Gibault cross country at crossroads - Republic-Times | News

Gibault cross country at crossroads

By on August 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Gibault Catholic High School Cross Country Team 2012

Pictured are members of the Gibault cross country team. They are, from left, Sarah Kuester, Hannah O’Neill, Nathan Schmidt, Olivia Hollman. Not pictured; Leah Sueme, Natalie Schweiger, Molly Diehl. (Mark Hodapp photo)

Gibault High School cross country coach Heather Johnson is excited to see how her team stacks up against opponents this fall.

The Hawks opened their season last Tuesday at the New Athens Invitational.

“I am excited to see where Gibault stands in regards to local competition,” she said. “The teams we ran against on Tuesday were some of our biggest post season competitors.”

Gibault will have a full girls team this year.

Returning runners Sarah Kuester, Hannah O’Neill and Leah Sueme who bring experience and also appear to be in great shape and ready to compete.

Senior Molly Diehl is new to the team this year, but should compete for a top five spot on the girls team.

Also returning this year are seniors Olivia Hollman and Natalie Schweiger.

Hollman struggled with an injury last year. But Hollman and Schweiger appear healthy and ready to run.

“The girls have big shoes to fill with the graduation of Ashley Johnson (two-time all area runner and four-year sectional qualifier), Mary McManus, and Caroline Bircher,” coach Johnson said. “But I think they are up for the challenge.”

Nathan Schmidt (senior) is the only returning male this season.

“He looks to be in great shape and ready to compete,” Johnson said.

Schmidt’s goal this year is to qualify for the state meet, having just missed advancing last year by one runner.

Mark Hodapp

Sports Editor