On Saturday morning the PAC Panthers Cross Country team spiked up for their third meet of the season at the Eye Opener in Spartanburg, SC. For the high schooler this was the third 5k of the season in just a week while the middle schoolers would be racing their first 5k after running the 2 mile and 3k at Palmetto State Festival and Lexington County. The Eye Opener is hosted by USC Upstate at the Milliken Research Center in Spartanburg. The boys ran at 8:50 AM while the girls started at 9:15 AM. In total there were over 2000 runners in 6 different races: International boys and girls, Championship boys and girls, and JV boys and girls. Both PAC boys and girls ran in the Championship division for this meet. Going into this race the boys were projected on scrunners to finish 41st based on the most recent meet results this year. The girl’s were competing as a full team for the first time this season and did not have a rank. The course at Eye Opener runs through rolling hills with slight climbs and descents. The final 400 meters begins with an uphill before flattening out in the final 200 meters.
Up first were the guys along with 51 teams in the Championship race. Once the race began, spectators could feel the ground below shaking as 406 runners went by, vying for position on a narrow course. Jackson Reinhard came through the first mile in 5:29 and was inside the top 15. The next group of guys were Elijah Greneir, John Kollmensberger, Noah Young, Samuel Reed, John McPhereson, and Benson Ryan coming through the 1 mile mark between 6:45 and 6:56. After the race, Senior John Kollmensberger stated, “we were stuck behind a slower group of runners with no room to pass and couldn’t move up as quickly as we wanted.” The final runner through the first mile was middle schooler Tyler Seay at 7:45.
Over the next 2 miles, the PAC boys would push hard for the finish line to make up for the first mile. By mile 2, Jackson had moved into the top 10, trying to hold off runners from Blythewood, R-S Central (a NC school), Powdersville, and River Bluff. Jackson’s second mile was run in 5:38. Next through the 2 mile was Elijah Greneir and John Kollmensberger. Both ran their second mile in 6:23 and looked strong. Noah Young passed by soon after, running his second mile in 6:31. He was followed by Samuel Reed coming through with a 6:47. John McPherson and Benson Ryan had slowed down to 7:15 and 7:18 for their second miles but still looked good as they passed other runners.
Finishing the race 8th overall, Jackson Reinhard completed the 5k course in 17:20, just 2 seconds off his PR and PAC record. He ran his final mile in 5:39. John Kollmensberger had pulled away from Elijah Greneir and finished the race in 19:50 for his first sub 20 min race of the season. His final mile was run in 6:02. Elijah crossed the line in 20:03 for another PR. His last mile was run in 6:17. Noah came through just 24 seconds later, missing his own PR by 2 seconds. It was later discovered Noah had lost one of his racing shoes at the start of the race and ran with one shoe the entire way. His last mile was run in 6:22. Sam Reed ran his last mile in 6:50 for a finishing time of 21:10. John McPherson and Benson Ryan were not far behind, finishing within 2 seconds of each other. John M closed his last mile in 6:39, finishing in 21:30. Benson Ryan closed his last mile in 6:40 and finished the race in 21:31. Both John M and Benson set PRs in the 5k. Since the start of the season, Benson has knocked 3:43 off his 5k PR. Tyler crossed the finish line for his first 5k in 25:49.
When the racing was done and scores were calculated, the guys finished 26th overall, 7 spots ahead of fellow SCHSAA team Greenville Hurricanes and 6 spots behind 2020 SCHSAA State Champs Carolina Homeschool.
Up next were the PAC Panthers girl’s competing as a full team for the first time this season. Their race had a total of 45 total teams. Freshman Emma Deason led the girls through the first mile in 8:01. In a huge surprise to coach Trey and parents, 6th grader Arlie Knight was right there with her in 8:02. Following close by were fellow freshman Emily Mason with 7th graders Liana Young and Charlotte Kriesel in 8:28.
At the 2 mile mark, Arlie Knight had decided to see what she can do and was the first PAC girl through. Her second mile was run in 8:28 and she looked strong. Emma Deason came through 11 seconds later with a 2nd mile run of 8:39. Liana had pulled slightly ahead of Charlotte, each running their 2nd mile in 8:45 and 8:48 respectively. Both looked really strong as they began pushing for the finish line just 1.1 miles away. Emily Mason finished her 2nd mile in 8:57.
Sometime between mile 2 and 3, Emma and Liana overtook Arlie. Emma was first across the line for the girls. She ran her final mile in 8:26, finishing with a season best of 25:57. Thus far, Emma has brought her 2021 5k time down by 1:58. Liana crossed the finish line in 26:29. Her last mile was run in 8:25. Arlie came across the line 3rd for the team with a finishing time of 26:36. Knight ran a super strong race just to see what she could do. Her final mile was 9:10. Not long after, Charlotte Kriesel crossed the line in 27:11 with a final mile of 9:01. Emily Mason finished the meet for the girls in 27:19. Final mile was 27:19. Emily has lowered her 2021 5k time by over 1:30. The Lady Panthers finished the meet 42nd overall.
The next meet on the PAC Calendar is the Patriot Classic hosted by JL Mann at Beechwood Farms in Slater, SC. This meet will take place on September 11. The Varsity Girls start things off at 8 AM and the guys will run at 9:25 AM
Director for Without Limits
USATF Level 1 Certified Coach