By Tara Estadt
Shenandoah Zeps Cross Country competed at the Elizabeth S. Broughton Memorial Invitational Meet in Marietta on Saturday. “A new era for Shenandoah Cross Country has started and it is great to have a front row seat,” said Coach Estadt. “Last year, the boys finished last and the girls didn’t even have a team! So, to come in here, and compete the way they did today, shows that they can race with anyone. The kids decided that today was the day that Shenandoah Cross Country would get noticed as serious competition!”
The girls team competed against runners from 16 schools and placed 5th out of 10 teams. Out of 88 competitors, Ida Estadt finished in 3rd place at 21:11, followed by Jusdena Clark with an 18th place finish at 23:18. They were followed by Kendal Synder (50th, 27:42), Lorelei Shaufl (55th, 28:34), Abbey Tewksbary (77th, 31:50), and Kylee Leasure (84th, 37:02). Coach Estadt commented, “The girls got out much better today and they worked extra hard. Ida pushed the pace early by leading the pack. She had the confidence and guts to go for it. And she made the Fort Frye girls earn their win. I am very proud of Ida’s and Dena’s efforts to finish in the top 20.”
The boys team competed alongside runners from 17 schools and placed 4th out of 9 teams. There were 101 runners in the high school boys race. Top finishers were Chuck Estadt (11th, 18:08) and Jarrett Wentworth (12th, 18:10). They were followed by Emmitt Slevin (23rd, 18:51), Noah McElroy (44th, 20:20), Kaden Rossiter (50th, 20:52), Peyton Forshey (55th, 21:14), Christian Dimmerling (67th, 22:22), Noah Townsend (87th, 25:16), and Hunter Ackley (95th, 27:33). Chuck Estadt and Jarrett Wentworth
Estadt noted that Chuck and Jarrett continue to be leaders, with their top 20 places. “Emmitt finished just outside of the top 20 with a 9 second PR, and Noah and Kaden are determined to get up there too,” stated Estadt. He went on to say that he is pleased with other runners on the team stepping up. “Overall, these kids are understanding that every second matters, that every place matters, and that best effort at every meet is the expectation. If we want to reach our team goals, then we all need to believe, trust the process, and hold each other accountable.”
This was the first race of the season for the JH Zeps. Out of 86 girls, Natasha Saling led the team with a 49th place finish (18:43), followed by Arista Piatt (51st, 19:01) and Kallay Ackley (65th, 21:07). Out of 105 boys, Carter Wentworth was the top finisher for the JH boys with a 52nd place finish (15:40), followed by Joel Tewksbary (80th, 18:03) and Colton Tisher (93rd, 20:52).
The Zeps will be running again on Saturday, September 2nd at the Warren Scenic Hills Lion’s Club Meet in Vincent, starting at 9am with the HS girls.