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Lakenheath's Sean Marts strides towards the finish of a 5-kilometer race during a high school cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Marts earned third place with a time of 18 minutes and 13 seconds.
Lakenheath's Sean Marts strides towards the finish of a 5-kilometer race during a high school cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Marts earned third place with a time of 18 minutes and 13 seconds. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
Lakenheath's Sean Marts strides towards the finish of a 5-kilometer race during a high school cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Marts earned third place with a time of 18 minutes and 13 seconds.
Lakenheath's Sean Marts strides towards the finish of a 5-kilometer race during a high school cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Marts earned third place with a time of 18 minutes and 13 seconds. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
Vilseck runner Johnathan Alvarado sprints towards the finish line of a 5-kilometer race during a high school cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, October 13, 2018. Alvarado earned second place with a time of 18 minutes and 2 seconds.
Vilseck runner Johnathan Alvarado sprints towards the finish line of a 5-kilometer race during a high school cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, October 13, 2018. Alvarado earned second place with a time of 18 minutes and 2 seconds. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
High school boys cross country athletes from Lakenheath, Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem running the first lap of a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. The boys top three finishers were Matthew Cavanaugh at 17 minutes, 48 seconds, Johnathan Alvarado at 18:02 and Sean marts at 18:13.
High school boys cross country athletes from Lakenheath, Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem running the first lap of a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. The boys top three finishers were Matthew Cavanaugh at 17 minutes, 48 seconds, Johnathan Alvarado at 18:02 and Sean marts at 18:13. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
Lakenheath's Matthew Cavanaugh leads the first lap of a 5-kilometer race during a high school cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Cavanaugh finished first with a time of 17 minutes and 48 seconds.
Lakenheath's Matthew Cavanaugh leads the first lap of a 5-kilometer race during a high school cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Cavanaugh finished first with a time of 17 minutes and 48 seconds. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
High school cross country runners from Lakenheath, Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem start a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. The boys top three finishers were Matthew Cavanaugh at 17 minutes, 48 seconds, Johnathan Alvarado at 18:02 and Sean marts at 18:13.
High school cross country runners from Lakenheath, Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem start a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. The boys top three finishers were Matthew Cavanaugh at 17 minutes, 48 seconds, Johnathan Alvarado at 18:02 and Sean marts at 18:13. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
Lakenheath cross country runner Jenna Bills sprints towards the finish line of a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Bills earned third place with a time of 22 minutes and 56 seconds.
Lakenheath cross country runner Jenna Bills sprints towards the finish line of a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Bills earned third place with a time of 22 minutes and 56 seconds. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
Lakenheath cross country runner Annie Roundy runs the final lap of a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Roundy earned second place with a time of 22 minutes and 10 seconds.
Lakenheath cross country runner Annie Roundy runs the final lap of a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. Roundy earned second place with a time of 22 minutes and 10 seconds. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
Lakenheath cross country runner Hollie Myers sprints to finish during a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, October 13, 2018. Myers finished first with a time of 21 minutes and 34 seconds.
Lakenheath cross country runner Hollie Myers sprints to finish during a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, October 13, 2018. Myers finished first with a time of 21 minutes and 34 seconds. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
High school cross country runners from Lakenheath, Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem in the first lap of a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. The Lancers earned the top three finishing times with Hollie Myers at 21 minutes, 34 seconds, Annie Roundy at 22:10 and Jenna Bills at 22:56.
High school cross country runners from Lakenheath, Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem in the first lap of a 5-kilometer race at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. The Lancers earned the top three finishing times with Hollie Myers at 21 minutes, 34 seconds, Annie Roundy at 22:10 and Jenna Bills at 22:56. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)
High school runners from Lakenheath, Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem begin a 5-kilometer race during a cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. The Lancers earned the top three finishing times with Hollie Myers at 21 minutes, 34 seconds, Annie Roundy at 22:10 and Jenna Bills at 22:56.
High school runners from Lakenheath, Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem begin a 5-kilometer race during a cross country meet at RAF Lakenheath, England, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. The Lancers earned the top three finishing times with Hollie Myers at 21 minutes, 34 seconds, Annie Roundy at 22:10 and Jenna Bills at 22:56. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)

RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Cross country teams from Alconbury, Vilseck and Spangdahlem braved the high winds of the British countryside during a meet hosted by Lakenheath on Saturday.

Homecoming week was good for the Lancers with girls’ and boys’ teams both earning top three finishes in the 5-kilometer course around the school campus.

Lakenheath girls outpaced the rest of the pack with top three times by Hollie Myers at 21 minutes, 34 seconds, Annie Roundy (22:10) and Jenna Bills (22:56).

“I just keep moving and try to run faster and faster,” said Myers, a second-year runner. “What helps me go faster is when I hear someone breathing or their feet stomping.”

The boys top three went to Lakenheath’s Matthew Cavanaugh (17:48), Vilseck’s Johnathan Alvarado (18:02) and Lakenheath’s Sean Marts (18:13).

Cavanaugh said cross country is the first sport that’s motivating him as an athlete.

“All my life I’ve been smaller than everyone and felt like I’ve had a disadvantage,” Cavanaugh said. “When I got to do cross country I excelled at it, I started getting first in races and that just kept me going.”

Cavanaugh hopes to beat his best time in preparation for competition at this year’s DODEA European championships.

“This season I want to break 17 minutes,” Cavanaugh said. “I’m getting closer, but I need to work harder, dream bigger and keep pushing.”

Runners with any gas left in the tank sprinted the final stretch of the race along the school track.

A crowd of family and teammates cheered for all runners as each crossed the finish line.

howard.william@stripes.com

Twitter: @Howard_Stripes

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