MOUNT VERNON — Saturday’s Mount Vernon Kiwanis Cross Country Invitational was supposed to be a chance for the Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets to show off their home course while, at the same time, competing against the best in the area.
This year’s race, the eighth annual, turned into a learning experience for the Jackets.
Despite a fifth-place finish by Mount Vernon’s Perry Studebaker, the boys team finished seventh out of eight teams in Saturday’s race. The girls finished eighth.
The Mount Vernon girls were led by junior Anne Baldwin, who finished 26th (23:07.2).
“It’s our home course, so all of our families are here to watch us,” said Baldwin. “So we wanted to do good.”
Saturday was the warmest morning in weeks in Mount Vernon, affecting times across the board.
“You have to drink lots of water,” said Baldwin. “We had a meet in New Albany on Tuesday in the afternoon, so we kind of got adjusted to running in the heat. I thought it would be cooler, since we’re running in the morning.”
“There are some spots where you run in the trees under the shade,” said Herper Kerkhoff, who finished 45th with a time of 23:49.0. “So that gives you a break, and it kind of cools you off and lets you keep going.”
The Mount Vernon girls team is loaded with juniors. Besides Baldwin, the team was paced by Shannon Pae (25:37.8), Rachel Downey (25:50.3), Aubrey Wiest (25:58.7), Emily Williams (26:15.6) and Julie Lodahl (27:03.1).