Last season the St. Vincent girls cross country team finished fifth as a team at the Class 1 state meet.
This year they did even better.
The Lady Indians finished third with 128 points at the Class 1 state meet at the Gans Creek Course in Columbia. It is the best finish for the girls team in program history.
“We made history,” St. Vincent cross country coach Emily Steele said. “The girls were excited when they found that out. As a coach I couldn’t be prouder.”
Van Buren ran away with the girls team title as they compiled just 53 points, while Glasgow had 122.
The Indians were led by Anna Schwartz, who finished 42nd overall with a time of 22:39. St. Vincent did not have any runners earn All-State medals with a finish inside the top 25, but did enough to earn third place. A majority of the runners finished between 42-61.
In contrast, Van Buren had three runners finish in the top 20, while Glasgow had two.
Abby Kirn finished 49th (22:48), while Gabby Gremaud finished 57th (23:04).
Cailyn Prost finished 61st (23:11) and Katelyn Sutterer finished 102 (24:26).
“It’s a little unusual to get a third place finish and not have anyone medal,” Steele said. “It’s not a first time for something like that to happen, but usually a school will have someone medal to finish that high. It didn’t matter to me that we didn’t have anyone medal. I was excited for them to achieve what they did.”
The strategy was to start fast and get out with the lead group.
“I encouraged the girls to get ahead of the pack that they would eventually run with,” Steele said. “The course was flat and I didn’t want them to hold back and open up their stride.”
The girls team will graduate five senior girls and Steele was pleased to see those seniors go out on a high note.
“I think it was the perfect ending to their careers,” Steele said. “Not only did they get to go to state as a team, they also got to make some history for St. Vincent. Now in the future when I talk about the program’s success these girls will always come up.”
Class 3 meet
St. Vincent also had two boys compete individually as Gabe Anders and Jackson Unterreiner competed in the Class 3 meet on Saturday. Anders, who competed at state once before as a freshman, finished 50th overall with a time of 17:43.
Unterreiner, who competed at state for the first time in his career finished 104th (18:25).
“There’s a bunch of tough competition in Class 3, but we were class 4 last year,” Steele said. “Being in Class 3, it made it harder to get more of our boys to state.”
The strategy was the same as the girls: start fast.
“I wanted them to untrain their mind to being conservative,” Steele said. “I wanted them to get ahead of their pack and just run.”
Steele was pleased to see those seniors go out on a high note.
“I think it was the perfect ending to their careers,” Steele said. “Not only did they get to go to state as a team, they also got to make some history for St. Vincent. When I talk about the program’s success these girls will always come up.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here