At Granite City, our major season-opening invitational, the program had a tremendous day on a rainy morning, winning on all three levels.
It was a great start to the season in O'Fallon. Not only did our new runners learn about what a XC meet is all about, many ran their fastest three miles ever. Additionally the freshmen and sophomores each won the team competition in their respective races!
Last Friday night, everyone had the opportunity to get their first taste of racing in the 2021 season. After being placed into one of three heats, all team members attacked a two-mile race around the SLUH track.
For the third consecutive season, SLUH finished as runner-up at State in the large schools classification. In a season marked by many twists and turns, this race offered a suitable and thrilling conclusion to the story that was 2020 SLUH Cross Country. Since 1999, this is now our sixth second place finish to go along with our five team championships.
What a day! In a very good district field where fine runners and teams were inevitably going to come up on the wrong side of the qualification line, our pack controlled the race from beginning to finish to stamp out a clear District Championship.
Findley was the final invitational of the season for all not competing in the State series. Back at Chaminade's course, we ran an incredible number of tough, impressive races that earned us many PRs and medals. Nearly half our racers PR'ed on the day, and we claimed individual race champions in all three races.
Completing our trifecta of three meets in 24 hours, Friday's Big River Invitational provided a perfect transition into the opportunity for fast season-ending performances looming on the horizon. Running around flat and wide-open fields at Buder Park, many athletes found themselves with new PRs at the end of the day.
Whereas Thursday was uncomfortably warm, the Clayton Invitational received the opposite treatment on Friday. On a cold and blustery afternoon in Shaw Park, our squad again competed very well. In the varsity race, Aidan Byrne led the way for a fourth-place team finish - behind top varsity teams from Clayton and De Smet.
The weather provided a stark difference in our two race days last week. On Thursday at Blackburn Park, temperatures soared and made for an uncomfortable day of racing on an already challenging course. This was a day where times weren't a clear indicator of some very good racing.
On a day with favorable course and weather conditions, we enjoyed a fast and fun day at Jefferson Barracks against conference foes. Race breakthroughs often come from a willingness to put aside fear, and an incredible 41 of our runners set PRs on the day. In terms of team scoring, SLUH won each race by healthy margins.
SLUH enjoyed tremendous success at the MCC Championships on a very hot day at Chaminade, winning conference on each of the three levels. Each season, we look to this day as a key day on the schedule, the the coaches are very proud of the way that everyone battled and raced amidst challenging conditions.
On a perfect morning for racing, we came ready to compete in each of the three races. Varsity and JV earned team championships, and sixteen of our 21 racers set lifetime bests on a course that doesn't easily give fast times.
On this day, we had our first chance to compete against our Catholic Conference rivals ahead of Wednesday's conference championships. We held out all of our runners scheduled to race at Parkway West, but this didn't stop us from a fantastic day on the campus of Chaminade.
It was fantastic to have the chance to race against other teams, and 76 of our 82 runners were able to toe the start line. Nineteen team members set 5k Personal Records (PRs) on the Living Word course. They are listed at the bottom, along with the margin by which they lowered their PR.
Team wins! 19-38. Baker Pashea was our #1 finisher and race champion; Eric Monda '97 was top alum.
In addition to other accolades won by Junior Billiken runners throughout the 2019 XC season, SLUH had the honor of having three seniors named to the 2019 All-Metro Teams, most among any school in the area.
On Saturday, January 25, SLUH returned to Sister Thea Bowman Grade School in East St. Louis, IL for its annual team day of service.
The following note comes from Coach Tom Flanagan.
For a second consecutive season, the SLUH Junior Billikens finished 2nd overall at the State meet. It was a proud finish for our decorated senior class, a class that was part of the program that finished 10th overall in both 2016 and 2017. Each of them played pivotal roles in elevating us to our consecutive runner-up finishes.
On a beautiful morning in Chesterfield, SLUH claimed the Sectional 1 Championship and earned the right to compete at next weekend's State meet. This is a tremendous honor for our entire program.
On a raw, damp, and cold evening at Jefferson Barracks, the Junior Varsity and Freshmen teams each closed out their season with team championships.
For the 24th time in the past 32 years, we have earned the distinction of becoming District champions. Placing all seven of our runners in the top ten overall, we scored 24 points to resoundingly defeat all other comers in Class 4 District 1.
Clayton is always a special meet for our seniors, and this year was no different. On Friday afternoon at Shaw Park, our varsity claimed the championship in the 15-team invitational.
Heading west to Washington, MO, SLUH XC represented themselves very well at the Borgia Invitational at Big Driver. Our "V2" team finished 2nd of 16 varsity teams, and the JV & Freshman squads emerged victorious.
After being halted by thunderstorms last week, we were able to build upon varsity's success and complete a season-long goal of winning the MCC on all three levels.