by Robert Baldwin
Ramstein’s Connor Mackie made it two weeks in a row as he cruised to the victory in a cross country meet at Seewoog on Sept. 14. The Royals boys finished in eight of the first 11 places. SHAPE’s Sam Dowdell was second. Ben Brewster, Blake Peterson, Gideon Zaug, Jacob Golden and Ezra Letz were third through seventh. Baumholder’s top finisher was Jacob Cruz in 13th place.
Mackie ran the five-kilometer trail in 17 minutes and 44 seconds. Ramstein had 17 points to Brussels American School’s 64. SHAPE was third followed by Baumholder.
Mackie normally runs a race pace from start to finish but this week he tested a new approach. “I wanted to try a new game plan. Harder for the first lap and then set a race pace,” he said. It worked. He is undefeated so far this fall.
The Ramstein girls were also victorious, but the margin of victory was not as vast. The Royals, led by Nadia Rahman, Alexis Pierre-Louise, eighth grader McCall Dalpais and Sophia Pak’s second through fifth finishes outpointed SHAPE 33 to 39. Pak’s closing sprint pushed her past three SHAPE runners and secured the victory for the Royals.
“I was happy to see the Ramstein runners grouped together in front of me,” Pak said. “They inspired me to push hard on the last lap.”
Baumholder finished third with Madison Brech placing ninth.
In Stuttgart, Kaiserslautern’s Griffin Parcells finished at 17 minutes even over the five-kilometer course to win the six-team race. Kaiserslautern’s Ethan Cooper was tenth. Between them were eight Stuttgart runners. The Panthers won the team title with 20 points. The Raiders were runners up with 63.
In the girl’s race, Kaiserslautern’s top finisher was Kayla Ballard in eighth place. The winner was, as usual, Stuttgart’s outstanding McKinley Fielding in 18:33. Stuttgart took three of the top four places. Jillian Donmoyer of Kaiserslautern finished in 15th place and Piper Parcells was 19th. Overall, the Raiders finished fourth with 86 points, just nine less than second place Wiesbaden.
The Royals and Kaiserslautern will compete in Wiesbaden tomorrow.