Cross country race into new season

Julie Calzonetti 

Sugar Beet staff reporter

The men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off their season in Great Bend, Kan.  After graduating several valuable seniors in the past season, Coach Krista Linenberger (Coach L) and Coach Derek Algrim have been busting this year’s team into shape in preparation for a successful and memorable season. 

“The workouts this season have been harder than last season, we’ve been doing a lot of two-a days consisting of longer runs in the morning and a harder, faster pace workout in the afternoon,” Taylor Savolt, senior varsity runner, said. 

The team has had  the option to practice in the pool some mornings for rehabilitation and injury prevention. 

“I love having Coach Algrim and Coach L as coaches, they know what we are capable of and push us to new limits we didn’t know were possible,”sophomore varsity runner, Elly Murrell said.  

“Coach L is a great coach who really knows what she’s doing, we all love  and respect her so much.  Algrim is also a great coach, he puts a lot of time and effort into making our workouts. He even does the whole workout himself before to assure we get the most out of it and has time to change it or do whatever he needs to before we run it,” added Savolt. 

Due to the expected high temperatures of meet day, the course was shortened to four kilometers (2.6 miles) instead of the traditional five kilometer (3.1 miles) race. The men’s junior varsity team came out on top. Some of the top finishers consisted of  Juillian Martiniz finishing in first, Nicholas Levya in second and Zane Roth in sixth. The women’s junior varsity also finished in first place with some of the top finishers being Maria Banderas in first, Taylor Pence in third and Elly Murrell coming in fourth. Men’s varsity finished in second place overall behind Great Bend with the highest finishers being Ethan Fisher in seventh and Angel Ayala in eighth. The women’s varsity finished in third place overall behind Great Bend in first and Salina South in second. The top finishers in that race were Taylor Savolt coming in ninth, Destiny Avila in eleventh and Kaety Kohlhorst in fourteenth place. 

“This first meet was definitely a good starting point for our season,” senior first year runner, Nathanial Hubbard said. “We all have room to improve and we are excited for what we can accomplish individually and as a team going forward.”

The buffs continued their season by traveling to Hesston, Kansas to compete in the Swather Special. Consisting of 51 teams, the competition was tougher and divided by grade instead of junior varsity and varsity. The top finishers from each grade included Maria Banderas finishing in eighth place for freshman girls, Juillian Martinez coming out on top in the freshman boys race, Elly Murrell finishing eleventh place for sophomore girls and Brody Hoff in ninth for sophomore boys. Destiny Avila came in eighth for the junior girls, Ethan Fisher finishing seventh in junior boys, Taylor Savolt coming in ninth for senior girls and lastly Javyn Contreras rounding out in seventh for the senior boys. 

Julie Calzonetti is a public service sophomore, you can contact her at

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