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This year marked the 27th annual Oak Hill - Johnny Miller race at Buhlow. Johnny Miller began the first cross country team EVER in Rapides Parish at Oak Hill High School and they have held their meet bearing his name for 27 years now. Johnny Miller passed away earlier this year but this race in particular has become a staple of Central Louisiana history and every single runner that takes part in it becomes a part of that history!
This year the Holy Savior Menard Eagles had the chance to participate, and while the top 7 boys and girls sat this one out due to their meet at NSU on Saturday, the rest of the team showed up and had a fantastic showing for HSM. There were no official scores or placings, just running for the pure love of the sport and competition against others who share that passion for the sport! It was after a day of school, which always makes it tough, but it was also very warm. That didn't get in the way of the Eagles putting up some GREAT times and PRs!
The girls ran first and they certainly put on a great show! Quinn Brown, running due to having the ACT on Saturday, was first for the Eagles to cross the line running her 3rd fastest time of the year and only 20 seconds slower than her time from the Menard Open at 21:20! She finished 2nd overall in the race and ran very strong! Danielle Krill was the next Lady Eagle to cross the line with a strong performance of 26:00! Next through the finish was Claire Callis who continues her season with another great time of 27:45. Although both girls were a bit slower than some of their previous times they will look to bounce back at district next week! Hannah Crooks finished next for the Eagles and blasted under 30 mins for her 3 mile effort with a time of 28:05, she continues to get faster and faster! Chelsea Ugokwe also broke under 30 minutes with a new PR of 29:55! Mia Parish and Sarah Gad came in next with 30:37, Mia setting her new PR with that mark. Next up Breanna Buller and Kate Gilchrist who both set new 3 mile PRs as well with times of 30:50 and 31:30 The final runner to cross for the Lady Eagles was Guadalupe Patino, who finished with her season bet time of 32:00. GREAT JOB LADIES!!!
Next up was the boys race, which brought some great efforts from some veterans, and 3 new PRs from the 7th grade group of guys that look to continue to make their mark on the program. First runner through the finish for the Eagles was Eli Watkins, who like Quinn also had ACT on Saturday preventing him from travelling to the pre-State meet, with a fantastic Buhlow time of 18:50! Next was Noah Gad who had been out of commission for several weeks due to injury, but soared back into the spotlight with a very fast 20:46! Fantastic first race back! Jake Noda came in next for the Eagles with a truly strong effort of 21:23. Michael Gad was next, and although he was about a minute slower than the PR he set last week the 22:39 finish still marked his 2nd fastest time ever! Fynn Raborn almost bested his PR set at Leesville, and after missing the Menard Open, running a time of 23:40. I look to see him set a PR by a good amount at District! Seth Soprano continued his fantastic 7th grade season with a new PR of 23:30, besting his time set at Leesville by 28 seconds! Jansen Fairbanks ran with one singular purpose, setting a new PR and boy did he! His time of 24:44 BLASTED his time of 27:28 set at Leesville by over 2 entire minutes! Wrapping up the boys team was Michael Whitehead who continues to progress setting a new PR with a time of 28:38! He has gotten better in almost every single race this season!
Great Job to all the Eagles in their performance in the 27th Annual Johnny Miller!
NSU Pre-State Meet
One of the true tests of a team is how do they perform against he best competition... This Saturday the HSM top 7 got a chance to see just that! Traveling to Natchitoches, the home of the LHSAA State Cross Country championship, the team participated in the Pre-State meet. This is a great chance for those members of the team that are currently in the State team to get their first feel of the year on the ground where dreams will come true for some and be dashed for others in a mere 3 and a half weeks. Competing against schools of all classifications the EAGLES had their best day of the year with 8 of 13 runners setting new PRs on what is the second biggest stage of this year outside of the state meet itself!
Both teams were missing some key members but they ran their tail feathers off!
The Girls were first on the slate and as they lined up it was obvious that they were focused and ready to make a statement. The temperature was perfect, in the low 60s, and although the course was a little soft from the previous nights rain it was primed for some fast times. Emma DeRosa (25th) ran a fantastic race and set a new 3 mile PR of 20:22 placing her 18th on the ALL TIME MENARD list and pushing her closer and closer to that golden 20:00 mark! On this day she led the team as a true captain should and the rest of her team responded in kind. Next on the team was fellow veteran Meredith Seeling (57th), who always steps up at NSU, with a time of 21:52. That was her best time of the year by over 1:00!!! Following Meredith was Abbey Scalisi (64th) , the 8th grade phenom, who also set a new PR of 22:13 in only her 2nd trip to Natchitoches! She doesn't get intimidated by anything! Chesney Matthews was right behind her, literally right on her heels at 22:15, only 4 seconds off of her PR! Amie Cochran came across the line next for the Lady Eagles finishing only 1 second off of her PR at a time of 23:07! She is getting closer and closer to breaking into that 22 minute club, and it's just a matter of time... both figuratively and literally... Finishing up for the HSM team was Kerigan Garsaud who ran strong and finished with a great time of 23:59 he first time out on the NSU course. It was a great day to be a Lady Eagle!!
The Boys team was next and what they accomplished is I don't think I have ever seen... of the 7 runners who raced today there were exactly 7 PRS!!! Charles Beard (30th) led the way for the Eagles on this historic day and shattered his old PR with a time of 16:43 and moved himself to 16th fastest ALL TIME and 8th on the all time 10th grade list! This is still only a preview of what is to come this season as he continues to work his way lower and lower on that all time list! Next was Carter Byers (58th) who is continuously meeting every goal he sets for himself, and today was no different! He set a new PR of 17:28 which moves him to 30th ALL TIME and 10th on the 9th grade list! 3rd to finish for the Eagles today was another 9th grader Mikey DeRosa (60th) who set a blazing time of 17:34, a new PR, and moved to 36th ALL TIME and 15th on the 9th grade list. The 4th PR of the day was set by Aaron Cantrell (81st) who continues his incredible season with another perfectly run 3 mile time of 18:12! David Shepherd (93rd), whose first race of the year at Pineville was 24:00 (6 minutes over his PR), dropped his time for the 6th straight race to a new PR of 18:34! Crossing the line 6th for the team was the boy, the myth, the legend... 7th Grader Austin Siebeneicher (96th) with a new PR of 18:41!!!!! That makes him the 5th fastest 7th grader in the history of Menard, with 3 races to go in the season!!!!! Finishing up the day for the Eagles was Matthew Hawthorn (108th) who set his new PR with a time of 19:03 pushing his PR almost 3 minutes below where it was at the beginning of the year!
CONGRATS TO ALL THESE RUNNERS ON THEIR AMAZING ACCOMOLISHMENTS!!!!