Alex Darnell of Napoleon High School won the boys’ race at the Kuenner Cross Country Invitational at Addison High School on Friday. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
Perhaps no words can best describe the 2020 cross country season like those of Napoleon High School senior Alex Darnell.
Darnell said he and his teammate run each meet like “it is our last one.”
With COVID-19 and the coronavirus hanging over everyone’s head, it could be.
Napoleon won both races on Friday at the Kuenner Cross Country Invitational at Addison High School on Friday.
The boys’ team easily won with a score of 32 – placing all five runners in the top 14 in the event.
Morenci was second in the boys’ event with 83, East Jackson placed third scoring 92, Jackson Prep and Early College was fourth with 99, Northwest scored 114, Onsted was sixth at 128, and the host school scored 168.
Darnell won the boys’ 5K race in 17 minutes, 29 second.
“I have put in a lot of miles this summer … just like last year,” Darnell said. “I am feeling stronger than ever.”
Like most cross country teams, the Pirates have experienced cancelled and postponed meets this season.
“It makes it tough from a training perspective – not knowing when the next meet will be,” Darnell said. “We work hard and run each meet like it is our last one.”
Daniel Casey of JPEC finished second in 18:02, Hugo Gamez of Napoleon finished third 18:35, Robbie Michalowski of Addison placed seventh in 18:57, Kyler Pequet of Napoleon was eighth in 19:11, Donovan Cook of East Jackson finished ninth in 19:19, and T.J. Wesley of Onsted earned 10th place in 19:36.
Payne Boulter lead Northwest with a 15th-place finish in 20:02.
Napoleon tied with Blissfield in the girls’ event, but won the tie-breaker as Marissa Benn of Napoleon finished higher than Blissfield’s sixth-place runner.
Madelyn Norman of Napoleon was fifth overall in 22:26. Ann Joseph of Napoleon placed seventh in 23:03 and Olivia Darnell was 10th overall in 23:24.
Kara Terakedis of Onsted finished fourth in 22:15, Stacia Hedrich of Northwest finished 19th with a time of 24:19, and Sayra Hernandez of Addison was right behind her in 24:30.
Blissfield sophomore Mari Cueto won the girls’ race in 20:23.