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Boys cross country: Newman junior finishes fifth, helps Comets take second

Reyes rises above

Published: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 10:31 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 9:37 p.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Newman's Bryson Reyes (left) and Rock Falls' Brayden Hamblen battle down the stretch at the Bureau Valley Storm Invitational at Bureau Valley North Junior High in Walnut. Reyes finished fifth and Hamblen sixth.

WALNUT – If not one thing, it’s another.

Newman junior Bryson Reyes battled mononucleosis for the better part of July. Thought to be over that, he soon began feeling sick again. This time, the problem was anemia.

Saturday, Reyes looked strong, finishing fifth and leading Newman to a runner-up performance at the 38-team Bureau Valley Storm Invitational at Bureau Valley North Junior High.

“I’ve had a slow start. Each day it’s getting better,” said Reyes, who had a time of 16 minutes, 22.25 seconds on the 3-mile course. “I was getting tired so much easier. This is the strongest I’ve felt yet.”

Newman freshman sensation Chris Ahlers finished 11th with a time of 16:38.57. The Comets took second, despite being without Micah Trancoso, who was busy taking his ACT.

Rock Falls freshman Brayden Hamblen and sophomore Seth Williams finished sixth (16:23.72) and eighth (16:29), respectively, helping the Rockets to a fourth-place finish.

Hamblen has caught on quickly as a newcomer to cross country.

“At the beginning, I had no clue what I was doing,” he said. “I would go out too hard and would die, but then I got used to it. People didn’t expect me to be so good, because I’m a freshman. But, I’ve been working really hard in practice, and things are falling into place.”

Williams hadn’t been feeling like himself of late, but Saturday was a different story.

“I had a really good race,” he said. “For the past week, I’ve been feeling terrible. I knew I was feeling good when I was up there with Ahlers, and I thought, ‘Man, I can do this.’ Today was my day.”

Alleman’s Zach Hird ran away with the individual title, winning by more than 33 seconds with his time of 15:35.28. Alleman also ran away with the team title, halving Newman’s runner-up point total, 52-104.

Rockford Christian was third with 137 points, followed by Rock Falls at 180. Bureau Valley finished sixth with 228 points. Erie-Prophetstown took 15th at 380.

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