Waves XC emigrate to PR city in Saltillo

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Waves XC emigrate to PR city in Saltillo

Junior Chandler Bryant keeps his eyes on the finish line and passes up several runners.

Junior Chandler Bryant keeps his eyes on the finish line and passes up several runners.

Gina Nguyen

Junior Chandler Bryant keeps his eyes on the finish line and passes up several runners.

Gina Nguyen

Gina Nguyen

Junior Chandler Bryant keeps his eyes on the finish line and passes up several runners.

Tejus Kotikalapudi, Staff Writer

Despite not claiming a podium position, the Blue Waves exceeded expectations last weekend at the Saltillo Cross Country Invitational, walking away with personal records (PR) for nearly every runner. A mix of a shady course and “relatively” low temperature allowed for the Blue Waves to make a respectable 5th place.

The Waves arrived three hours early to prepare themselves for a meet they knew would be the most challenging thus far. Twenty schools attended the meet, which is more than double at the previous meets. Due to this staggering number of competitors, junior Luke Bowles was more reserved in his expectations.

“Because there were over 400 male varsity runners, I tried not to get overconfident, and I knew that it would be a tough meet,” Bowles said. “However, I was extremely proud of the whole team and especially the top six when we all ran our best times of the season, which to me is just as good, if not better than, placing in the top three.”

Despite this apprehension, the team placed in the top 25  percent with junior Bryce Harrison leading the pack, who placed 6th overall. He was closely followed by Bowles, who finished ninth overall. Juniors Chandler Bryant and Colby Brown followed in 31st and 40th place, respectively. The last scoring runner was junior Cameron Wright, earning 50th place. 

The team’s times were rounded off with Mathew Dunn, Elijah Dosda, and Aiden Leise, placing 65th, 89th, and 107th, respectively. 

The Lady Waves did not have the five required runners needed to place, but seniors Niyah Troup and Chloe Jackson placed 68th and 71st.

The Blue Waves ended with a score of 111, eleven points off of a podium position, and an average time of 19:35. This was not the main success of the team, however. Every single runner except two had an official personal record at this meet. Junior Chandler Bryant had the most significant improvement with a time cut of 47 seconds. 

“The course was covered in a lot of shade, so it kept us very cool so that probably helped our times the most. Also, the temperature was pretty low that day,” Bryant said. “I didn’t expect to have this much of an improvement because I didn’t get any sleep or hydrate the night before.”

These PRs resulted in an overall improvement in MSMS’s power ranking in 2A. The Blue Waves went from 5th overall to 3rd overall, overtaking New Site High School and West Lincoln High School.

“I think we have a fair chance of winning the championship and a high chance of getting runner up,” Bowles said.

The cross country team will be running in the South Pontotoc Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 28.

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