EVART \u2013 Grace Hamilton and Mara VanOrder have been delivering a strong one-two punch for Evart\u2019s girls cross country team this season. Hamilton a, junior, had one of her stronger races of the season Saturday, Oct, 6, at the Pine River Invitational. She was fourth in 21:37.4. She has been Evart\u2019s top runner throughout the season. \u201cI was happy, I finished a lot better here than I did last year,\u201d Hamilton said. \u201cIt\u2019s been a really great season. It\u2019s good to see all of our team improving. We\u2019ve been working hard.\u201d Her best time has been 21:05. She has already beaten her best clocking from a year ago, 21:09. \u201cI would love to break 20 minutes at state,\u201d Hamilton said. \u201cWe\u2019ll have to keep pushing hard at practice and push past whatever comes our way with the weather and how we\u2019re feeling. I ran a lot this summer with my friends and by myself. I\u2019m in the best shape I\u2019ve ever been in.\u201d Hamilton said the middle part of the race is her strongest. \u201cI\u2019m good at keeping up my pace,\u201d she said. \u201cI\u2019m good at the endurance part. I need to work at getting out fast and having a stronger finish, especially the sprint at the end. \u201cThings are going very well. All the team is working together well and getting a lot done. I want to see the team finished the best we can at regionals and all get our best times there like we did last year.\u201d VanOrder is in her freshman season. \u201cI raced pretty good, I wanted to get in the top 10 but I got 11th,\u201d she said after the Pine River Invitational. \u201cI had a goal to pass two girls in front of me which I did at the end. Conditions were a little tough. It was cold and misty. Once you got out there and warmed up, your muscles were really loose.\u201d VanOrder said colder weather is preferable for runners. \u201cI feel like you perform better when you body doesn\u2019t have to fight so hard to keep you cool,\u201d she said. \u201cMy season has gone pretty good. I\u2019ve got ninth in the (Highland) conference right now, so top 10. I\u2019m looking forward to regionals and hopefully everyone getting PRs and pushing on toward state, if we can.\u201d Her best time so far is 22:37 and she\u2019s looking for a 21:30 before the season ends. \u201cI feel like I need to stay strong in the middle of my race and pass more people,\u201d she said. \u201cI want to work on getting better in the middle of the race and my endurance.\u201d VanOrder has been happy with the team\u2019s performance. \u201cEveryone is improving. Our team is pushing each other in practices to get practices,\u201d she said. VanOrder ran seventh-grade cross country. \u201cI really enjoy my team, it\u2019s so much fun,\u201d she said, adding that the sport will also get her ready for the winter basketball season.