Russellville cross country reports good effort at state
It was Russellville High School’s third trip to state for cross country, and seven out of Coach Kevin England’s nine competitors set new personal records.
A girls team and three individual boys qualified to compete at the Oakville Indian Mounds.
The girls team finished ninth out of 12 teams.
Naydelin Romero-Momentey finished 22nd overall out of 119 runners, with a time of 20 minutes and 59 seconds – a career personal record.
“She’s been trying to break 21 all season, and she finally did in the last race of the season,” England said. “She was all smiles.”
In fact, each runner on the girls team set a new personal record: Sofia Bahena, 59th, 22.32; Maria Bahena, 86th, 24.03; Cecilia Juan, 91st, 24.45; Katie Skidmore, 98th, 25.00; and Katherine Peacock, 113th, 27.39.
Peacock was new to the cross country team this year. England said she has improved by leaps and bounds since she joined up midway through the season. Comparing her times all season with her performance at state, “she blew them all out of the water.”
Romero-Momentey, England said, had four Top Five finishes this year, highlighted by her win at the Helena Invitational last month.
Although RHS couldn’t field a full boys team, three individual boys competed. Daniel Montiel, who had one Top Five finish and three Top Ten finishes this season, finished 34th at the state meet last year. England said Montiel faced a more competitive field this year, finishing 53rd with a time of 18.31 of 135 runners. Justin Howard finished 68th with a time of 18.58. “His previous PR was 19.23, so he obliterated it,” England said. Charlie Felix ran to 83rd place with a 19.38 finish.
For England’s part, he is proud of his runners’ accomplishments against stiff competition and eager to continue the growth of the cross-country program at RHS and, as it continues to develop, begin to build some continuity. Right now, “every year is a start-over year,” England said. “We’re progressing in the right direction. It’s just a matter of getting the word out and getting these middle school kids involved and getting some more from RMS to start participating.”