Biffar makes most of state run - Republic-Times | News

Biffar makes most of state run

By on November 8, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Pictured with Gibault cross country coach and principal Russ Hart is freshman runner Brooke Biffar following her state run Saturday in Peoria. (submitted photo)

While she plans to shine on the soccer field for the Hawks in the spring, Gibault freshman Brooke Biffar has already made a name for herself in cross country circles.

Biffar placed 36th overall at the IHSA Class 1A state cross country meet Saturday in Peoria with a time of 18:37. She was the top female finisher from the metro-east in Class 1A.

She qualified for state by virtue of a fifth place finish at the Benton sectional.

Gibault cross country coach Russ Hart, who is also the school principal, described Biffar’s season as “remarkable for many reasons.”

“Maybe the thing that stands out the most is that she started the year an untrained runner,” Hart said. “Her select soccer coach recommended that she try cross country.”

Hart said Biffar is a quiet, humble person with a fiercely competitive streak.

“Our second New Athens meet, the boys and girls ran at the same time and she ran at a whole new level,” Hart said. “She had fun, but I think she was also trying to make a point.”

Biffar had to juggle soccer and cross country commitments in addition to her normal homework load.

“It was common for Brooke to follow (cross country) practices and meets with soccer games in St. Louis.” Hart said. “I think she had two games after our sectional meet. How she balances all that and a heavy homework load is beyond me.” 

Biffar’s sectional and state runs were her best of the year, Hart said. 

“She is a game day athlete for sure,” Hart said. “She finished ahead of several girls she had not been competitive with during the season. 

“We can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

CHS boys run at state
The Columbia High School boys cross country team placed 23rd at Saturday’s Class 1A state meet in Peoria, ending a successful season.

Eli King led the CHS runners with a time of 16:33, followed by Ethan Sturm at 16:37 and Ryan Groszek at 17:15. 

Other finishers for the Eagles were Joshua Foster, Tristan Oestreich, Curtis Crossley and Caleb Bahr.

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.