The Berries finished 2nd out of 14 teams in the Jacob Graf Memorial Invitational XC Meet on Saturday morning on their home course. Maconaquah’s Lady Braves won the meet with 57 points followed by the Berries with 104, Western at 109, Cass at 114, Winamac 145, Caston 156, Northwestern 157, Eastern 189, Tipton 189, Kokomo 217, Tippecanoe Valley 283, Lafayette Jefferson 315, and Pioneer with 352. Peru had an incomplete team.
The Berries were led by junior Carolayn Salamanca who finished 9th in 22:34. Teammate Maria Perez, a freshman running in her first cross country race, was right behind in 10th with a time of 22:43. Gabby Reyes was 26th in 24:15, Azucena Hernandez finished in 30th with 24:23, and Gabby Richie, another freshman in her first varsity competition was 35th in 24:31. Rounding out the varsity were Emily Viera (47th) in 25:29 and Lacey Ogle (50th) in 25:38.
“I wasn’t sure how we would compete today because four of our top five finishers had not competed in a varsity race before today. Needless to say, they were impressive and competed with poise and courage. Coach Bauman and I are very pleased with this group of girls. They work hard and want to get better. That is our goal – to keep improving as the season progresses. Today was a big test for our new runners and they passed it with flying colors. We can’t be satisfied with today’s second place finish though because there were several teams right there together today and things can change a lot over the course of the season,” said Berries coach, Brian Morrill.
The Junior Varsity Berries won their portion of the competition with 25 points and were followed by Cass with 48 points. Leading the JV Berries were Alexa Pasquale with a 2nd place finish, Cecially Martinez was 3rd, Ryann Wylie (4th), Maggie Fincher (6th), Irasema Munoz (10th), Kayla Ortiz (14th), and Jessica Mateo (18th) finished out the top 7 JV finishers.
The Berries will host the Cass County XC Meet next Saturday morning.