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Jessy Hart, Tristan Saultz named cross-country team MVPs


November 14, 2018

CROSS-COUNTRY award winners are, from left, Jessy Hart, Sicily Neuschwander, Noah Dinsfriend, Madelyn Neuschwander, Tristan Saultz, Bryce Porter, Gavin Walberg, Treyson Smith and Eddy Martinez-Maya.

Tristan Saultz and Jessy Hart were named the Outstanding Achievement athletes at the cross-country team's awards dinner Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Head Coach Kambria Schumacher noted that the two were among the most dedicated runners on the team, showing up for all the morning workouts and delivering performances that were among the tops on the team.

Saultz, a junior, was one of the top three performers on the boys team.

"He did what he needed to do to get better," Schumacher said. "The rest of the team looked up to him. He was valuable to the team because he pushed them."

Hart, a sophomore, was the only Husky to qualify for state, clocking 19:58 at the district meet, good for fourth place and a berth in the state championships.

"You tell her she'll do something and she doesn't really believe it," Schumacher said, "but she ran 19:58 as a sophomore. She's going to be a great runner."

Best Newcomer, which goes to a runner who often has no experience, went to senior Madelyn Neuschwander and sophomore Treyson Smith, for both of whom this was their first year of cross country.

Neuschwander, who also received a Most Inspirational award, was described by Schumacher and assistant Courtney Emmert as a tough runner who, although she didn't get the workouts and races they would have liked because she was also working and doubling with soccer, "was one of the most hard-working kids I've ever been around," who never complained and did what was asked, as Schumacher put it.

Smith, a wrestler who decided to try cross-country this year, improved his best time by over a minute throughout the season, posting his personal record on a course that wasn't particularly fast.

Also named Most Inspirational was freshman Eddy Martinez-Maya, who was one of the leading runners on the team but also kept things cheerful outside of races, Schumacher said.

Martinez-Maya also received the Congeniality Award, for spreading good cheer not only among his teammates but opposing teams as well, Emmert noted.

The Coaches Award went to senior Noah Dinsfriend who, Schumacher said, had a "difficult" year but maintained a "good attitude."

"He has so much to offer," she said. "I'm eager to see what he does with the rest of his life."

Emmert said Dinsfriend, who was team captain as well as the most experienced member of the team, gave her a lot of help when Schumacher was not available.

Most Improved honorees were sophomore Gavin Walberg and freshman Sicily Neuschwander.

Walberg improved his best time by 2:07, running 17:54 at the district championships.

Schumacher noted that Walberg went from the junior varsity last year to being one of the top three runners on the team by the end of this season.

"I can't believe how fast he ran this year," she said.

Neuschwander, a freshman who doubled in soccer, improved by 45 seconds between her first race, on a fast course, to the district championships, despite limited training.

"She was a hard worker," Schumacher said. "I didn't have to tell her twice what to do. I saw her less than the other kids on the team, but despite that she ran very well. She's very tough. It's a good quality to have in this sport."

The Junior Varsity Most Improved award went to Bryce Porter.

Dinsfriend was the only fourth-year letter recipient, and there were no third-year letters.

Second-year awards went to Saultz and Hart.

First-year letter winners were freshman Nate Coleman, Martinez-Mata, Madelyn and Sicily Neuschwander, senior Austin Sills, Smith and Walberg.

Junior varsity certificates went to Jaren Adams, Tristan Calkins, Brian Frick and Eric Roddy.

Schumacher also handed out some more informal awards.

Most Time Dropped went to Sills, who improved his 5K time by 2:45 to run 13:30.9 at districts.

Best Race Finish went to Madelyn Neuschwander, whose district race, in which she started her finishing kick earlier than other runners and held on gamely "almost brought me to tears," Schumacher said. The other recipient was Roddy, who had a number of good finishes, she said, but who also turned in a stellar effort in the district championships.

Longest Plank, in which athletes must hold an "up" pushup position for as long as they can, went to Martinez-Mata, who went 8:24, and Roddy, who was close behind at 8:20.

Longest Wall Sit, in which athletes brace themselves in a sitting position against a wall and hold it, went to Dinsfriend (7:00) and Hart (6:30).

Most Pushups in Two Minutes went to Dinsfriend (91) for the boys and Hart (58) for the girls.

Most Water Consumed went to Smith, who downed 65 liters.

Chin Up Champ went to Smith, with 30, and Hart (10).

The Running Scavenger Award, to the runner(s) who bring(s) back "the weirdest thing they've found on a run" went to Dinsfriend and Smith, who returned from a workout with a baby carriage containing a large rock that, Dinsfriend said later, turned plenty of drivers' heads as the two merrily pushed it across Main Street after spotting it discarded along their run – especially, he said, when the rock fell out onto the road.

"People jumped out of their cars."

Schumacher said other odd items that came back with runners included pumpkins, a mop, a tire and a rubber ducky.


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