Cross Country Earns Top Five Finish in Florida
Running at full strength for the first time this season, Jesuit’s cross country team placed 5th out of 29 teams on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Gulf Coast Stampede in Pensacola, Florida.
Senior Jordan Tufts led the way for the Jays, crossing the finish line in 12th place overall out of 313 runners with a time of 16:53. Also finishing in the Top Five for Jesuit, and thereby factoring into the team scoring, were sophomore Brandon Hall (17:24, 34th), freshman Jack Wallace (17:33, 45th), senior Jonathan Arnold (17:43, 54th), and senior Peter Carr (17:47, 57th). Nipping at Carr’s heels were seniors Christopher Ross and Michael Williams, both of who crossed the line at 17:50. Senior Ryan Guillot also managed to break the tape in under 18 minutes (17:54).
Niceville High School (Fla.), which tied with St. Paul’s (Covington) with 98 points, was awarded the overall team trophy by virtue of the performance of its sixth-place runner finishing ahead of the sixth-place runner for St. Paul’s.
“Overall, it was a solid outing,” said Coach Rudy Horvath ’86. “I was as curious as anyone to see how we would run when all our top guys were on the course.”
In the first two meets of the season, training schedules and standardized testing conflicts ultimately led to a situation that saw totally different Top Fives in each race. “This was our first true test of the whole roster in a high stakes race,” said Horvath. “I think they responded well. We took a big step forward as a team today.”
Jesuit’s times were even more impressive given the 5-K course in Pensacola, which is slightly longer than the three-mile course used in Louisiana meets.
Horvath’s troops will split up on Sept. 30 to compete in two varsity meets. The Top Seven finishers from Pensacola head to Baton Rouge for a 9:00 start to the St. Joseph’s Invitational at the Highland Park course. Meanwhile, another batch of seven runners will lace up their sneakers for the 10:45 a.m. start of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Metro Meet.