Congratulations to the program for their 30th consecutive qualification to the MSHSAA State Championships, a streak that originated in 1993
Congratulations to the JV and C teams for claiming dual team championships to close out the regular season, and thanks to all families who made our annual "Findley Feast" possible. For many of our seniors, this was the final SLUH XC race of their successful careers with the program. We are very grateful for their leadership and hard work!
The Jr. Bills went three-for-three at Friday's Big River Invitational, with the JV-1 and JV-2 squads achieving perfect scores of 15. Charlie Gray and Jake Fitzpatrick took individual victories in the JV-1 and JV-2 races, respectively. Nolan Meara was our top varsity finisher, coming in second overall. The Big River group produced a whole raft of PRs and fine races, including 10 runners who improved their times by over a minute.
The Clayton XC Invitational was an opportunity for non-varsity seniors to have a meet for themselves. Instead of the traditional meet location of Shaw Park in Clayton, this year we went to St. Vincent Park in Normandy for our first-ever glimpse of that course. As a special treat, the seniors all got to wear the white jerseys!
Congrats to the team for winning both the varsity and JV divisions of the Hancock Invitational for the second year in a row. The varsity squad took home six individual medals and a low score of 33 points. Next up, the JV team earned a perfect score of 15, led by a photo finish victory for junior Matthew Musial.
For the sixth year in a row, the Jr. Billikens swept the varsity, JV, and freshman team and individual titles at the MCC Championships. This is the team's 19th consecutive conference title. Congratulations to this year's conference champions: Nolan Meara (varsity), Anthony Zangara (JV), and Nick Ahlheim (freshman)! Of the 62 medals awarded on Thursday, SLUH took home 46.
On a beautiful October morning at Living Word, we earned three first place and one second place team finishes, and two individual race champions, in the four divisions Parkway West Dale Shephard Invitational. This result continues what has been a fantastic season for the program.
The trip to Palatine, a trip we've been making since 2010, marks the competitive midpoint of the season. Affording us the opportunity to practice an overnight trip in advance of the State meet and race against top-notch competition we don't get to see any other time before post-State meet regional competition, it is a good barometer of progress made and where we might go for the final half of the season.
The team enjoyed another morning of success in the Ed White Festival of Races at Arnold City Park. Bolstered by another week of training, a flatter course, and better running conditions than experienced recently, we saw tremendous races up and down the roster.
At the Hazelwood Central Paul Enke Invitational, run on the famous Sioux Passage course, the program had a day for the history books, winning on all three levels - including our first varsity team championship at the large invitational since 1993, and first regular season varsity invitational race champion since 2010.
Be proud of a great day in Forest Park! Our two varsity squads placed fourth and eighth of 19 teams in the green (most competitive) division, with our JV defeating many fine varsity teams in the process. Even with two teams running up in varsity, JV placed third of 13 teams, also in the green division. Our freshmen placed second of five in the freshman division.
Granite City marked a tremendous season-opening invitational for the entire program. Varsity ran first, and they finished second of 43 participating teams. Senior captain Tim Greiner was our first finisher, earning 9th place overall with his three mile time of 15:36. Relative to the rest of the field, the seven in the B/C were far and away our strongest team of the day. Averaging 16:29 for three miles, they finished first in a 38 team field with a very low score of 34 points.
Though no team scores were officially kept, we scored the races on our own. The freshman placed second of six teams, placing only behind a tough Edwardsville squad. The sophomores, fresh off a strong summer of training, claimed an emphatic victory in their race, placing first of six teams.
On the evening of Friday, August 12, we got our first taste of racing in 2022. Placed into one of three heats, all team members attacked a two-mile race around the SLUH track. Seniors Tim Greiner and Nolan Meara led the charge for the team, running 9:52 and 9:53 for fifth and sixth place overall. The alumni team, led by a pack of recent graduates now competing at the college level, came away with a clear and decisive victory.
On a beautiful November morning in Columbia, SLUH finished in fourth place in the large school classification of the MSHSAA Cross Country Championships. This is our program's 15th State Trophy earned since 1997.
Congratulations to the program for another State qualification, an honor not to be taken lightly, and one that the team has earned annually since 1993. Bridle Ridge Acres in Hillsboro was a new course to us, and the week's rain prevented us from getting out to preview it in advance. Walking the course in the morning, it was clear that a narrow, windy, and muddy course awaited us.
We were once again able to showcase impressive depth at the Clayton Invitational on Friday evening in Shaw Park. After establishing our ten runners for the Big River varsity, we placed seven more in the Clayton varsity division. In the 16-team race, we finished second, trailing only the top varsity from Lutheran St. Charles.
What a day we had back at Jefferson Barracks! On a brilliant, cool fall morning, the team came ready to compete, and compete at a high level. Running on the same course as we did on October 7 at the MCC Championship, times were significantly faster, nearly across the board. Of our 70 racers, 46 earned PRs and two ran season-best times. Between the two races, we claimed 19 of a possible 22 medals and two team championships.
The program had an exceptional day at Jefferson Barracks, winning the MCC Championship on all three levels: Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshmen levels. Senior Sean Kellogg was the individual conference champion, and this was the varsity team's 18th consecutive MCC title.
Thanks to Parkway West for putting on another great meet at Living Word UMC and for keeping the nasty weather away. Team-wise, it was a day for us that again showcased some great depth. As far as team awards go, we took home three first place plaques and one runner-up.
We were grateful to be invited back to the Palatine Invitational to mix it up with some unfamiliar teams. In a loaded field that included 23 ranked Illinois teams, our 9th place varsity finish was our fifth best ever at this meet that we've been coming to since 2010.
At the Fox Ed White Invitational, we competed extremely well in all three of our races. Aided by a flat course, favorable weather conditions, a week's more training, and confident & aggressive racing, we earned a whopping total of 46 PRs, 9 SBs, and 22 medals - and three team trophies.
The coaches were very proud of what was a historic day in the heat and on the hills of Sioux Passage.