St Bernard Cross Country All-State contender, Will Faulk, led the freshman boys team to the overall title at the Catholic High Invitational, Saturday, Sept. 19. Rain and sloppy weather couldn’t stop Faulk from breaking a new course record with a time of 12:28.80 in the 2-mile course. He was followed by teammate Oscar Perez who had a 13:12.46. Miles Bennett finished 11th; Ethan Arndt (12th); and Madison Pride (17).
“Even with a sloppy course and slower than normal times, the Saints beat defending champion 4A powerhouse Albertville by 2 points,” Saints Coach Jeff Taylor said.
The Jr. High Girls fared well with all runners in the top 10 in their race. They were led by Ayleana Mami (1st), Caitlin Varquez (3rd), Arabella Holsonback (5), and Brittany Branch (10).
The Saints Varsity Boys and Girls teams brought home the first place trophies for Class 1A in their races. The girls struggled with the course and conditions but did well in bringing home the title. Led by newcomer Shiru Diao (29:23.09;50/91 runners), the Saints showed promise as they approach the midpoint of the season. Ria Foye, Ying Huang, Katelyn Rusk, Jiae Park, and Minji Kang represented the school well with grit and determination.
The Varsity Boys team was led by veteran competitor John Russell (36/109) with a time of 22:28.38. Coach Taylor said, “His time was less than a minute slower than his best time for this meet, but the rainy conditions and slippery course made for some disappointment by all the runners.”
However, the mud and rain was worth the pain as Russell, Aaron Ezell, Louis Yutiamco, Michael J. Varquez, Jake Killebrew and Johnathan Gray accepted the 1st place trophy.
The teams compete next Saturday in the Kudzu Hills Invitational at Cold Springs High School. “We are looking forward to this event. This site will host the Section Meet-November 5 to determine which team has the strength to make it to state, Taylor said. “It will give us another chance to become familiar with the trails.”