MEXICO, Mo. | The Hannibal cross country team had its first race of the fall season on Saturday at the Mexico 5K Invitational.
“The kids had their first competition today in about 11 months,” said Hannibal cross country coach Charles Newland. “They were happy to get a race under their belts.”
On the varsity boys side, Cameron Nichols finished 11th overall with a time of 19:33. Eli Ness was 27th overall with a time of 20:42 and Sam Hirner was 69th overall with a time of 24:49.
Freshman Reign Creech finished second overall with a time of 22:18 in the junior varsity race. Creech was the only person on the JV team to run a full 5K, with the other three freshman only running to the two-mile mark.
“Our three varsity runners, Cameron Nichols, Eli Hess and Sam Hirner had a good start to their season,” Newland said. “This meet will be a springboard to more successful races later in the season. Our freshman boys, David Lightle, Reign Creech, Gabe Glenn and Jace Miller all gave good efforts in their first cross country races in high school.”
Alexia Gonzalez led the way for the varsity girls, finishing 49th overall with a time of 26:32. Andrew Bryant was a split-second behind her in 50th place with a time of 26:32.
“Our varsity girls, Alexia Gonzalez and Andrew Bryant, ran even paced, consistent races,” Newland said. “Both girls are looking to steadily improve as the season progresses.”
Hannibal will race next at Flower City Park in Palmyra on Saturday, Sept. 12. Other schools competing at the race include Atlanta, Brashear, Clark County, Community R-6, Kirksville, Marion County, Monroe City, Palmyra and Winfield.
“Next week, we will have a full varsity squad and I am looking forward to seeing what the kids can do,” Newland sai