PAC Cross Country Starts the Season Strong in the Palmetto State Classic

PAC Cross Country started their season over the weekend, competing at the Palmetto State Classic on the shared campus of Columbia International University and Ben Lippen School. The PAC team had been training since May 31 through PAC Coach Trey McCain’s Without Limits program and were ready to see the fruits of their 3 month labor. The meet was divided into three races: High School Girls, High School Boys, and Middle School. The high school races are 5k (3.1 miles) and the middle school race is 2 miles.
Returning runner, Emma Deason and a new member to the PAC team, Emily Mason, kicked the season off in the high school girls race. Emma has developed a history of starting the season strong over the last two years and the 2021 season is no different. PAC has traditionally started the season at the Skyhawk Invitational at Hammond. It’s a flat and fast course, easy to run Personal Records (PR) on. The course at Ben Lippen is much tougher with a steep hill; the high school runners run twice just before the first mile and soon after the second mile. At the start of the 2020 season, Emma ran a 28:30 on the Skyhawk course. This season, she completed the CIU/Ben Lippen course in 27:55 finishing 41st overall. Emily Mason ran strong through the first two miles with Emma and finished 48th overall with a time of 28:31. The girls had just two runners in the high school race and did not register a team score. A team needs five runners to score in a meet.
Next up was the high school guy’s team led by returning runners Jackson Reinhard, John Kollmensberger, Elijah Greneir, Noah Young, and Samuel Reed. Two new members toeing the line for the high school boys are Benson Ryan and Ian Hunter. Jackson started the race in the top 5, challenging Ben Lippen’s top runner, Samari Van Horn. The two battled through the first 2.5 miles and it was Jackson who would run his way to 3rd overall in 18:04 behind individual winner, Hayes Trapp of Augusta Prep and Reece Bluestein from Hammond. Jackson improved on his 2020 course time by 1:41. Last season, Jackson broke the PAC XC 5k record twice, lowering it to 17:18.
John Kollmensberger, Elijah Greneir, and Noah Young are returning having completed a season of track as middle-distance and long distance runners in the spring and experienced great success. John K and Elijah started the race off well together. Unfortunately, cramps in the first mile and a sprained ankle in the second forced John K to withdraw from the race. Elijah continued on to a PR of 20:46. A time that is 2:57 faster than he ran on the same course in the 2020 season. He was 25th overall. 
Running in front of, then behind, Elijah was Noah Young. Noah started the race fast and faded at the end but still ran 40 seconds faster on the same course in the 2020 season. He crossed the line in 22:11 finishing 40th overall. Samuel Reed completed the course in 23:09, finishing 54th. Benson Ryan completed his first meet 74th overall in 25:15. Ian Hunter started to feel unwell and withdrew from the race. He is doing well. Overall the boy’s team placed 7th out of 10 teams.
Finishing strong for the PAC Panthers were the middle school runners. Returning middle schoolers Liana Young and Charlotte Kreisel are joined this year by three new middle school runners, John McPhereson, Tyler Seay, and Arlie Knight. McPhereson and Young also competed in the spring track season and middle-distance and distance runners. John McPhereson ran strong through the flat 2 mile course. He finished 7th overall with a time of 14:15. Tyler finished 18th overall in a time of 16:02. 
Liana Young ran a strong and well paced race. She was the 5th middle school girl to cross the line with a time of 17:17. Charlotte Kreisel started slow and finished with a strong sprint at the end. Her time was 19:05. Arlie Knight finished the race in 19:19.
The PAC Panthers XC team races again at the Lexington County Championships on August 31 at Lexington High School. The first race starts with the Middle Schoolers at 5:30.