Lancers find toughest competition among themselves
By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 23, 2017
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — It was a perfect Saturday morning run for the Lancer cross country team during its second meet of the season against Alconbury, despite a sprinkling rain.
Lakenheath not only took the top five spots for both girls and boys varsity in the 5-kilometer course around the school campus, but also had 14 of its runners finish in less than 25 minutes.
They all started as a team but every footstep and every breath brought them further away from each other and closer to crossing the finish.
The top three times for girls were earned by Hailey Myers in 22 minutes, 18 seconds, Trinity Cisneros (23:34) and Mistika Delagarza (24:10).
The boys top three went to Andrew Riess (18:32), Patrick Arnold (18:55) and Alex Rodriguez (19:06).
Lancer runner Freedom Tansley initially led the boy’s race but finished in fourth place after he began to slow in the last mile, allowing Riess and Arnold to pass and Rodriguez to sprint to a finish just three seconds ahead of him.
Riess ran with Tansley in the first half of the race but increased his pace around the second mile marker. He admitted his win was surprising because he’s been feeling sick all week and forgot to eat breakfast.
“I started to realize that I didn’t feel as terrible as I thought I would so I started to pick it up,” Riess said. “It’s definitely not my best time but it was a really good race.”
Last fall, Riess earned his fastest 5-kilometer run of 17:53 seconds and said he hopes to beat his personal record this season by training with longer runs.
“I’ve been getting over shin splints for the first few weeks of the season because I didn’t get as much summer training as I wanted,” Riess said. “I’m going to try to add mileage on because I haven’t been able to do that many distance runs and that’s how you really pick up your pace in cross country.”
Lakenheath coach John Gilmore said he feels good about a team appearance in this year’s DODEA European championships but doesn’t think his team gets enough chances to run against Division I schools.
“We need to be able to compete against the best,” Gilmore said.
AFNORTH was supposed to compete, but didn’t come and Alconbury only ran three girls and six boys for varsity.