By Kyle Roberts
A change in venue proved to be no problem for Ruston High’s cross country team over the weekend.
For Bearcat coach Dustin Cochran, moving the weekend to Quitman instead of ULM was an opportunity to run on a tough course and challenge the kids.
“When we decided to go to Quitman instead of ULM it was obviously a change, but we really thought we could get something good out of it,” Cochran said. “The course was challenging. It had a lot of turns and terrain changes. We set out with the goal of going out conservatively and keeping our pack as close together as possible. We also ran really hard on Thursday, so we went into Saturday with very tired legs.”
The race results turned out great for Ruston. On the boys side, Andrew McKaskle won his first ever race after closing hard and running 5:10 the last mile.
“We kept a 22 second spread with our top five runners,” Cochran said. “We’ve never done better than 48 seconds or so, so the :2 second spread means we’re heading in the right direction.”
On the girls’ side, Cochran was pleased with how the Bearcats competed against another great program in Cedar Creek.
They have a couple of good girls, including the 1A state champ,” Cochran said. “We were really excited that we were able to put four girls in front of them. They always do a great job of competing. Parker Nations also got her first ever win. Zoie Holstead is working back from breaking her foot over the summer. She has only been running four weeks now. She put up a great result and is getting closer to our top girls daily. Our girls team is starting to come together and we are continuously building towards November and the state meet.”
A key note for Cochran on the day: not only did Nations win the Varsity race for the girls, but her little sister, Emmersyn won the junior high race.
“Emmersyn is a superstar in the making and is going to be big time for us when she gets to high school,” Cochran said. “It was really exciting to see them both win. They’re great kids.”
Parker Nations 1st
Sara Naff 2nd
Sydney Owens 3rd
Zoie Holstead 4th
Hallie Hebert 7th
Abby Edgerton 10th
Andrew McKaskle 1st
Thomas Rogers 2nd
Cole Maestrini 3rd
Landon Byrd 4th
Taylor Roller 5th
Cole Magee 7th
Joshua Daulton 8th
Liam Lowe 9th
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