The Greenwood junior and senior high cross country teams are enjoying a fine season, according to their head coach, Jim Andrews. Both the girls’ and boys’ junior high and varsity teams hosted the annual Greenwood Invitational last Thursday at Bell Park.
The event, also affectionately known as the “Thrill of the Hill,” featured 35 teams and over 750 junior and senior high runners from throughout the region. Andrews and his teams had participated in about half-a-dozen races prior to hosting last week’s meet.
For the varsity Bulldogs, senior Nathaniel Gonzales finished seventh overall, while sophomore Nick Lewis placed 12th. For the Lady Bulldogs, junior Taylor Koeth crossed the finish line in 8th place, while sophomore Macie Cash finished just out of the top ten in 11th place.
In junior high, the Greenwood girls were led by Madelyn Wilkinson (2nd), Ashley Koeth (12th), and Kaitlynne Elmore (15th), all eighth graders.
For the Jr. Bulldogs the best finish of the day was turned in by Joshua Merritt, who finished in first place. Gavin Ciesla placed 6th and Noah Embry ran 8th. All three boys are also in the eighth grade.
“We are having a great season,” said Coach Andrews. “Our numbers have been good and the athletes are giving it their best.
“We are about to head into the championship part of our season with conference and state [meets] in less than four weeks. We are gearing up for a good finish,” he added. “All of the runners are doing well and working hard.
“We have our junior high River Valley Conference meet on October 16th at Ben Geren Park, and I feel pretty good about our chances this year. We have a good and deep junior high team, which speaks well of the future of the program.
“On October 25th we go to Siloam Springs and face our new 5A west conference teams, and they will be challenging. In the senior high division, we have some of the fastest girls in our conference,” said the coach.
“I feel that Taylor Koeth and Macie Cash [need] to have good races going into the final part of the season, and I feel confident they will, too,” said Andrews.
“Nathan Gonzales and Nick Lewis will also be challenged and should do well. I feel we are getting close to being at our best for [those] meets, and that’s what is important this time of year,” he concluded.