to compete against as well as the weather conditions, but still, the young runners showed improvement both over last week’s scrimmage and this same course a year ago.  
The varsity girls placed eighth led by freshman Rachel Eckert. Eckert placed 29th in the 5000M race in 26:30. Erin Bradford was next for the Fillies, running the course in 27:56 to finish 41st.  
Caylin Mattox, Tamara Lunsford, Kayla Joy, Jessi Petty, Abby Cooper and Chelsea Bowman followed Bradford to the finish line.  
The Thorobreds did not have a full team so there was not a team ranking for them.  
Junior Shane Palmer was the first Bred across the line in 22:08 finishing 54th. He was followed in the 5000M run by Harry Smith, Ben Bradford, and Jacob Brueggen.
The Harrison County Middle School runners also competed in the Chick-Fil-A race with Sierra Ecklar leading the girls with a 24th place finish in 7:09.  
MacKenzie Mosig, Robin Roberts, Starr Hindbaugh, Cameron Cooper, Amber Turner, Samantha Wood and Delaney Petty also ran for the HCMS squad.  
The middle school boys only had two runners but Daniel Craig ran very well finishing 20th of the 123 runners.  
Thomas Morris also ran the mile run for the middle school boys.
The Saturday race at Ryle had even better times and even better competition.  
The Fillies finished 17th running their best times of the season.
Eckert was again first for the Fillies finishing 68th in 23:57. This time was almost three minutes faster than the Tuesday race at Asbury.  
She was followed by Mattox, Lunsford, Joy, Petty and Bowman.  
The varsity boys finished 19th led by sophomore Ross Smith in his first race of 2013.  The younger of the Smith brothers was 65th in 19:18.5.   Older brother Harry was next followed by Palmer, Bradford and Brueggen.
Abby Cooper and Taylor Harney competed in the junior varsity race with Cooper finishing 98th and Harney 115th of the 155 runners.  
Ecklar and Craig again led the middle school runners as the girls were 10th and the boys did not have a team score.
Justice Petty and Katie Wood ran for the sixth grade and under squad in the girls’ division while Hunter Thomas, Michael Jones and Michael Massey ran for the boys’ squad.
“We are making progress,” said Coach Danny Simpson. “Our athletes are learning and they continue to work. It’s early in the season and we just need more time.”  
The Harrison County Cross Country team will next compete on Saturday when they travel to Sherman Elementary School for the Grant County Invitational.