The Lake Hamilton Jr. High Cross Country Boys and Girls teams completed their fall Cross Country season last Saturday October 20th by winning both team titles over Hot Springs Lakeside Junior High and Barton Junior High of El Dorado in the 2nd annual Garland County Invitational held on the grass infield of Oaklawn Race park in Hot Springs, AR. The meet served as the finale for what has turned out to be a dominating year for both Lake Hamilton squads in Jr. High Cross Country this year in Arkansas.
The Lake Hamilton junior boys C.C. squad got the day started off by winning the team division with a low score of 19pts. over Hot Springs Lakeside junior boys 38pts. and Barton junior boys 84pts. With that victory it improved Lake Hamilton’s junior boys record to an impressive 122 wins-0 losses for the season not loosing to a single team they competed against both in-state and out of state. With the promotion of freshmen Zeke McCain, Evan Armitage, Levi Stratton, Ethan, Smith, Ethan Brock, and Sutton Manatt to the senior boys team already the rest of the junior boys were ready to step up to the challenge.
The boys race saw an early trio of L.H. runners Freshman Garrett Horton, Peter Kozlowski, and eight grader Nathan Taylor break away and push each other at the front of the race to help secure the team win and to compete for the top three spots individually. Garrett Horton (12:16) brought home the 1st place spot holding off a tough kick at the end from Nathan Taylor (12:22) who wound up 2nd place. Kozlowski took 3rd place in (12:37). After Kozlowski, Freshman Kolby Brown (13:00) who has had a great 2nd half of the season took home 4th place for the Wolves by passing and holding off HS Lakeside’s first four boy finishers (Ben Hollis 13:05, Walker Wood 13:09, Barrett James 13:10, Brayden James 13:12). Rounding out the top ten finishers in the race were Lake Hamilton eight graders Nathan Miller (13:16) and Coby Qualls (13:27) who ran great races to the finish and have been important contributors the last few weeks to Lake Hamilton’s victories with the promotion of McCain, Armitage, Stratton, Smith, Brock, and Manatt to the senior high team.
In the junior girls race the Lake Hamilton ladies improved their season record to 103 wins-3 losses with the win in the team division over HS Lakeside and Barton Junior High. The lady Wolves were led by 8th grader Olivia Pielemeier who has been dominated this year with multiple individual wins in some gutsy finishes at the end with competitors from other schools. Saturday saw the second week in a row she went head to head with HS Lakeside’s Whitley Terry one of the other best junior girl runners in the state this year. The two went side by side for almost the entire race and eventually Pielemeier was able to pull away in the last quarter mile for 1st place in (13:28) with Terry (13:32) finishing 2nd. Following the blazing finish by Pielemeier and Terry, Lake Hamilton was ready to step up as its next six runners finished from 3rd place thru 8th place to give the lady Wolves seven runners in the top 10. Seventh grader Adrina Rodriguez was 3rd (15:25), Eighth graders Sheryl Rojas 4th (15:28), Chloe Carson 5th (15:34), Savana Green 6th (15:51), Natalie Scalzo 7th (15:54) and Kiana Arcos 8th (16:01) rounded the Lake Hamilton girls in the top 10 individually.
Congrats to all the L.H. runners for their performances and for getting Coach Koonce his birthday wish with both team victories (see article photo) Full Results of all competitors in the Boys and Girls races can be found at the link below:
Overall it has been one of the most dominating fall Cross Country seasons for Lake Hamilton junior high in school history with both teams finishing a combined 225 wins-3 losses. According to Lake Hamilton Cross Country coaches Karl Koonce and Brandon Smith the future could be pretty good for Lake Hamilton Cross Country with these kids continuing to stay focused and work harder which it will take to stay on top and improve more upon what was accomplished this season.