4 BHS runners compete in Hawkins, Neu invites

The Blanchester cross country team continues to improve its times as the season goes along, coach Sara Estrada said.

The Wildcats had four runners compete at the Vern Hawkins Invitational Wednesday at Georgetown.

“The weather was extremely hot, with a high heat index, but the course had several water stations along the way,” Estrada said. “The course is heavily wooded and provided a lot of shade, but it still did not provide complete relief in those high temperatures. Despite the weather, the majority of the runners improved their times and they all pushed through and finished strong. I cannot say enough … of these athletes. This is a difficult sport, that does not always receive a lot of recognition, and our team really showed a lot of heart in this meet.”

Brett Bandow had his best time of the season (21:03) and was 14th. Nick Musselman posted a season best of 21:34 and was 22nd overall. Joey Haines was 37th in 23:39.

Kenzie Kratzer, troubled by an ankle injury, Estrada said, was 28th in the girls race, finishing in 34:15.

Estrada said injuries and multi-sport athletes have left Blanchester with four runners at this point in the season.

On Sept. 3, BHS competed in the Jim Neu Invitational at Western Brown. The layout was set at two miles rather than the normal 3.1 miles for a high school cross country course, Estrada said.

Musselman medaled by finishing 15th while Haines was 36th and Bandow was 42nd. Kratzer was 55th in the girls race.