Cross Country Battles Through the Portage Invite
The annual Portage Invitational was this last Saturday and Hackett Cross Country showed out. Medals were awarded 50 runners deep in each race. Top 50 sounds like a lot of runners and easy medals, but the Portage Invite is famous for being the largest meet of the year.
On meet day, the course area looked like a carnival. With over 150 high schools and another 50+ middle school teams across all divisions, the grounds at Portage West were packed. Even when divided by division, there were hundreds of runners in each race.
The weather this year was tougher than usual. Temperature hit low 50s at best, and it was rainy. Hackett runners weren’t phased and still brought their best to the race. Sophomore Damien Martinez says “I used hand warmers for the first mile and a half of the race.”
The girls team finished 12th place with both Brie Siems and Emma Riker breaking the Top 50. In spite of the cold and rain, Emma Riker, Katelyn Gillen, and Mary Willis all ran PRs as well as Bethany Carpenter running her SR.
The boys team finished 5th place. Marek Butkiewicz, Gavin Sehy, and Sean Siems won Top 50 medals.
Hackett Cross Country continues to run forwards toward regionals, coming up in just over two weeks. All the training and hard work is set for that day, and for the state meet that comes after.