At the Clearwater Cross Country meet on Thursday, Sep. 5, the Pratt High Cross Country team competed well with eight of their runners placing within the top 20 in their respective races.
Taking 1st place in the Girls 5K run was sophomore Addie Hoeme with a time of 22:35, and junior Sian Helfrich took 7th with a time of 23:57. In the Boys 5K, senior Raul Orozco finished 7th place with a time of 18:30. Freshman Jenna Haas took 4th in the freshman and sophomore Girls 2 mile race with a time of 15:37. Casey James and Emma Gilpin placed within the top 20 for that race as well. For the freshman and sophomore Boys 2 mile, Tayt Myers, Luis Orozco, and Troy Hamm placed within the top 20.
The athletes faced adversity with the heat due to no shade on the course, and head coach Kathy Hitz said this sometimes affected the runners.
“You just aren't able to run as fast because the body is expending a lot of energy trying to cool itself down,” Hitz said.
Despite the intense heat, Coach Hitz said they managed to stay healthy.
“The team did a good job of hydrating, and therefore we did not have anyone go into heat distress.”
Hitz was encouraged by the positive mentality she saw in her runners in the heat.
“What they did really well at the Clearwater meet was to maintain a positive attitude toward the heat,” Hitz said. “It is not something that can be changed and they did not waste energy complaining about it.”
Hitz said what can make a difference in the runners’ future performance is something they can do on their own.
“Something they can do individually is to be faithful in rolling out muscles after workouts and stretching,” Hitz said. “This goes a long way in managing the aches and pains that come along with the stress of running all the miles that they run.”
The team is always improving and always has room to improve, according to Hitz.
“We will continue to improve as we gain more fitness and experience racing,” Hitz said.
Hitz was proud of many individuals on the team who competed for position, and didn’t settle for less than their best.