By R. Alan Richardson
Morgan County’s boys’ cross-country team took first place in their final meet of the season that featured both the last home meet and senior night. The girls finished in second place to end their season on a positive note. In an earlier event the same afternoon the Morgan County Middle School boys also finished first and the girls came in second.
Coach Erin Spinks, as always, wasn’t shy about expressing her pride in the Bulldogs. “I cannot begin to express how proud I am of both these teams. It was the greatest way to end our season. Our teams knew our course and owned it!” The extra topping on the cake was the celebration of seven seniors on senior night. They are Alex Rountree, Cody Pace, Kevin Berisko, Brant Keipper, Melissa Braxley, Cassidy Hofer, and Emily Dickson. Spinks added, “A very special seven. They all have put in lots of dedication, time, love, support, and encouragement to each other and the team. Great leaders that I will forever cheer on in all that they do.”
Rountree crushed the course record with a first place overall time of 17:29.4. Kevin Berisko continues to push Rountree by coming in third overall with a pace of 17:54.97 while Will Paschal garnered fifth at 18:30.97. Brant Kieeper, Cody Pace, and Connor Clark all finished in the top 15 to give the boys the victory. For the Lady Dogs it was Hannah Martin grabbing fifth overall and first for the team running a time of 23:11.83. Brooke Randall (11th), Emily Dickson (12th), and Lexie VonHaustein (14th) all finished in the top 15 to help Morgan take the silver. Spinks said, “Our girls were amazing and worked so hard together to pull our team to second place! Hannah Martin finished first for Morgan County. She really works hard and fights to inch her way through the course.”
MCHS will now be training for the Region 8-AAA meet next week. Spinks commented, “I know that our team has worked hard this season to really do a great job next week. I look forward to cheering them all on and pushing them beyond their potential.”
Middle School Coach Sarah Robertson was just as ecstatic about her runners saying, “Our boys and girls worked hard all season to earn a first and second place finish at their last home meet.
Many runners set personal bests and cheered on their fellow runners. I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts.”
The Region Meet will be hosted by East Jackson High School and run at Lamar Murphy Park in Jefferson. The varsity girls will run at 10 a.m., varsity boys at 10:30, with JV races slated at 11:00 and 11:30 on Thursday Oct. 26. The top four teams and top six individuals will advance to the state meet on Nov. 4 in Carrollton.