By ERIC X. VICCARO
The city of Ste. Genevieve has a noted tradition in the sport of cross country.
However, the community doesn’t feature a high school meet as part of the competition calendar — in part because Pere Marquette Park simply isn’t large enough.
The park is big enough for a middle school meet, and Ste. Genevieve’s young runners were tested by steep inclines and a couple of loops around the grounds during a competition on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
“It’s awesome to keep the history and tradition going,” said Ste. Genevieve cross country coach Sierra Boyd. “This was the 24th annual event.”
Ste. Genevieve was able to have this meet, even with the impacts of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Longtime Ste. Genevieve cross country coach Brian Jett, who started the program, served as the event starter.
Ste. Genevieve High School assistant principal John Boyd, Jr., and his father, John, Sr., drove an all-terrain vehicle around the park as a guide for the runners.
Former Ste. Genevieve girls’ cross country standout Sarah Moore and current Dragons high school runners also volunteered their time to make sure the meet ran smoothly.
Sierra Boyd was very pleased with the performance of the middle school runners, which included a 17th-place finish on the girls’ side for Bailey Ervin — who received a medal for her performance.
The top-25 boys and girls earned medals, and Jackson’s large throng of runners won both gender divisions.
Rounding out the Ste. Genevieve girls’ runners, Ayelyn Yochim was 32nd, Sophia Garcia 54th and Katylynn Lay 56th.
For the boys, Trey Bloom finished 41st and Gavin Gegg was 52nd. Runners were given their times; but only places were officially kept.
Valle Girls Triumph
OAK RIDGE —Valle Catholic High School girls’ team garnered the Oak Ridge Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
The boys’ also excelled with a second-place team finish, with the junior varsity squad taking third in its division.
“Those weren’t our fastest times of the year; but, considering how hilly the course was, we ran amazing,” said Valle Catholic coach Samer Zoughaib. “The best part of the race is we packed and ran close to each other.”