On Sept. 15, the EPJ Huskies’ cross country team participated in the Flyer Invite in Freeman, SD. This is the first time EPJ has made the trip to Freeman for cross country, replacing an Iowa meet for 2021 and subsequent years.
The Flyer Invite is a large meet with roughly 350 total runners and over 20 schools. The course was well thought-out and slow, with long grass and rolling hills, and the weather being hot combined with a penetrating sun and pounding south wind.
The varsity boys started at 1 p.m. with a large field. The Huskies ran 5 in varsity, including Joe Cross, Jackson Prouty, Canon Kempf, Matthew Norby and Easton Kempf. From the start, a breakaway group of three included Cross, Park Sinclair from Kimball/White Lake and Josiah Schroeder from Canistota. Schroeder and Cross firmly took the lead by the mile point, with Schroeder pulling away over the last mile for the win. Cross finished 2nd for the third time in 2021.
The varsity girls were next to race. EPJ runners included Claire LaFerrier, Ella LaFerrier, Heather Stark, Madison Stark and Rosie Calamanco. Jada Koenen from Freeman Academy took the win with three runners from Kimball/White Lake finishing 2-4. Claire and Ella LaFerrier scored a medal, finishing in 16th and 18th place, respectively.
The JV boys team had just two runners with Jack Heckathorn and Isaiah Love toeing the line. The JV course was a fast one, with some excellent times run in both the girls and boys races. The JV girls team was larger with Ashley Stark, Alexis Ludwigs, Grace Schuh, Paetyn Cole and Joey Stark. Ashley Stark earned a medal with a strong run for a 14th place finish.
Junior high boys ran Jackson Neal, Carter Heckathorn, Noah Buhian and Riley Thompson, with Neal finishing in 18th for a medal. The junior high girls ran AnnaBeth Porter, Peyton Stacy, Yessenia Padilla and Lily Malm, with AnnaBeth placing 12th to earn the final Husky medal.
Next up for EPJ was the Alcester-Hudson Meet Monday the 20th, and the home meet Thursday, Sept. 24.