Blistering heat coated the course at South Putnam High School for the Eagle Medley Thursday, a combination of 3K, 4K and 5K races amongst the squads at the meet.
Five of the six WCC squads were present, along with former member Speedway. Even with conference competition on hand, the meet had a more relaxed tone as runners battled the weather as much as they did one another.
South Putnam's girl's squad won the girls' half of the meet with a total of 21 team points. Cascade won the boys' side won with 26 points, four better than the host Eagles and five better than Speedway.
Winning racers on the day included Emma Hoffmann of Monrovia and Hunter Barr of South Putnam in the 3K race, Katie Douglas of North Putnam and Matt Shepard of Cascade in the 4K run, and Holly Scott of Speedway and Levi Musson of Cascade in the 5K.
For most of the county coaches, it was a meet to get through while getting an idea of what's to come later.
"I haven't seen times, but it's a hot night. We're young, but guys competed. Hunter was able to win the 3K, after being in second at the turn. He was able to compete and put himself into a position to win," Eagle head coach Brian Gardner said.
"They got a chance to measure themselves. Greencastle wasn't here, and they've been the favorites for the last three years, but we got a chance to measure against everybody else.
"This was kind of a fun run atmosphere, running different races. But at the end of the day, it was a chance for these guys to compete," Gardner added.
Fellow Eagle head coach Brandon Welti added, "It was another workout. We ran to put in a hard effort. We didn't approach this as something too serious. The main concern was keeping everyone healthy and not letting anyone get overheated."
"The times were decent. They weren't as fast as what you would expect on a nicer day. I'm content with the way we raced today."
North Putnam head coach Kevin Lutes was upbeat on the day.
"I was real happy with what they did. We've got a lot of new kids to the program. For some, this was the first meet they were able to compete at," Lutes said.
"Katie ran a really strong race. Everyone ran a smart race. No one went out way to fast or died at the end. We can bring them all home, so I'm happy."
"Every body was very positive. It was good for Katie to see a little bit more competition, helpful to see some sectional squads. Dalton Spear ran a very smart race. He was under 20:00 minutes and broke 19:00 the other night," Lutes added.
"Considering the heat and the short amount of practices we've had because of our meets, I'm happy with what they're doing. They've got a ways to go, but I'm happy with their improvement every meet," Cloverdale head coach Rod Mann said.
"Jordan Smith came up from the back and placed second in the 4K run and I'm happy with that," Mann added.
"We're going to take what we saw last Tuesday and today and incorporate that into our training and teach them to be more mentally strong. There's good competition out there and they have to learn to compete just a little bit better than they are."
At South Putnam
Team Scores: South Putnam 21
3K: 1. Hoffman (M), 2. Nally (CL), 3. Jones (SP), 4. Higgins (SP), 5. Hensley (CA)
4K: 1. Douglas (NP), 2. Glaze (SP), 3. Monnett (CL), 4. Nield (SP), 5. Mi. Cherry (SP)
5K: 1. Scott (SW), 2. Frederick (CA), 3. Egold (SP), 4. Thomason (M), 5. Scales (SP)
Team Scores: Cascade 26, South Putnam 30, Speedway 31, Cloverdale 48, North Putnam 56
3K: 1. Barr (SP), 2. Fox (CA), 3. Rumley (CL), 4. Osborn (N), 5. Vandermark (SP)
4K: 1. Shepard (CA), 2. Smith (CL), 3. Potts (SP), 4. Eyra (SW), 5. Lewis (SW)
5K: 1. Musson (CA), 2. Nowrowzi (M), 3. Spear (NP) 4. Scott (SW), 5. Warren (SW)