GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY: JV steps in to win Olien Invitational as varsity preps for SWC


By Megan Parker - Sports correspondent



The Lady Comets junior varsity cross country team won the Dan Olien Invitational in New London, with 12 of the top 25 finishers.

The team was led by juniors Rachel Szczodrowski and Mariah Watson. Szczodrowski took third place overall and Watson took fourth.

The top seven was rounded out by Kayla Snowden, Sydney Walker, Kailey Reed, Bridgette Wadge, and Camryn Leonard.

The girls were given the chance to run as a varsity team while Amherst’s top six girls took the weekend off to prepare for their championship season.

“It’s incredibly encouraging to see so many girls run well,” said head coach Terry Kemp. “I have always believed that today’s JV are tomorrow’s varsity. Watching these kids grow as a team has been incredibly rewarding, and is a very positive sign for the future.”

Notable performances came from Snowden, Heather Wigton, and Ashley Cogdell, all of whom broke 22:00 for the first time. Sophomore Rachel Veneman was voted runner of the week by her teammates for beating her personal best by 34 seconds and breaking 24:00 for the first time.

“What helped me push myself during the race was the thought of reaching my goal,” said Veneman. “When I crossed the finish line and saw my time, all the pain was definitely worth it. I’m excited to see what I can do at the conference meet this upcoming weekend.”

The girls run Saturday at the Southwestern Conference Championship at the Lorain County Community College.

RESULTS

Szczodrowski (third, 21:15); Watson (fourth, 21:18); Snowden (seventh, 21:25); Walker (eighth, 21:26); Reed (ninth, 21:34); Wadge (10th, 21:35); Leonard (11th, 21:40); Wigton (14th, 21:47); Me. Parker (15th, 21:48); A. Cogdell (16th, 21:56); Funderburg (24th, 22:39); Del Valle (25th, 22:42); Card (29th, 22:57); Wiegand (35th, 23:09); Lasso (36th, 23:11); Veneman (41st, 23:38); C. Hill (42nd, 23:56); Mo. Parker (45th, 24:02); Hiteshew (46th, 24:07); Syrowski (47th, 24:08); Gendics (61st, 25:18); Wales (63rd, 25:30); C. Cogdell (68th, 25:44); Inouye (72nd, 25:51); Kovach (73rd, 25:52); Phillips (74th, 26:01); Gomez (76th, 26:09); Borthwick (84th, 26:30); Brosky (92nd, 27:22); Northeim (95th, 28:10); Garcia (100th, 28:31); Lavish (101st, 28:47); Kelling (111th, 31:16).

By Megan Parker

Sports correspondent