The Rolla cross country team opened their season in the Richard Clark Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 2. The massive meet had over 1000 athletes with two varsity races, two JV races, two junior high races and two collegiate races. The event was co-hosted by Southwest Baptist University and Bolivar high school.

Rolla had a strong showing in their first event of the season with a total of five medalists at the varsity and JV levels. The girls ran particularly well, earning four of the five medals. Because of the high volume of runners, no team scores were kept in the races. 

Sophomore Emma Puetz got off to a great start to her season after qualifying for State as a freshman last season. She won the girls varsity race with a time of 19:12. While only two other varsity runners took part in the girls race for Rolla, they made the most of it. Krista Hilmas finished in 11th place to medal with a time of 20:41. Olivia Holmes claimed the second to last medal, finishing in 14th place with a time of 20:58.

The JV girls also saw one medalist when Kate Campbell finished in fifth with a time of 24:18. Vishaka Ho and Faith Aguilareon both finished in the top 30 but did not medal. Ho finished in 23rd with a time of 26:44, while Aguilarleon finished in 28th with a time of 27:25. 

For the boys, Alex Frisbee claimed the lone Rolla medal by placing 13th with a time of 17:01. Noah Crutcher finished in 49th in 18 minutes flat. Charles Victor placed 104th (19:37), Brandon Burris finished in 111th (19:44) and Charlie Roberts finished 115th (19:49) to round out the varsity.

In the boys JV race, Jonathan Carlson was just two spots away from medaling when he placed 17th with a time of 19:26. Wyatt Owens finished 54th (20:53), Tristan Lietz finished in 92nd (21:55) and Johnnie Swizdor finished in 98th (22:08).