SPLHS cross country competes in numerous meets, several athletes head to state

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Saints of Saint Paul Lutheran High School have once again fielded a cross country team this season. They have competed in seven meets this season, including Districts. The team consists of 17 athletes and two managers (Jada Strickland and Kerstin Martens) under the leadership of Gina Martens and Eric Gramenz and team assistant Andrew Deterding. The races for varsity and JV boys and girls consist of 3.1 miles on a variety of terrains.

Freshman Adrien Martens has proved to be a strong runner this season leading the team, followed by Sofie Rasmussen, Sara Johnsen, Sigrid Kversoey, Marta Madtsen, Tiril Rongved, Hannah Sandven and Rebekah Self.

The boys’ team has been led by junior Nathaniel Slimmer and sophomore Andrew Brandt, followed closely by Jackson Wells, Justin Griffith, Ben Woolery, Ernests Racko, Patrick Buchvold, Matus Michalicka and Ambrose Tung.

The Lady Saints have earned themselves two plaques for placing as a team; a first-place team finish in the Odessa Invitational and a second-place team finish in the Grain Valley Invite.

This past Saturday, Oct. 27, 14 St. Paul runners competed under sunny skies at the District meet on the campus of Missouri Western in St. Joseph. Anticipation hung in the air as 55 girls stepped up to the starting line, and the gun fired.

The pack wound along the rolling hills and switchbacks of the scenic course. Adrien Martens led the Lady Saints with a finish time of 22:29, securing a fourth-place finish. Sophie Rasmussen followed closely finishing fifth with a time of 22:53. Sigrid Kversoey crossed the line in 14th place with a time of 24:39, Sara Johnsen in 15th with a time of 24:55, Marta Madtsen in 19th with a 25:56, Tiril Rongved in 21st with a 26:13, and Hanna Sandven finished 38th with a time of 28:32, despite her battle with shin splints.

Those stellar finishes earned the Lady Saints a District Champ title, and they will be advancing onto the State meet in Jefferson City this coming weekend on Nov. 3.

The boys’ varsity race brought 64 runners to the start line anxiously awaiting the gun fire. Saints runner, Nathaniel Slimmer, kept picking runners off along the way, earning himself a 26th place finish with a time of 20:38. About a minute later, Andrew Brandt sprinted across the finish with a 33rd place finish with a time of 21:28. Jackson Wells followed closely behind in 42nd with 21:52, Ernests Racko in 57th with a 23:55, Matus Michalicka in 58th with a 24:11, and Patrick Buchvold finished 59th with a time of 24:12.

These finishes earned the boys a ninth-place finish overall.

“This is the race that we have been working for since the beginning of the season. We talked about thinking positively and crossing that finish line giving all that we have. The team’s commitment, effort, and determination have paid off, and it has been a pleasure to coach them,” Coach Gina Martens said. Congratulations, Saints, and good luck to those heading to the State meet!

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