Sun’s up and the runners are out; the whistle blows and you hear the thumping of 65 pairs of shoes start to hit the grassy ground of Pecos Park. Add the date Wednesday, Jan. 14 and you’ve got yourself the first-ever home Middle School Cross Country meet.
Teams from ten different schools participated in the meet. These schools included Rancho Solano, Gilbert Christian, Bethany Christian, Paradise Valley Christian Prep, Scottsdale Christian Academy, Trinity Lutheran, Phoenix Christian School, Joy Christian School, Landeryou, and Horizon Honors.
The boys started off their 1.9 mile race with great enthusiasm. There was a total of 62 male runners, six of which were Eagles. Cameron Taradash came in seventh place with an impressive time of 12 minutes, 11 seconds, 59 milliseconds. Monty Van Meter came in eleventh, Steven Seelig in twentieth, Trace Autry in twenty-seventh, Gabriel Knippers in forty-fifth, and David Syms in fifty-first.
Five minutes after the boys started, the girls began their race of the same distance. Out of 45 runners, three girls represented Horizon Honors. A special congratulations to eighth grader, Gabriella Castronova, for earning third place with a time of 13 minutes, 15 seconds, 79 milliseconds. Castranova always aims to push through and do the very best she’s able to do, “I get motivation from my competition; from the people trying to beat me.” Another Lady Eagle Macy Parris finished in thirteenth place and Alexandra Mead in twenty-seventh.
Overall, it turned out to be a very successful first home meet for Horizon Honors. There were many competitors and families showed up to cheer on their runners. The next Middle School Cross Country meet will be held Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Valley Christian High School.