Cross Country men and women’s team push boundaries, individual athletes accomplish goals
The Humboldt Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 8 displayed a new leader in the women’s 6k.
Sophomore Kaylee Thompson ran a 21:49.00 college best inside the redwood’s famous Patrick’s Point State Park.
Thompson attributed preparation as key to the season opener.
“We knew what challenges were ahead, and we knew where we were going,” Thompson said. “Being able to practice here and feel more comfortable definitely helped me in today’s race.”
It was a sunny day for running as weather conditions stayed in the upper 50s all morning. Having home field advantage over competing schools like Oregon Tech, Sonoma State University, Simpson University, Shasta College, and College of the Siskiyous was beneficial.
Jacks sophomore Cessair Mckinney placed fourth and clocked in an impressive 22:28.00 time in the race. Mckinney was excited for this race for weeks enduring conditioning all through August.
“I had a rough track season but I’m happy to be back for cross country,” McKinney said. “We have the leadership to look up to but our team is young and we are so excited to see what we can accomplish.”
Energy is high on this women’s squad and they are looking to carry it over to the upcoming meets.
On the men’s side, first-place finisher and returning senior leader Daniel Tull didn’t need a photo finish as he raced a 25:49.00 ten seconds ahead of the competition.
Sophomore Carson Cohn was the next Jack to cross the finish line with a fourth-place finish and a solid time of 26:21.00.
Huddled around the table, high fives were in the air and all smiles on the men’s faces as Tull and some teammates geared up for another run.
Jacks cross country will only have two home meets this year but it isn’t a problem for them.
“We want to travel, we just want to race people,” Tull said. “New faces but all of us are getting along great, chemistry and work ethic are incredible this year.”
Jacks sophomore men’s runner Jeran Sykes finished with a time of 28.06.00 and also had gratitude toward the team’s performance.
“Races early in the season are perfect rust busters,” Sykes said. “So many pleasant surprises, we help each other through the struggles, we really make each other way faster.”
Scott Pesch, longtime cross country head coach, retired last season and the Jacks found their match in new head coach Jamey Harris. Harris, coming from UC Santa Cruz, continued building the legacy of Jacks distance running at today’s event.
“Alumni’s and the local community came out and we got to show them who we are,” Harris said. “They all performed admirably today.”
Women’s and men’s club both finished a second off of the total time. They fell short and placed second in team rankings.
Women’s Team Total
1. Oregon Tech 1:52:29
2. Humboldt State 1:53:43
3. Sonoma State 1:58:10
Men’s Team Total
1. Oregon Tech 2:13:18
2. Humboldt State 2:14:16
The Jacks take a three week break from competing before heading to the Willamette Invitational in Salem, Oregon on Sept. 29.