Lakeside runners do well in season’s first cross country meet

By Josh Beavers

The Lakeside Cross Country team travelled to Choudrant over the weekend to compete in the first meet of the season.

Coach Eric Smith took eight runners on the trip. There were 16 schools represented with more than 170 total runners.

“Everyone did awesome,” Smith told The Journal. “The first race is always the hardest because everyone’s excited and nervous all at the same time.”

Kendrayvious Dubose (39th overall out of 102) and Jairo Aguinaga (50th overall) finished in the top half of the boys race. Luke Mandino, Peyton Gray, and Brandon Bell all set a personal record. This was also the first cross country race for Gray and Bell.

“The girls did amazing,” Smith continued. “This was the first-ever cross country race for all three, and all three are only in seventh grade.”

Kelly Basinger finished 24th overall out of 70. She was the third-fastest seventh grader at the race. Maggie Mandino finished 61st overall and Elizabeth Burson finished 67th overall. All three girls set a personal record and competed in the varsity race running against high school athletes.

The team has meets on just about every weekend from now until the LHSAA state meet on Nov. 15 in Natchitoches.

This weekend high school runners will be at Parkway’s race in South Bossier, followed by Cedar Creek’s race in Ruston at Lincoln Parish Park. “Then we are off to Holy Savior Menard in Alexandria, and then we head to Texarkana for the first time to compete in the Dragon Country Invitational,” Smith said. “We have a couple of weeks with no races, but we will be preparing for our own Lakeside race, and finally there is the state meet at NSU.”