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Draper Journal

JDCHS cross country team on pace to reach goals

Oct 01, 2022 06:35PM ● By Catherine Garrett

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

Juan Diego Catholic High School cross country coach Joe Elliott went into this season with high expectations for his defending Region 15 champion squads, who also both placed eighth at the 3A state race last fall.

“We returned every scorer from state last year,” Elliott said. “We’re aiming to win region again and then notch our best 3A finishes in school history at state at the end of the season.”

In the first meet of the season, the Premier Invite, on Aug. 13, the girls team placed third while the boys came in fourth.

The next week, at a pre-Region meet, both squads finished first behind individual winners in both races. Ethan Stevens won the girls event with Isabella Pickers (third), Olivia Young (eighth), Nicole Merhi (ninth) and Maudie Poirier (10th) also placing in the top 10. Chloe Reilly took first in the boys race while Curran Madden (third), Shepherd Foy (sixth) and Connor Orges (ninth) were also top finishers.

The girls and boys teams also won the Juan Diego Regional Aug. 31, again behind first-place showings by Stevens and Reilly. For the girls, Pickers (third), Young (eighth), Poirier (ninth) and Merhi (10th) also came in top 10 with Madden (fifth), Orges (sixth), Sebastian Galindo-Ramirez (eighth) and Foy (ninth) also finishing high.

Stevens again won at the Juab Invite Sept. 8 in leading the girls varsity squad to sixth place. Reilly’s fourth place finish helped the varsity boys take fourth. Galindo-Ramirez took 10th for the JV boys, bringing them into eighth place while Domiona Marine was the top finisher—in 60th place—for the JV girls eighth place team.

At pre-state Sept. 14, Stevens was eighth in the junior/senior girls race with Madden taking 24th in the junior/senior boys event. Daniel Keegan was 57th in the boys freshman/sophomore race and Abby Quigley was 97th in the freshman/sophomore race.

“We had lots of individual PRs and solid team finishes at pre-state which is exactly what we want to be doing,” Elliott said. “This season has been going along pretty successfully. I like where we’re at in our training with a month to go. I’m hopeful these kids will be ready to run fast at the right time. They’re looking far more like a veteran, experienced team this year than where we were at this point last season, and we’re excited for the upcoming meets. We’re also working hard and having a lot of fun along the way.”

Stevens had the third fastest time ever in the girls varsity classification at the Bob Firman Invitational Sept. 24, winning the race and leading the squad to a sixth-place finish out of 31 teams. Pickers placed 17th.

Madden and Reilly led the boys team to a second place finish by taking sixth and ninth, respectively. “On one hand, I’m thrilled about these results, and really proud of the kids, but then we’ve also got to make sure this isn’t the highlight of the season,” Elliott said. “We’ve still got more winning to do.”

Also on the JDCHS team this season are Jasper Abanto, Ramon Aviles, Sara Brunslik, Nyrvannah Crockett, Elizabeth Cruz, John Deffner, Elijah Earhart, Xavier Flieringa, Remington Gray, Hobie Hodlmair, Emmalyn Jacobs, Noah Jones, Thomas Jones, Lauren Keegan, Owen Kotter, Christopher Madden, Aidan Mulligan, Adriana Newton, Tanner Nicholson, Simone Nicolodemos, Alexus Quayson-Sackey, Cate Rainey, Annette Rodriguez, Allie Sloan, Cate Stevens, Jackson Stolz, Matthew Tita, James Vekiarides, Jessie Whitehead and Gabe Woods.

Juan Diego is also scheduled to compete at the Bob Firman Invite Sept. 24, in a tri-meet with Judge Memorial and St. Joseph’s Sept. 28 and the Sanpete Invite Oct. 5 before the Region 15 championships Oct. 13 and the 3A state championships Oct. 25.