The Katy Express did not have to leave the station this week as it hosted the first of its two meets this season at Mason Creek Park in Katy. The home club hosted 5 other teams on an absolutely gorgeous fall morning. “Our third annual cross country meet was a success,” said head coach Julius Belton. “All of the athletes that participated ran hard and had fun. Most of these athletes haven’t competed since 2019 so to see them running again was a delight for all.”
The first member of the Express to cross the finish line was Kyle Mwangi who finished third in the 15 and 16 year old boys race with a time of 19.39.47. In the 15 and 16 year old girls race, Madison Morgan continued her excellent season with a first-place time of 19.43.40.
Coach Belton had high praise for Madison’s performance. “Madison Morgan dominated the field in the 5000 meters with her first place finish and a new PR!” he said.
The 5K race also saw the season’s first appearance of Junior Olympic National Champion Kevriana Scott who finished first in the 17 and 18 year old girls’ division. As always, Kevriana’s presence was a reminder to the rest of the team of what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication.
The team only had two participants in 13-14 age group. Taleah Washington deserves praise for her gritty performance in the Girls 13 and 14 year old race. She injured her ankle and, after a tearful attempt to finish the race, was forced to withdraw. Rylan Coleman was the team’s lone performer in the 13 and 14 year old boys race, posting a time of 17:43.
In the 11 and 12 year old girls division, Rowan Saacke took first place with a blistering time of 12.00.44. Teammates Meghan Carlson and Emmy Jane Kirkland posted strong times in the same event. “Rowan put on an amazing performance,” said Coach Belton.
On the boys’ side in the same age group, Aiden Johnson and Griffen Saacke finished third and fourth respectively with Travis Piccirillo coming in sixth. Aiden Reid and Travis Brawner ran strong races in the same division.
As usual, the most enthusiastic participants on the team were in the 9-10 and under 8 and under
divisions. Lainey Siska and Skyler Strittmatter ran hard in the Girls 9-10 year old race while Elias Mollett ran hard on the boys side. Gage Virga took first place in the boys 8 and Under race with teammates Maxwell Nowlin and Carter Dietz grabbing the second and third spots.
Coach Belton was very please with his youngest athletes. “Gage Virga had an outstanding race in the 8 and under boys 2000 m. I’m really proud of all of our kids. I saw a lot of PRs, and our new kids gained confidence.”
At a time when just having an even of this kind presents a large number of challenges, Katy Express was pleased by both the spirit and the respect to social distancing of all the runners and their families.