The 2018 Leon Fox Cross Country Invitational took place on Thursday, Sept 28 at the Perry Golf and Country Club. 13 teams competed in the boys varsity race and 11 in the girls race. The Jayettes placed sixth overall and the boys came in eighth.


Assistant Coach Scott Pierce says the meet saw a lot of personal record times from Perry’s runners.


“A lot of the kids were very happy with their times which is always nice,” Pierce said. “We work a lot on that in practice and over the summer so today was overall a good day.”


Coach Pierce also praised the team’s ability to adjust to some varying conditions that the day brought on.


“We didn’t have the team we expected (to compete) three weeks ago,” Pierce said. “But some kids actually stepped up which shows you how much depth we have when we can still feed into our JV and kids can step up and compete on varsity.”


Mohamed Abdelnabi was the first runner to finish from Perry coming in at 32nd with a time of 18:43.86. Not far behind him was Mario Cruz who finished 35th in 18:55.80. Eduardo Sanchez placed 38th with a time of 19:03.16 followed by Ethan Miller at 67th in 20:13.12. Next to finish from the Perry boys team was Thomas Lopez, Calvin Sass, and Tony Burgos who came in at 70th, 77th, and 81st.


The Jaeyettes had a top 10 finisher on their team in the girls 5k when Jaylene Karolus came in eighth overall with a time of 20:55.93. Another underclassmen was the next to finish from Perry as Kailey Crawford was the 25th runner to cross the finish line at 22:38.82. Molly Lutmer finished 53rd overall with a time of 24:08.42 followed by Cris Gomez at 57th in 24:20.30. Kennedy Tunink was not too far behind her teammates as she finished 62nd with a time of 24:25.18.


Lutmer said she felt good about this particular year’s home meet performance.


“We’ve (the team) have done better at this meet than the past two meets we have been at,” Lutmer said. “I think the team performed how I expected us to. We were up there with most of the other girls and our preparation was pretty good. We knew the course and how to run it pretty well.”


Lutmer also said she would like to improve her ability to run hills better and work with the runners in front of her and other teammates to improve her skill.


For next time, Coach Pierce emphasized the effort his team should take to stay close together during races.


“We have too big of gaps,” Pierce said. “We need to stick together as far as our paces go which will start in practice. Keeping those gaps a little smaller and working in practice to have our paces together and then seeing where we fall.”


The Perry Cross Country Team has one week off from meets until they travel to Saydel on Thursday, Oct 4 for their next competition.