Washington’s Travis Elbert ran to an individual title last Thursday at the Rolla Invitational.
Elbert won the varsity boys cross country race with a time of 16:58.
“We had been setting Travis up all week to run against one of the best runners in the state. We were going to use it as a gauge to see where he was in relationship to districts. Glendale was not at the meet, so he was a little upset,” said Washington Coach Mike Olszowka. “We changed our game plan and told him this was his chance to win an invitational. He went to the front immediately and by the two-mile mark, he was all alone. That could have been a time for him to relax and cruise to the finish, but he ran the entire race. He ran his second-best time ever and did it on an extremely difficult course.”
The Blue Jays finished fifth in the team standings. Rolla won the boys title.
Tate Kitchell finished in sixth place in 17:24.
Also running for the Blue Jays were Josh Luck (26th in 19:33), Jacob Huxol (30th in 19:43) and Clayton Duchatschek (32nd in 20:06).
“The boys were missing their No. 3 and 4 runners. That did not phase the team,” Olszowka said. “Tate is steadily dropping time. Jacob ran on of his gutsiest races. Josh keeps improving every race. I think if you asked any of the boys about the race besides talking about Travis winning, they would talk about Clayton and his performance. He probably should not have run due to an injury, but he knew the team needed him to be our No. 5 for the team score. He ran with guts you only usually see out of an upperclassman.”
The Lady Jays place fourth in the girls standings. Rolla claimed the girls crown.
Josie Plowman paced Washington with an eighth-place finish in 21:26.
Also running for WHS were Ashton Leslie (12th in 22:14), Alex Ready (18th in 23:27), Cheyanne Leslie (19th in 23:33), Kassy Briggs (28th in 25:09), Brandy Huyser (31st in 25:55) and Erin Ready (36th in 32:21).
“The girls team ran very strong. Josie and Ashton are at a bit of a plateau, holding steady, but not advancing. That will come in two weeks,” Olszowka said. “I can’t say enough on how Cheyanne and Alex have progressed over the last couple of weeks.”
For complete results from the meet, visit www.mo.milesplit.com.