Merritt leads team at state XC


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By: Bailey Wilson

The Reds’ cross country season drew to a swift close this past weekend as the boys team, along with female contenders Jill Martin (13) and Leah Cheney (13) traveled to Aurora for the state championship meet. The boys took six members to represent the squad and placed 19th overall.
Cash Merritt (12) placed 50, and led the team in a time of 18 min and 27 seconds, just two minutes behind the leader from Faith Christian. Finishing with 344 points, the team fell just short of stealing 18th place from Salida with 339.
Martin pushed her way through the pack and was able to finish in 39th with a strong time of 21 min and 42 sec. Cheney crossed the finish line one minute later in 85th, but since the girls squad did not qualify, the two did not have the opportunity to place as  team.
Marcus Longwell (13) rounded out the top three for the boys team, and placing just out of the top 100 snagged a time of 20 min. and 19 sec. The week leading up to the state event proved to be a difficult one as the “snow hindered our preparation a little bit,” Longwell said. But even with the snow, Longwell added that the meet was successful saying that “for our top four runners to squeeze in the places we did to even get there was a heck of a feat.”