Competitors in the high school varsity boys race leave the starting line during a cross country meet last Thursday at Willow Springs.

For the first time since the mid-1980s, cross country runners from Houston competed in a meet last week.

Zach B runs

Houston junior Zach Brannan (243) runs on the Willow Springs Municipal Golf Course during a large cross country meet last Thursday.

The event was staged Thursday at the Willow Springs Municipal Golf Course, and featured more than a dozen schools and included both high school and junior high school teams.

Teams scores were not available at press time, but the top three finishers in the high school varsity boys race were Sam Shuman of Spokane, Josh Bettendorf of Hartville and Grant Stewart of Spokane.

Houston had 12 runners in the event, including two in the varsity boys competition as well as one varsity girl, two junior varsity boys, three junior high boys and four junior high girls.

Hunter runs

HHS sophomore Hunter McKinney runs in the season-opening cross country meet last week at Willow Springs.

Sophomore Hunter McKinney brought home Houston’s first cross country medal of the new era by finishing 14th with a time of 20:16 on the 3.1-mile course (the top 15 received medals). Houston coach Michelle Henshaw said  noteworthy individual performances  were turned in by Lacey Cavaness, who placed 49th in a field of 118 in the JV girls race, and Connor Chamberlain, who finished with one of his fastest times in the JV boys race.

Houston runners headed to Bourbon for a meet on Monday of this week and will compete next Monday at Plato.

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