By ERIC X. VICCARO
PERRYVILLE — Valle Catholic freshman runner Madelyn Griffard has proven to be a quick study of how meets run at the high school level.
Griffard, who was an eighth-grader at St. Agnes last year, raced in with a second-place finish at the St. Vincent Invitational on the St. Vincent DePaul Picnic Grounds last Wednesday.
Her time was 23 minutes, 13 seconds, and she helped the Warriors claim top honors at the meet with 38 points — nine less than host St. Vincent.
“Madelyn has been heavenly sent (for us),” said Valle Catholic head coach Samer Zoughaib. “I have always said we are one girl or one boy away from finishing top-4 at state. She is a huge part of the team.”
Zoughaib reported Sophie Varga joined the girls’ cross country team last week, and that should give the Warriors even more depth going forward.
Known commodities Camryn Basler, a state medalist in 2020, and Katie Kertz finished third and fourth, respectively, with times of 23:15 and 23:47.
Lillian Hoog and Lexi Ritter, who should benefit from cross country when basketball season begins in November, also fared well.
Hoog was 10th in a time of 25:03 and Ritter clocked in at 28:12 for 24th place.
Tegan Bishop from Perryville was the overall girls’ winner, recording a scintillating time of 21:27.
ROTH EARNS SECOND
Peter Roth has established himself as the anchor on the Valle Catholic boys’ team this season. Roth claimed the silver medal, second place, in a time of 18:33 — 25 seconds behind boys’ overall medalist Gabriel Anders of St. Vincent.
“On the boys’ side, we are deep and talented,” Zoughaib said. “I have high expectations for this group, starting with Peter, Braden and Josef, our top-three runners from last year.”
Braden Coleman, Garrett Shortt and Josef Flieg also came through with top-20 finishes for the boys.
Coleman clocked in at 19:46 for eighth place. Shortt was 13th (20:19) and Flieg 17th (20:39).
Dominic Griffard was next in line, taking 29th in a time of 21:30. Thomas Varga was 31st.