Marion runners post top times

The Marion cross-country team ran at the 22-team Halstead meet Thursday. The meet involved 103 boys and 74 girls competing.

All four Warriors set new season records, which coach Dmitry Bucklin attributed in part to cooler temperatures.

“The weather played a big deal in it,” Bucklin said. “So far, most of our meets, with the exception of one, have been really hot, dry, windy kind of conditions. The weather at Halstead, we finally were in the low- to mid-70s (with) a nice, light breeze to cool things off.”

Colin Williams broke 19 minutes for the first time this season, crossing the finish line in 18 minutes, 52 seconds, good for 27th place in the boys’ varsity race.

“It was a big mental game,” Bucklin said. “There was just a lot of big teams that went out of the gates really fast, which I think ultimately helped Colin and our runners, but I think that also hindered them a little bit because when the teams are fully stacked and the other schools with bigger teams, it’s hard to jostle for position.”

In the boys’ junior varsity race, Colton Boudreaux set a personal record, finishing 87th in 22:53. That bettered his previous best mark by about 35 seconds.

“I could tell Colton pushed himself hard and took himself to the next level,” Bucklin said.

Meanwhile, in the girls’ race, Elisa Ortiz competed for the first time since dropping out of the Sept. 14 Herington meet with an ankle injury. Ortiz set a season-best mark with a time of 27:49.12 for 61st place.

“I think just that extra couple weeks of recovery and training really helped her out,” Bucklin said.

Bethany Grimmett also lowered her season-best time, finishing 73rd in 30:39 and trimming about 2:23 from her Herington mark.

“Bethany really pushed herself this meet,” Bucklin said. “I think the conditions were good for her.”

Bucklin said the larger meet provided a different level of competition.

“This meet had a lot of big teams that went out of the gates very fast,” he said. “We are used to leading the pack at the start, which in turn forced us to go faster in the beginning than we should have.”

Coming—Marion was scheduled to run at Eureka Tuesday and will travel to Hutchinson Trinity Oct. 10 for the Heart of America league meet

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