CHARITON — The Davis County cross country teams both pulled out first-place finishes at the Charition Invitational Thursday.
The Mustang boys finished with a score of 23, while the Davis Country girls' final tally was 26. Zach Hougland spearheaded the Mustang boys' efforts by taking first overall with a time of 16:48, while Addie McKee led the Davis County girls by finishing first overall with 15:30. The race marked the first time ever that Hougland has finished first in a race.
"He’s always been knocking on the door," Davis County coach Josh Husted said. "Last year as a freshman being an individual state qualifier, we’ve been talking to him about shifting the gears during the race. I told him before the race this could be a big night for him. I wanted to see him run out to front and shift those gears during the race. He’ll probably remember that the rest of his life.”
Although Hougland and McKee were the Mustangs' bellwethers, the top 10 rankings in both meets were swimming with Davis County harriers.
For the boys, Mustang Doug Turner notched third place with 17:22 and Jonathon Rintala came in fourth with 17:53. Ally McClure gave the Davis County girls a boost by taking third with 16:09 and Kalleigh Tharp came in fifth with 16:56.
Rounding out the top 10 for the boys were Coty Good, who took seventh with 18:29; Logan Faler, who took eighth with 18:32; and Chris Harvey, who took ninth with 18:33. Ryan Fowler was the only Mustang boy to finish a little outside of the top 10 — he finished 14th with 18:57.
Rounding out the top 10 for the girls was Marissa Hamburg, who corralled eighth with 17:12; Jaylynn Sharp, who snared ninth with 17:33; and Sarah Early, who nabbed 10th with 17:48. In addition, Kaylee Snyder finished just outside the top 10, taking 11th with 17:53.
“To get to state, you have to tighten things up between your first and fifth runners," Husted said. "The girls know they have what it takes to qualify for state. The boys needed a good meet like this to build up some confidence going into next week’s district meet at Tipton.
“This was a real confidence booster. It lets both teams know they have what it takes to both qualify for state. Our goal is to peak at the right time. We just need to do our job next week.”
Hometown Chariton took third in the boys' meet with 99 and Centerville finished fourth with 114. In the girls' meet, Centerville corralled third with 77, Moravia nabbed fourth with 83 and Chariton came in fifth with 96.
Team scoring — 1. Davis County 23, 2. Pella Christian 49, 3. Chariton 99, 4. Centerville 114, 5. Pleasantville 121.
Davis County Runners — 1. Zach Hougland 16:48, 3. Doug Turner 17:22, 4. Jonathan Rintala 17:53, 7. Cody Good 18:29, 8. Logan Faler 18:32, 9. Chris Harvey 18:33, 14. Ryan Fowler 18:57.
Team scoring — 1. Davis County 26, 2. Pleasantville 43, 3. Centerville 77, 4. Moravia 83, 5. Chariton 96, 6. Pella Christian 139.
Davis County Runners — 1. Addie McKee 15:30, 3. Ally McClure 16:09, 5. Kalleigh Tharp 16:56, 8. Marissa Hamburg 17:12, 9. Jaylynn Sharp 17:33, 10. Sarah Early 17:48, 11. Kaylee Snyder 17:53.