JDCHS cross country squads off and runningOct 12, 2023 09:57AM ● By Catherine Garrett
JDCHS runners Hobie Hodlmair, Sebastian Galindo-Ramirez and Connor Orges (from left to right) have been leading the boys team this season. (Photo courtesy Joe Elliott)
The Juan Diego Catholic High School boys cross country team won the Region 15 championships last year and returned senior leadership to the Soaring Eagle squad who has now been competing in Region 14 this season. The girls team—who was also top 10 at the 3A state meet a year ago—have also had key upperclassmen back for their group.
“We’ve also got a bunch of good freshmen on our squad this year that we’re pumped about,” said fifth-year head coach Joe Elliott. “Many of the cross country kids had outstanding track seasons, and then followed it up with a bunch of miles in the summer. I’m hoping lots of them make big leaps this season.”
At the Premier Invite at the Cottonwood Complex to begin the season Aug. 12, senior Isabella Pickers was 12th in the girls 3A varsity race to lead Juan Diego to fourth as a team. The boys were sixth in 3A varsity, led by senior Connor Orges who finished 20th.
In the 1A-6A JV boys race, freshman William Yavelak came in 69th for the 12th-place squad with junior Lauren Keegan taking 135th on the girls side.
“We had a solid first meet and did a lot of the little things right, which showed some veteran savvy, and then followed that up with great races,” Elliott said. “Twelve of the 16 kids who ran there last year improved their times, which is exactly what we hope for.”
At the Pre-Region Invite at Wheeler Farm Aug. 23, Orges and senior Hobie Hodlmair were fourth and 10th, respectively, in leading the Soaring Eagle boys to a third-place finish. The girls were also third with senior Olivia Young coming in 12th.
At the Timp Invite at the Lakeside Sports Park Sept. 1, Pickers was 49th in the varsity race for the 14th-place girls team while Orges was 77th for the 17th-place boys squad. Freshman Colin Farr was 42nd in the boys freshman/sophomore event with Juan Diego coming in 16th as a team. For the 18th-place boys junior/senior lineup, Jason Parker finished 103rd while Keegan was 69th in the girls junior/senior race.
Pickers and Orges were again tops in the varsity races for the Soaring Eagle at the Juab Invite at Canyon Hills Golf Course Sept. 7. Pickers was 39th for the 15th-place girls and Orges was 83rd for the 16th-place boys. In the JV events, boys and girls teams had 15th-place showings with junior Owen Kotter placing 130th in the boys race and sophomore Madison Sloan 149th in the girls.
At the pre-state event at the Regional Athletic Complex Sept. 13, Pickers’ 36th-place finish led the ninth-place girls varsity team with Orges coming in 88th for the 18th-place boys lineup. In the freshman/sophomore girls race, Ria Kale was 40th for the girls and freshman Seamus Arndy was 52nd for the 16th-place boys.
Pickers earned a medal—and a backpack—at the Bob Firman Invite in Meridian, Idaho Sept. 23, placing 19th in the girls varsity Division II race, leading the girls to a 10th-place showing out of 35 teams. Orges was 87th in boys varsity Division II for the Soaring Eagle team who took 19th out of 41 squads. Farr was 64th in the boys JV Section 1 event for the 30th-place JDCHS team—out of 55 entrants—and Sloan was 154th in the JV girls Section 1 race.
“I was really quite proud of how the team raced,” Elliott said. “Firman went super well for us.”
Also on the JDCHS squad this season are Joel Abanto, Sara Brunslik, Seabass Galindo-Ramirez, Remington Gray, Thomas Jones, Daniel Keegan, Tyler Lengerich, Mango Madden, Domiona Marine, Aidan Mulligan, Adriana Newton, Tanner Nicholson, Jason Parker, Sol Perez-Ventura, Maude Poirer, Abby Quigley, Cate Rainey, Ethan Stevens, Jackson Stolz and Matthew Tita.
The Soaring Eagle squad finishes out its season at the Region 14 championships at Wheeler Farm Oct. 3 with 3A Divisionals at Lakeside Sports Park Oct. 10 and the 3A state championships at Regional Athletic Complex Oct. 24.λ