Lakenheath runners setting the pace
Working on the first of two laps during their cross-country race at RAF Lakenheath, England, members of the Lakenheath team run in a pack Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.
Stars and Stripes
RAF LAKENHEATH, England – The first cross-country race in England for 2013 on Saturday brought together three teams with a lot to prove and a lot of room to improve.
Lakenheath dominated the home meet, with Brandon Moorehead, a junior, coming in first for the boys in 19 minutes flat and Shelby Linafelter taking first for the girls in 22:49. Lakenheath swept the top eight spots in the boys race and four of the top six places in the girls.
“Actually, they did quite well,” Lakenheath coach John Gilmore said. “The boys in particular did quite well, the girls we’ve had a few injuries, so we’ve got a ways go yet there; the boys I was real pleased with, but we still have a ways to go.”
Last season ended in tough fashion for Lakenheath, particularly the girls. Having finished the regular season with Lancer girls holding the first, second and seventh best times of the season, Lakenheath as a team did not make it to the top three at the European finals. Mckayla Boden, Lakenheath’s top runner last year, came in 20th at the tournament.
Alconbury’s coach Brent Cogswell said his team is also in a rebuilding year. The Dragons only brought four boys and three girls to the race and only three return from last year, he said. Adel Teti’s second-place finish in the girls race was the highlight Saturday.
“We’re trying to get everybody up to qualifying time” for the European championship, Cogswell said.
Menwith Hill, set to close in the next few years, brought the smallest number of runners to the race with two boys and one girl and they are inexperienced in cross country running. Like Alconbury, Pat Brew, the team’s new coach, said they have individual goals to work on.
Brew’s top placing boy, Brandon Nungester, a freshman, came close to make his qualifying time for championship, but only placed 12th in 21:32.
“They did about what we hoped,” Brew said.