Spartan Cross Country competes in Frank Horton Invitational


Emmett Campbell

White Station's Varsity girls attempt to distance themselves from opponents at the start of their race.

At the 30th annual Frank Horton Invitational and the inaugural Under the Lights edition, the Spartan Cross Country Team competed against schools from Memphis and the surrounding areas.

For the past 29 years, the race has taken place in the morning, but this year, the invitational was run at night in Shelby Farms. Portable, generator-powered lights were stationed along the course providing light, but also the smell of gasoline. Nonetheless, it was the same decisive race that showcased the fastest teams in the southern United States.

The nighttime race possessed a different atmosphere, and some runners found it to be more thrilling, while others preferred the standard morning race.

“The smell of the diesel exhaust going through the forest was pretty off putting. I was not a fan of that,” Andrew Welden (12) said. “I did the best for the situation I was in.”

Kathryn Haynes (12) and Kaitlyn Thomas (10) led the Spartans finishing 10th and 12th in the girls varsity race. In this Memphis cross country classic, the White Station varsity boys placed 12th out of 21, and the varsity girls placed 8th out of 19 teams from around the region. The Spartans will race again in an SCIAA meet on Oct. 4.