North’s cross country teams are off and running after competing in the Riverside Kickoff Invitational on Saturday.
The Rangers’ girls’ team finished in 10th place while the boys placed 18th.
Freshman Vanessa Anthony was North’s top finisher as she placed 24th out of 251 girls with a time of 21:22.
“It was definitely exciting to compete at the high school level,” Anthony said. “I am very thankful to have a season considering the pandemic.”
Despite her top 25 finish, Anthony isn’t quite satisfied with her performance and is eager to get back on the course to make improvements.
“I was not satisfied with my time because I know there’s always room to improve,” she said. “I now know what I’m up against and what I need to work on this season. I am much more confident for future races now that I’ve experienced a high school cross country meet and have my first race nerves out.”
Rachael Vojtush also finished among the top 50 as she placed 42nd with a time of 22:00.
Jessica Gotti (56th, 22:33), Jillian Ayres (22:55), Kyra Kiessling (80th, 23:14), Katia Blatnik (89th, 23:40), Melanie Wayts (132nd, 25:11) and Abby Richardson (141st, 25:26) also competed for North’s ‘A’ team.
Taryn Trem (25:20), Matison Schmitz (28:27), Olivia Godshall (30:45), Katrina Kovach (31:09), Kira Casebeer (31:31), Brooke Snyder (33:26) and Ashley Chase (33:48) ran for the B squad.
Senior Jason Reik opened his final year of high school cross country with a 41st place finish in 17:54.
“I was very satisfied with how I placed at such a big invitational, especially for it being the first race of the year,” Reik said. “I was happy with my time because I was only 17 seconds away from my (personal record) and we still have a lot more meets to come. I know from here there will be small improvements along the way to get me to the time I want to be at.”
Reik is approaching each meet with a sense of urgency.
“Since it is my senior year, I know I have to give every race my all and to not leave anything left on the table,” he said.
Troy Federici (19:15), Gabe Meros (20:21), Ethan Karis (20:51), Matt Colton (20:59), John Keough (21:07), David Vaiksnoras (21:36), Anthony Cirino (21:53) and Bryan Duda (22:03) also competed for the Rangers.