Coach Gleich writes:
VARSITY: What a great day to race with dew on the grass, fall colors starting to pop and temperatures in the 60’s to begin the varsity race! The team knew we were in for a challenge as Festus, St. Genevieve and Cape Notre Dame had all come up for the race. Clayton was there also, and they had nudged us out of second place at the Lutheran North’s race the prior week.
This time we drew a lane in the middle of the field, rather than the far edges, but that meant that we needed to get out quickly. Jake was out fast at the gun and Tommie was not far behind him. Our other five runners were jammed into the pack as the runners summited the first hill and rounded the bend. Ben Naeger from St. Genevieve rocketed to the front of the pack and had a 30-meter lead on the field by the time they hit the 1K mark. Two other St. Gen runners were front-runners and Festus, Notre Dame and Moberly runners were all sprinkled in the top 10. Jake Drysdale was right in this pack in 9th place just before the mile. Tommie was not far behind in 21st. At the mile mark Jake made the turn in 5:20 with Tommie at 5:30 and George O’Sullivan, William Whaley and Luke Lissner in a pack four seconds behind Tommie. Kyle Flores and Andy Swyers were 12 seconds behind them. The pace of the second mile is not quite as fast as the first, due to a couple of rolling hills, but the field tends to spread out with all the turns and blind spots. By the two mile mark Jake has slipped to 12th (11:17) and Tommie had fallen one spot to 22nd (11:25). William, George and Luke were running almost side-by-side hitting the 2-mile post in 11:43. Kyle and Andy were 23 seconds behind, with runners from six or seven teams evenly mixed in. It was too difficult to tell who was in the lead, but clearly it was a three horse race among Festus, Notre Dame and St. Gen. Priory runners ran hard the final mile and worked up the last two challenging hills. William and Luke pulled away from George, attempting to track down the runners in front of them. The finishing hill is a punishing one, but Jake and Tommie managed to medal. Jake was 13th in 17:59 and Tommie was 23rd in 18:19. William and Luke were 46th in 18:56 and 48th in 18:58. George hung on for 52nd in 19:08. Andy pushed strongly the final 500 meters, passing a number of runners, to earn 58th in 19:18. Kyle managed to make it into the top half of the field at 66th in 19:37. Overall our tight pack (69 seconds for the top five runners) and our strong finish pushed us to fifth in the 18-team field. We beat all the league schools in the race and we nosed out Clayton by 14 points.
JUNIOR VARSITY: The temperature had risen 10 degrees by the time the JV ran and the red and blue wave took up almost 1/3 of the starting line. Seeing how the varsity needed to get out at the start, the top JV runners also decided to avoid getting pinched back. Alex Lowell, Parker Dow and Bobby Onder led the way up the first hill for our team. Once you head down the long hill and make the turn, you have to slog all the way back up that hill to the 1K-mark. There is plenty of time to pass and plenty of runners to pass. Many of the Priory runners were steady up to this point, but decided to begin to make their move at the mile turn. Alex, Parker and Bobby all hit the mile under 6 minutes, but a pack 10 Priory runners could be found between 6:12 and 6:25. The second mile saw Alex Lowell move from 5th to 3rd and Parker take control of 9th. Trey Erbs and Andrew Latuda steadily moved up into the high teens as they chose to push each other running side-by-side. With four in the top 20 Priory was in contention for a trophy, but we still needed a 5th man. By the 4K-mark Alex was in a duel with the Festus runner, while Parker was solidly in 9th. Trey and Andrew were gaining on the runners in front to them and moved into the top 15 places by the time they circled Cannon Gate. Coming down the final hill Coach Gleich noted that Andrew had lost of shoe but he did not skip a beat, running over acorns, rocks and roads right behind Trey. Gregg Rolwes and Andrew Evans managed to push past Bobby Onder with just 400 meters left. A dynamite finish by our top ten runners catapulted Priory past Festus, who had three runners in the top eight. Alex extended his right foot (the one with the electronic chip attached) and beat Festus for 2nd place by .05 seconds (19:11). Parker was 9th in 19:50 and Trey marched to the finish in 11th (19:56) while Andrew hit the line in 14th at 20:03. Gregg Rolwes raced the entire last quarter mile to push across in 23rd (20:24) followed closely by Andrew Evans in 28th (20:28) and Bobby Onder in 29th (20:29). Three more runners, James Colyle, Nolan Kemna and Andrew Abad, snuck under 21 minutes to make our top 10. These 10 were all in the top 41 runners in a field of almost 300 runners.
Priory took first with 50 points and Alex, Parker, Trey and Andrew Latuda all medaled. The Iron Man Award goes to Andrew Latuda for gritting it out the final 1000 meters without one of his spikes, and the Smart Man Award goes to Alex Lowell for knowing that it is where your shoe finishes, not your chest, in a chipped race. Well done to the entire JV CC team where 15 runners set new PR’s for the year.