Cross Country at Patriot Classic and Heathwood Hall Invitational

On Saturday, September 11, The PAC Panthers XC team competed in the Patriot Classic, minus lead runner Jackson Reinhard who ran in the Heathwood Hall Invitational in Columbia. He did not travel with the team due to a family event. Before the meet at Heathwood, Coach Trey McCain had given Jackson instructions to follow River Bluffs lead runners through the first half of the meet and to push the pace in the second half. Jackson finished the race 8th overall with a new PR and PAC XC record of 17:01. He was the top freshman in the race. He improved his current midlands ranking to #1 freshman and is currently the #5 freshman in the state of South Carolina, based on scrunners rankings.
Up at the Patriot Classic run on Beechwood Farms near Travelers Reset, SC the lady Panthers started the racing for the team. The course was a dirt road loop that winds through farmland in a valley surrounded by large hills, one of which the runners would have to go up. The air was cool and mixed with heat as the sun rose high enough to shine on the area. After the girl’s race had started, Coach Trey ran ahead to get to the first mile to record splits. Once there, some farm workers were moving large trucks on the course and had to be told to pull to the side so the runners could pass without danger. 
The first girl through the one mile was Emma Deason in 7:44. Not far behind was Liana Young (8:02), Arlie Knight (8:20), and Charlotte Kreisel (8:33). All the girls looked very strong through the first mile. Freshman Emily Mason did not run due to a calf muscle injury. The second mile proved to be very difficult for the Lady Panthers. The loose dirt and rocks just under the surface slowed the girls down significantly. Emma Deason came through the second mile with a 9:25, Liana in 9:28, Arlie in 10:08, and Charlotte in 9:59. 
The final 1.1 mile of the course starts with a double hill. A double hill is a hill on top of a hill the runners have to get over. Once they reach the top they are 1000 meters from the finish line. Emma cruised up the hill and to the finish line with a final time of 26:27. Her final mile was run in 8:26. Closing the gap on Emma by finishing two spots and 12 seconds back, Liana finished the race in 26:39. Her final mile was run in 8:18. Running in her second 5k ever, Arlie Knight crossed the line in 27:54 with a final mile time of 9:26. Charlotte Kreisel finished the girls race with a final time of 28:51. Her last mile was run in 10:18. The girls stated the course was much harder than it seemed and just couldn’t get going that day. Due to having only 4 runners, the girls did not register a team score. Liana Young had the best race of the day for the girls, missing her season best by 10 seconds. 
The Panther Men were next to take a crack at the Beechwood Farms course. After getting stuck behind a slow group at Eye Opener the previous week, the boys were ready to show they were faster than their last results. John Kollmensberger went through the first mile in 6:02. Not far behind was Noah Young, Elijah Greneir, and Sam Reed who crossed the one mile line in 6:19, 6:20, and 6:25. 20 seconds behind Elijah was Benson Ryan in 6:44. John McPherson went through the one mile in 7:02. Tyler Seay came through in 7:53 and Ian Hunter, who is running his first 5k of the season, went by in 8:08.
On the way to the 2nd mile, Coach Trey made a wrong turn through a field and ended up across from the two mile line at an impassable location. He could see the two mile but couldn’t get close enough in time to get near the runners before they went by. The middle section of the course was also tough for the guys as John Kollmensberger ran his second mile in 6:23, Noah in 6:43, Sam in 6:44, Benson in 7:35, and Elijah in 8:09. Due to the spread of the runners and nature of the course, 2 mile times were not recorded for John M, Tyler, or Ian.
John K closed the last mile in 5:50 with a monstrous kick and destroyed his PR from the previous season by 41 seconds with a final time of 18:50. He claimed that he sped up on the double hill and used the downhill side to keep his momentum. Noah also had a big PR on the day. After narrowly missing his PR by 2 seconds with one shoe last week, the freshman broke 20 min for the first time with a 19:57. His last mile was run in 6:16. Sam Reed finished third for the team in 21:09. His last mile was 7:20. Coming through in fourth for the team was Benson Ryan with a time of 22:00. His last mile was completed in 7:40. John McPherson was the final scorer for the Panthers, finishing in 22:29. Freshman Elijah Greneir, recovering from a week of being sick, crossed the line in 24:01. He does not have Covid. Rounding out the race for the Panthers were Tyler Seay in 25:56 and Ian Hunter in 28:18.
As far as the day goes, the Panthers did ok. We had 3 PRs, including a school record reset. The team has made good and steady progress through the first half of its season. The Panthers next race will be September 29 at the Pelion/Strictly Running Invitational. The boys start the racing at 5:15 PM
Trey McCainDirector for Without Limits ColumbiaUSATF Level 1 Certified Coach