RV Cross Country finishes strong

| November 2, 2015

PICKERINGTON – The River View boys and girls cross country teams ran their way through opponents and various injuries, illnesses and pains throughout this year’s fall campaign earning a spot at the regional meet held at Pickerington North High School on Saturday, Oct. 31. The Pickerington region is always a tough place to earn a spot to state – with only the top four teams and the top 16 individuals making their way to the state meet that will be held this weekend.

The River View boy’s team placed sixth with a total time of 1:28:42, a mere six seconds away from first place and less than a second from fourth place finisher Indian Valley. The top individual finisher for the Bears was Michael Hardesty in the 18th spot with a time of 17:03.5.

Other members of the boys team from RV placed as follows: Sophomore Austin Hill in 29th, 17:26.3; sophomore Sawyer Neal in 56th, 17:58.0; senior Caleb Pendola in 60th, 18:04.2; sophomore Lane Beatty in 67th, 18:09.7; sophomore Jordan Olinger in 101st, 18:46.9; and senior David Birbeck in 119th, 19:30.7. A total of 129 male runners were scored.

The Black Bear lady runners placed ninth with a total time of 1:47.04, less than eight seconds out of first place and only four and a half seconds out of fourth place finisher Athens. Senior runner Bella Pendola was the top finisher for the black and gold in 28th position with a time of 20:27.2.

Other members of the lady Bears team placed as follows: sophomore Cassidi Bookless in 52nd, 21:14.0; freshman Rachel Allen in 56th, 21:19.5; junior Madison Beach in 70th, 21:58.3; junior Kelsey Strange in 72nd, 22:04.2; junior Macy Hill in 85th, 22:82.2; and junior Sarah Eick in 107th, 23:46.5. A total of 122 lady runners were scored.

Head coach Gwenna Neal said, “Overall, with both teams I couldn’t have asked for a better year when it comes to learning how to be a team. They exemplified that in every way possible. Every time an obstacle came up they rose to the challenge – above it even. As a coach, this team was 100 percent committed to the team. And that was a focus for this season. As a result of that, they challenged one another to get better. That bond was the catalyst for many of our successes. On the back of our shirts is a quote from Napoleon Bonaparte, ‘There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind.’ We went back to that many times this season. The maturity of these kids was beyond my expectation and beyond their grade level. The mental strength of both teams will continue to grow as will their bond as teammates.”

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