Kirtland’s cross country teams opened the 2021 Saturday night at the Riverside Kickoff Classic Night Invitational.
Led by senior Reilly Greenlee and freshman Sylvia Vosicky, the Hornets placed sixth in the Division II/III girls’ race while junior Ian Borthwick paced the Hornets to a 17th place finish in the boys’ competition.
“I really enjoyed running the race at night,” said Vosicky, who placed 21st with a time of 22:22 in her high school debut. “That time of the day is my favorite for training but running with all of the strings and stadium lights wasn’t like anything I’ve experienced before. The humidity was present and I’m sure it was a factor of my time but it was still enjoyable.”
Greenlee placed 19th with a time of 22:11.
Ainsley Borthwick (23:35), Stephanie Drazetic (24:09), Delaney Kuczkowski (25:02), Josie Copeland (26:19), and Aria Ray (27:22) also competed for the Hornets in the girls’ race.
Vosicky’s preseason training was limited but she was pleased with her first high school performance.
“I was satisfied with my time because I just came back from a concussion about a week ago and had to take a week off from all physical activity,” she said. “Due to the heat index, my injury, and it being my first high school meet, I set my expectations low so that I wouldn’t be disappointed with my time.”
Finishing among the top 25 only provided her with more motivation to prepare for future competitions.
“This season-opening race will help me a lot throughout the season,” she said. “It helped me with how to pace myself, know what other teams and runners are capable of, and it also proved how supportive and enthusiastic my other teammates and community members are during races. It was a great overall experience.”
Borthwick, who placed 52nd in 19:39 in his first high school event, also enjoyed the uniqueness of a night race but he felt the heat index played a role in his performance.
“The night race was a completely different environment,” he said. “It was very exciting and the heat definitely played a factor. The lighting of the course was a challenge to get used to and it was difficult to see in some parts of the course. Overall, I am pretty happy with my time as it was my first season’s first race. I almost matched my time to the Friday Night Lights race and it definitely gives me some things to improve on.”
With his first race behind him, Borthwick is focused on trimming his time as the season progresses.
“Because I haven’t ran an opening race before, I now know what to expect from a meet and I will start to focus on things that I noticed I could have done better on,” he said.
Brigham Weight (19:54), Jeremy Mrva (23:40), Noah Nead (23:41), Warren Eveland (23:42), Luke Emlaw (26:10), and Daniel Booth (29:44) also ran for the Hornets.