From Staff Reports

The Eagle cross country squads were back in action this past Saturday at the Marcus I Invitational at North Lakes Park in Denton. This meet has really grown through the years, and this was the 25th anniversary with over 2,500 runners competing.

Against the top 5A competition in North Texas, the Eagles stood their ground and turned in some solid performances. The girls’ squad finished a solid 10th place out of 26 teams, and the boys finished 12th out of 29. The girls were third of the 4A teams in the race, and the boys were second.

The girls led off the action bright and early at 7 a.m. in the 5A division. Freshman Allie Taylor led the way for the Lady Eagles in 47th place in a quick 20:25, followed in 54th by junior Kristen Howell in 20:35 (22:41 last year), and she was tracked closely by sophomore Kyra Drobny’s 59th place finish in 20:37 (22:16 last year). Senior Eleanor Jahant had a big breakthrough this week, finishing in 71st place in 20:49, taking almost 40 seconds off from the previous race and 11 seconds off her time from the same meet last year. Freshman Alexa Boushey also took a good amount off her previous time, finishing in 21:38, knocking almost a minute off. Freshman Abby Williams did a great job in her first varsity race and finished just under 23 minutes.

The guys also had some major breakthroughs this weekend. Senior Ryan Cleary led the charge, finishing in 20th place overall in a huge personal best of 16:11 (he was 49th and 17:07 a year ago). Junior Aaron Meraz had a fantastic comeback performance, finishing 36th place in 16:33 (108th and 18:06 last year). Senior Colton Barnes stepped up big time this week, finishing 91st place in 17:27 (from 140th and 18:34 last year), and Senior Tanner Mann won the award for most time off from the previous year with his 108th place finish in 17:39 after finishing 122nd on JV in 20:33 last year.

Senior Adam Hornyak also ran well in 111th place in 17:40 after finishing 47th and 19:19 on JV in 2012. Junior Nelson Morrow finished 6th across for the Eagles, taking five seconds off last year’s time, and Senior Alexander Toops was 7th across, taking 29 seconds off last year’s time.

There was also a handful of runners who represented PHS in the 5A JV division, starting with the girls. Freshman Mary Turner finished 65th in 23:11, and Junior Rachel Birmingham was just a few spots back in 23:15. Sophomore Mary Korth also had a good race, finishing 112th in 24:07.

On the guys’ side, Sophomore Justin McCoy battled through an illness earlier in the week to run a solid personal best of 18:42, good for 41st overall. Freshman Cutter Nielsen also competed well, taking over a minute off from the previous week and turning in a 19:00, good for 57th.

The Eagle cross country squads will be in action this week at the second Annual Eagle Cross Country Invitational. The meet is scheduled for next Saturday at Myers Park in McKinney.