Independence’s cross country teams opened the season with a strong performance at the Riverside Kickoff Classic Night Invitational on Saturday.
The Blue Devils finished 15th as a team in the boys’ race and 22nd in the girls.
Junior Alana Nowak placed 32nd among 242 runners to lead the Blue Devils contingent.
“Having a night meet was an exciting way to start the season off,” Nowak said. “It was a fun atmosphere to be part of and there was a lot of excitement leading up to the actual race. The night meet was something I haven’t experienced before and the team and I really enjoyed it.”
Nowak finished in 21:11.
“I was satisfied with my time at this meet as it was about 30 seconds faster than my first meet of the season last year,” Nowak said. “I’m hoping to build off of this race to continue lowering my time, but I feel I had a good base time at this meet.”
Gianna Carlucci, Sara Luciano, Kayla Hujarski, MaryAnne LeRoy, Lauren Dalrymple, and Ellie Polter also competed for the Blue Devils. Carlucci, Hujarski, LeRoy, and Dalrymple are all freshmen who competed in the first high school 5K while Polter is a junior and Luciano is a sophomore.
Senior Kyle McGovern paced the boys’ team with a time of 18:28, good for 55th place out of 232 runners. Sophomore James Kitagawa also placed among the top 100 with a time of 19:17, good for 84th.
Juniors Carter Peters and Brian Angyal ran a time of 19:54.94 and 19:54.96, respectively, to finished 104th and 105th.
Juniors Nathan Pawuk, Dylan Wang, and John Paul Musni, sophomores Jack Ottaviano and Aaron Zambito, and freshman Nathan Lu also competed for the Blue Devils.