The Waterloo High School cross country program got off to a good start to its season Saturday at the Granite City Invitational.
In the boys three-mile race, Waterloo’s Joe Schwartz placed eighth overall in a field that consisted of runners from 23 schools with a time of 16:10.21. The younger brother of past WHS running greats Jenna and Jake won the Class 2A race.
Due to coronavirus restrictions of only 50 racers on the course at one time, the meet was split into three different heats based on school size.
The Columbia boys were led by Thomas Crossley, who placed 33rd overall at 17:12.16.
In the girls race, Waterloo placed fourth as a team, but second to only Highland in Class 2A. There were 19 schools competing.
The Bulldogs were led by Angelynn Kanyuck, who placed fifth overall (second in Class 2A) with a time of 19:19.53 for her first high school race. Ali Kloeppel placed 14th overall at 20:03.09 and Danielle Mudd placed 16th at 20:10.65 for Waterloo.
“It was a great start to the season, and with such a young team on both sides, I think we will see a lot of improvements,” WHS cross country coach Larry Huffman said.
Leading the way for the Columbia girls was Madison Missey in 23rd place at 20:33.15.
On Friday, the Valmeyer High School boys ran in the New Athens meet against Okawville, Marissa and Steeleville.
The Pirates were led by Harrison Miller, who placed fourth overall at 19:42 , and Matthew Espinoza, who placed 11th at 22:27.
Last Wednesday, the Dupo High School cross country program competed in a meet at Granite City against the host school as well as Althoff and Civic Memorial.
In the boys race, Dupo’s Peter Taylor and Keyonte Scarbrough tied for 15th place overall with identical times of 19:22.29.
In the girls race, Dupo’s Sarah Vanover placed 13th at 23:52.32, Page Mushaney placed 16th at 26:02.26, Allyson Ellis placed 19th at 27:01.60 and Madison Ragsdale placed 21st at 27:46.45.
The Gibault Catholic High School cross country team, under new head coach Andy Skaer, will open its season Thursday.
The Hawks have four girls and two boys running this season.
Brooke Biffar, who qualified for state as a freshman and sophomore but did not run last year, returns for her senior year.
Other girls runners are sophmores Regan Gerteisen, Sydney Wahle and Lauren Eichholz.
Boys runners for Gibault are senior Paden Schultz and sophomore Jackson Geodeke.
“We hope to get stronger and faster as the year progresses,” Skaer said. “With the postseason still up in the air, we just want to compete against ourselves and get better.”