A trio of HHS girls run together during last week's Hollister Invitational. From left, junior Allie Benoist, junior Summer Bittle and sophomore Lilly Kincaid. Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Houston High School’s boys cross country team had a memorable outing last Thursday at the 22-team Hollister Invitational.

Houston placed fourth out of 11 teams that posted 5-runner scores, as several Tigers turned in personal-record times on the flat-and-fast 3.1-mile course.

Sophomore Jack Sawyer led the Tigers, placing 21st in a field of 113 runners with a PR time of 18:44.31. Junior Connor McKinney was next for the Tigers, placing 27th with a PR of 19:11.52, while sophomore Warren Hinkle ran 31st at 19:30.10, senior Jake Allen came in 35th at 19:37.53 and junior Riley Talbott rounded out the team’s score by placing 50th with a PR time of 20:15.42.

HHS junior Riley Talbott (250) runs toward the finish line during last week’s Hollister Invitational.

With five runners finishing in the individual top-15, Springfield Catholic took the team win.

In girls competition, Houston finished fifth out of seven scoring teams.

Junior Kristen Ely was first to finish for the Lady Tigers, placing 20th in a field of 78 runners with a time of 22:54.82. Sophomore Natalie Clinton was right behind in 21st at 22:57.19, while junior Allie Benoist came in 35th, sophomore Lilly Kincaid ran 38th and junior Summer Bittle placed 39th.

Chadwick won with five girls finishing in the individual top-10.

Running on the course gave the Tigers and Lady Tigers a preview of where they’ll compete in districts, as Hollister will host the Class 3 District 2 meet on Oct. 28.

“I told the kids they’re going to have to run faster,” said HHS head coach Justin Brown. “Even the boys; I told them they’re going to have to be in the bottom 18s if they want to do well.”

The starting line at Hollister is tighter than most.

“It’s going to be pretty congested at districts,” Brown said.

The two HHS teams compete twice this week, running Tuesday at Ava and Thursday at Plato.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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