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Meet Recap: FPR Hay Bale Meet

October 3, 2020

With the pandemic limiting opportunities in the 2020 cross country season, Coach Julius Belton’s Katy Express runners clearly did not see the FPR Speed Hay Bale Run as any kind of warm-up event. Despite an extremely large of field, our athletes put up incredibly impressive results.

Coach Belton offered praise for his young team. “I feel they ran with heart and passion,” he said. “This was the first meet of the season, and they did not disappoint.”

Rising star Madison Morgan led the team with her dominating performance in the JV Girls race. Her time of 16:02 was 21 seconds better than second place and two minutes and 15 seconds better than third. Madison is going to become very well known as her career progresses.

“To be such a young runner, Madison competes like a veteran,” said Coach Belton. “Madison runs well above her age and steps up to the challenge.”

On the JV Boys side, Kyle Mwangi announced his presence with a third place finish. Connor Prestenbach had a strong start to his season in the same race.

As usual with the Katy Express team, the most participation came in the younger groups. Five runners competed in the middle school boys of 15:14. Four of our runners – Griffine Saacke, Aiden Johnson, Travis Piccirillo, and Ryan Coleman – posted excellent times to begin their season. Our fifth runner, Michael Villafranca, showed grit and determination by finishing the race despite experiencing an injury during it.

In the Middle School girls event, Rowan Saacke picked up where she left off during her outstanding 2019 campaign by finishing 4th overall, missing third place by just one second. Her friend and teammate Meghan Carlson finished 26th overall in an excellent debut. Olivia Johnson ran a strong race to complete an excellent overall performance by the team.

Katy Express had three runners in the 3rd to 5th grade race. Elias Mollett, Gage Virga, and Travis Brawner all ran strong races. Our lone participant in the 3rth 5th grade girls race – Lainey Siska – finished 34th in a very large field.

The Katy Express always has outstanding young runners. Max Nowlin seems set to continue that tradition with his second place finish in 2nd Grade and Under Boys.

This season is certainly going to present challenges unlike any Cross Country season in history. However, the Katy Express is poised to meet all those challenges with the unique combination of intensity and joy that Coach Belton’s teams bring every year to running.

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