Cross Country Opens Season by Taking Second at Episcopal Round Table Run
It’s pretty rare that four of the state’s top five cross country teams go head to head at full strength this early in the season.
Jesuit, Brother Martin, John Curtis, and St. Paul’s all put their cards on the table at the Episcopal Round Table Run in Baton Rouge on Saturday morning, and the results were pretty much what cross country observers expected: the Division 1 race is going to be a barn burner.
This time around, St. Paul’s, the early season pick of the pollsters, held true to form, winning the 31-team meet with 73 points (in cross country, the place in which a team’s top five runners finish is added to tally a team’s score). Jesuit finished second with 88 points, just ahead of John Curtis (93) and Brother Martin (94). The only team in the preseason poll mix that didn’t race its top guys on Saturday was Catholic of Baton Rouge, which opted to enter their second-tier runners.
Senior Carlos Zervigon posted the best time of the day for the Jays, finishing 7th overall with a time of 15:57 on a wet and sloppy three-mile course. Junior Reed Meric’s impressive ascendance to the team’s upper echelon continued. He finished in 9th place overall, shattering his personal record (PR) by a full 45 seconds. Four other Blue Jays broke the 17-minute mark: junior Eli Sisung (16:26), junior Tanner Tresca (16:40), senior John James (16:50), and junior John Kling (16:53).
“It was good to see some of the guys get battle tested today,” said Coach Rudy Horvath ’86. “Carlos, Eli and John (James) are all proven commodities. But this is the first time we’ve put Reed, Tanner and John (Kling) in a race with the expectation that they score for us. They have all been training hard to get to this point. And now they have proven the can run with the big dogs when the pressure’s on.”
Two other runners who might have broken into that top six were out on Saturday. Senior Nick Slay was on a college visit, while senior Johnny LaForge was dealing with a flare up of plantar fasciitas (The injury didn’t stop LaForge from being productive. He traded his sneakers for his yearbook photography gear and contributed two photos for this story).
While Horvath was pleased overall with his team’s debut, he was a bit concerned about his team’s split. “We’re at almost a full minute between one and five right now,” he noted. “That has to drop significantly by November.”
Jesuit makes its first local appearance next weekend at the Rummel-Chapelle Invitational. Race time for the varsity boys is 9:30 a.m. on the City Park course at Harrison Avenue and Diagonal Drive.
TheAdvocate.com – Cross country: Round Table Run