Saint Paul cross-country team hits the road

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The Saint Paul Lutheran High School Cross-country team has been busy traveling to meets around the region, including this stop in Kearney for last Saturday’s District match-up.
(Contributed photo)

On the afternoon of Oct. 12, the Saint Paul Lutheran High School cross country team headed to Warrensburg to compete in a 30- team meet. The warm afternoon brought abundant sunshine to the course. Jonah Lange led the Saints varsity team with a time of 21:07. He was followed by Brett Mueller with a 22:27, Nate Slimmer 22:30, Jackson Wells 22:32, and Nick Slimmer with a 26:29.The varsity girls’ team was led by Eirin Sekse with a time of 22:58. She was followed by Henriette Austrheim 23:35, Lea Blomvaagnes 24:21, Sigrid Gravning 25:13, Ada Aadland 24:55, Synne Nedreboe 26:37, and Lena Nordal with a 26:55. Three lady Saints competed in the JV race. Anna Royuk led that pack with a time of 27:48 followed by Nora Vangdal with a 29:54, and Maren Kvam finishing with a 30:12.

The weekend of Oct. 21 found the Saints traveling to the outskirts of Lee’s Summit to run through the scenic woodlands on the campus of St. Michael the Archangel. The brisk morning air provided the team with temperatures in the 50s. Seven schools were represented at this meet. Jonah Lange once again led the Saints with a time of 20:39, which earned him 16th place. After that, the Saints packed themselves together for the following finishes: Andrew Self 21:38:04 (23rd place), Nate Slimmer 21:38:39 (24th place), Jackson Wells 21:40 (25th place), Brett Mueller 21:43 (26th place), and Nick Slimmer (28:26) for 38th place. The Lady Saints also wound their way through the woods with Eirin Sekse crossing the finish line with a time of 23:16 which earned her fifth place. The girls also packed themselves together for some back-to-back finishes. Henriette Austrheim had a time of 24:08 in 9th place, Lea Blomvaagnes with a 24:20 in 11th place, Rachel Self 24:21 in 12th place, Ada Aadland 25:07 in 13th place, Sigrid Gravning 25:12 in 15th place, Synne Nedreboe with a 26:02 in 18th place, Maren Kvam with a 27:36 in 26th place, Anna Royuk 28:13 in 29th place, and Nora Vangdal 30:56 with a 34th place finish. Both teams finished 3rd overall.

This past Saturday, Oct. 28, 13 St. Paul Saints runners competed in chilly and breezy temperatures at Jesse James Park, in Kearney, for the District meet. This was the team’s second time competing on this course. The varsity boys’ race was first. Anticipation hung in the air as 78 runners stepped up to the starting line and the gun fired. The pack wound along the course, eventually spreading out by time and distance. Jonah Lange led the Saints varsity boys with a time of 20:32 which secured a 39th place finish. Nathaniel Slimmer finished in 47th place with a time of 20:54, Andrew Self crossed the line in 53rd place with a time of 21:11, Brett Mueller 69th with a 22:48, Jackson Wells 73rd with a 23:05, and Nicholas Slimmer finished in 77th place with a time of 26:03. Andrew Self and Nathaniel Slimmer both had personal bests, soundly beating their previous times. The Saints boys’ team finished in 10th place overall. The varsity girls’ race brought 59 runners to the start line anxiously awaiting the gun fire. Eirin Sekse blazed through the finish line in 8th place with a time of 22:42. The Lady Saints kept picking off runners along the way. Henriette Austrheim finished in 14th place with a time of 23:07, Lea Blomvaagnes was close behind finishing in 15th place with a time of 23:27. Rachel Self followed closely with a 17th place finish and a time of 23:30. Sigrid Gravning finished in 27th place with a time of 24:52, Ada Aadland in 29th with a 25:03, and Synne Nedreboe in 32nd with a 25:19. The Lady Saints finished in third place overall. Not only did two of the boys have personal bests, but four Lady Saints also shattered their previous times ... Henriette Austrheim, Rachel Self, Sigrid Gravning, and Synne Nedreboe. Three members of the Lady Saints XC team earned themselves finishes that will usher them into the State meet in Jefferson City next weekend on Nov. 4. Congratulations to Eirin Sekse, Henriette Austrheim, and Lea Blomvaagnes.

“This is the race that we have been working towards since the beginning of the season. When you are a coach, you always try to train your athletes to peak at the right time. We backed off on the intensity of our workouts this past week and took an extra rest day. I think it paid off. I asked my athletes to give it their all, and they left everything on the course. I consider that a success. We had six runners run personal bests, and this is not an easy course. I have been blessed to work with such an amazing group of young people as well as an assistant coach that helps me keep things running smoothly,” remarks Coach Martens. “The team’s commitment, effort, and determination have paid off.”

Congratulations, Saints! Good luck to those ladies heading to the State meet! The Saints are coached by Gina Martens and Eric Gramenz and have competed in nine meets this season, including the District meet.

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