Cross country season review

Jacob Piekielniak ’17

Strake Jesuit Cross Country had a solid regular season, and finished strong with a first and second place finish in their last two regular-season meets. They started their post season by achieving fourth place in the Class 6A-Region III Meet. The Crusaders claimed the final spot at the UIL State Cross Country Championships for the tenth year in a row.

“We have five returning guys with state meet experience, which should help us. If we can finish anywhere in the top 10, I’ll be pleased,” Head Coach Michael Kerley commented before the meet. At State, senior Andrew Hebert led the team, finishing 18th and earning 3rd team All-State honors. The other scorers were Jeff Price, Braxton Mills, and Jason Bugg. Fighting rain, mud, and tough competition, the team finished 15th.

This season the Junior Varsity team was led by All-District runners Diego Soto, Henry Clark, Will Bonderer, Nick Wilson, and Harrison Hayes.

The Freshmen team was highlighted by individual district champion, Andrew Spires, and individual runner up, Will Botard. Additionally, Joshua Chretien, Alex Mills, and Mark Mahoney were impact runners for the freshman squad.

Battling tough circumstances was nothing new for the runners. From the muddy course at the Class 6A-Region III Meet to injuries throughout the year, the squad’s fortitude was commendable. “In my 40 years of coaching, it was probably the toughest conditions I’ve ever seen,” Coach Kerley said.

Jesuit Cross Country completed a quality year with a program-wide effort. Underclass men and coaches are already working to qualify for next year’s UIL State Cross Country Championships. Strake Jesuit Cross Country has a bright future.