HOLLISTER — Chadwick’s girls cross country team has already completed a hat trick three weeks into its inaugural season competing for team titles.
The Lady Cardinals captured the Hollister Invitational championship Thursday, while all but lapping the rest of the field. Coach Jenny Gardner’s team posted 30 points to easily outdistance runner-up Springfield Catholic’s 60-point total.
The Lady Cardinals' third title run was led by the continued emergence of twins Emily and Macy Landry and the comeback of Gretchen House.
Emily finished third in a time of 21:17, while Macy was fourth in 21:20.
The Landrys are freshmen who have burst upon the scene In much the manner as twins Alexis and Brocklyn Barber did for Ozark from 2015-2018 and Riley and Avery Arnold for Blue Eye from 2018-2021.
As Macy says, there’s nothing like having a training partner at home.
“With two of us running the same pace, we're able to grow off of each other and push each other,” Macy said. “When you run by yourself, there is no one there to push you.”
The Landrys recorded a 2-3 finish at the Fair Grove Invitational last week and placed fifth and seventh at the Strafford Invitational to begin the season.
“I didn't realize we’d do this well right away,” Macy said. “I'm very happy we are. I want to keep getting better and better from here on out.”
House finished eighth in 22:08 Thursday, after placing sixth at Fair Grove and 27th at Strafford.
House is regains strength and endurance following her rehab from a stress reaction in her right foot. She was a runner-up in the 3,200 at the Class 1 State Track Meet as a freshman two years ago, before her injury forced her to miss almost all of her sophomore season.
“I'm glad to be back out here,” House said. “It reminds me how much of a blessing it is to be here.”
House’s sophomore season in track was limited to meets at Republic and Spokane.
“The following Monday after the Spokane meet, after working out I couldn't walk,” she said. “That was about the time I went to a doctor and ended up in a boot. I held out hope for a while (of returning) for track season. It was hard to lose it. “
House points to overuse as the reason for her injury.
"I did indoor track for the first time (last winter) and trained a lot on the treadmill,” she said. "I think the wear and tear over the winter accumulated right before I started track. The pain ended up being too much.”
House kept her foot immobilized in a boot for eight weeks.
The comeback trail saw her venture toward other forms of exercise.
“I spent a lot of time in the summer doing any cardio I could,” House said. “I was in the gym rowing, biking and swimming until I was released to run again. I'm pretty close to 100 percent now and running five days a week. I'm still building up my mileage. But for the most part I'm back.
“(The foot) certainly feels much better. I’m running and racing pain-free for the most part,” she added. “I’m looking for a building season. I'd like to see progress all the way to State. I want to make a statement this year and for my senior season finish off (high school) with a bang.”
Chadwick had five finishers in the top 34 Thursday.
Rae Little was 12th (22:15), Alexis Loveland 13th (22:16) and Madeline Sallee 34th (24:31).
House, Little and Loveland were the Lady Cardinals’ only runners the last two years.
“I think we appreciate (competing as a team) more because me, Rae and Lexi ran without a team,” House said. “We knew the potential we had. Jenny has done a wonderful job putting this team together. We've got a great team. We take a lot of pride in it We're grateful that there are five of us now to put Chadwick on the map.”
Sparta’s Rylie McMurry finished 10th (22:12) and Spokane’s Kate-Lynne Hensley was 27th (23:47).
In the boys race, Spokane’s Mason Walters placed 34th (19:31).