Harriers compete at Cardinal Classic

Courtesy image

SODA SPRINGS, IDAHO – Pinedale High School juniors Madison Antonino and Cora Koci both found success competing for the Jackson Hole High School (JHHS) cross-country team at the Cardinal Classic in Soda Springs, Idaho, on Sept. 2.

Antonino beat 170 other athletes in the girls’ varsity division to capture sixth place overall with a time of 19 minutes, 50.55 seconds, shaving 1 minute from her time at the previous year’s event.

Antonino’s strategy was to “race hard” without peaking too early in the season, said head JHHS coach Jeff Brazil.

Antonino found a good position in eighth place to tackle the first hill and passed several runners on the downhill section, Brazil said. Antonino’s long-distance workouts over the summer, typically totaling between 50 and 55 miles per week, paid dividends in maintaining the pace, Brazil continued. A shortage of “up-tempo work” made it a challenge for Antonino to find that final kick, he said.

“It is funny we are disappointed with a sixth-place finish in a race that size – and a 1-minute improvement on that same course last year,” Brazil noted. “But (Antonono) is really focused on her end-of-season goals. She understands the process ahead, but sometimes we get a little impatient.”

Koci competed in the girls’ junior varsity division, snapping up 61st place out of 272 runners with a time of 25:07.31. Koci also made significant improvements from last year, dropping 1:30 from her Cardinal Classic time in 2022.

“Cora did really well in all three phases on the race,” said Brazil. “She helped a couple of freshman girls in their first race get prepped for the race and led them off the line and onto the hill in the first mile. She was super happy to see all her summer training paying off.”