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Cross country opens season at Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic

The cross country team had its first meet on Sept. 1. The team raced hundreds of competitors for the 5000 meter race at the Brooks Twilight Cross Country Classic held in Memphis, Tennessee. 

In cross country, team scores are tallied by adding the places of the top five runners together. The team with the lowest number wins. The JV boys finished in second place with a score of 49. The JV boys’ top five runners all finished in the top 20, with incoming freshman Tate Fletcher leading the Bruins with a 5th place finish.

“[The meet] was a great way to start off the season,” Fletcher said. “Moving forward I hope that we can learn from this meet in order to make the next one even better.”

The JV girls finished in 6th with a score of 189. Junior Alexis Walker, who finished 42nd, reflected positively on the trip.

“Overall, the Memphis meet was a really fun experience,” Walker said. “I think that it did help us to get to know each other better and create a more cohesive team, which will help us in the future since in cross country, we are racing for our teammates.”

In the varsity division, the boys finished sixth with a score of 259, and the girls finished ninth with 290.

“Our goal with Memphis was to get some experience at 5000 meters,” Coach Neal Blackburn said. “Now with each meet as we move forward, it will be to discover how we best cover 5000 meters as individuals and collectively in order to achieve the best results possible. We will set out to have productive training sessions and continue to evolve positively as a team before we compete in Illinois in 2 weeks.”

Cross country meets are typically held in the morning before the sun fully rises. This meet was different in that the race was at night, under soccer stadium lights. The setting added a new dynamic as competitors were able to race in cooler temperatures.

“I think that the varsity races [had] a really great experience being able to run when the sun was down, and it was cooler out which resulted in great races [for] them,” Walker said. “In my JV race, it was still sunny and hot so based on that, I would have rather run in the morning.”

Are you a member of the cross country team? Let us know in the comments below.

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