Semoball

Woodland's Sloan crosses line first at Oak Ridge Invitational

St. Vincent sophomore Anna Schwartz finishes one second ahead of junior Genevieve Lipe during the Oak Ridge Invitational cross country meet Sept. 24, 2019, at Oak Ridge High School. The two St. Vincent varsity runners finished fifth and sixth place respectively.
Ben Matthews ~ Southeast Missourian

Woodland’s Timothy Sloan took the first-place boys’ medal in Tuesday’s Oak Ridge Invitational cross country meet.

Sloan, 17, readily admits that another sport is his first love and he took an unlikely route to the front of the field.

“I played baseball and ended up permanently injuring my shoulder in the eighth grade,” said the Cardinals senior who finished in 17 minutes, 20 seconds. “I had my mind set that if I couldn’t play baseball, I wouldn’t play anything.”

It was a sibling who turned him on to open-field running.

“My older sister joined the cross country team to get in shape,” Sloan explained.

With her encouragement, Sloan got on the team and “fell in love with it.”

Injury continues to dog the fleet-footed Sloan and taking top honor in the varsity race was not at all expected.

“Honestly it was not,” said Sloan. “I pulled three muscles over the summer and was in physical therapy just this morning.”

St. Vincent won both boys and girls varsity divisions, with Jack Baer finishing runner-up seven seconds behind Sloan to lead the boys.

Sloan was not alone in his original preference for other activities.

Omar Campos, second-year coach at Kelly, knows it’s hard to attract student-athletes to cross country.

Campos believes technology is a huge impediment for getting kids to come out for all sports.

“It’s hard to get teens to leave their phones for five seconds,” Campos said. “And you can’t run cross country with a phone in your hand.”

Despite what he says is difficulty in recruiting, Campos has grown the program.

“I have eight high schoolers and 11 middle school kids this year,” Campos said. Last year he had a total of seven in the entire program.

One of the smallest programs invited to the invitational, St. Paul Lutheran in Farmington, fielded just one varsity runner for the meet.

Delta coach Gordon Walton originated the school’s cross country program 19 years ago.

Walton is convinced Delta’s 2019 squad is the best team ever on his watch.

He says there is no secret when it comes to having success in this sport.

“[It takes] a lot of mental toughness and a good work ethic,” said the Bobcats leader.

Perryville’s Courtney Wright won the girls race in 20:38, finishing six seconds ahead of teammate Tegan Bishop.

St. Paul’s Olivia Ayers, 17, finished 20th, which is just above the cutoff for medaling. She was the lone representative for her school in the varsity race.

“I used to hate running and would sit in the road and cry,” Ayers said. “I don’t like running alone.”

Ayers’ mom made her daughter try the sport and the junior came around.

“I love it now,” Ayers said.

Several of the teams sported notable messages on their warmup T-shirts.

A few had religious messages, such as Saxony Lutheran’s “Running the race, looking to Jesus.”

“Over the river and through the woods...and hills and more woods and more hills and another river” read a pullover worn by a Valle Catholic parent.

Perhaps the most provocative message was sported by an older man who apparently was not associated with any particular school.

“Running is a mental sport and we are all insane.”

Oak Ridge coach Kristi Seyer, in her sixth year at the Cape County school, said cross country offers a student-athlete many ways to be successful.

“You can run to win or to improve your time from the last outing,” Seyer said. “You can use the sport to get in great shape.”

Perhaps most important of all, Seyer adds, is just getting a teenager to finish the race.

“Don’t stop. Don’t give up,” she said.

Over 500 teenagers were registered for the invitational representing 26 schools, up three from 2018.

BOYS

Team Scores — 1. St. Vincent 57; 2. Oak Ridge 82; 3. Woodland 91

Top Ten overall finishers

1. Timothy Sloan — Woodland (17:20); 2. Jack Baer — St. Vincent (17:27); 3. kenneth Rampley — Bell City (17:53); 4. Carter Mayfield — Woodland (17:55); 5. Brayden Mullins — Fredericktown (17:56); 6. Nathan Shrum — Meadow Heights (17:59); 7. Coby Gilbert — North County (18:06); 8. Tanner Martinez — Bismarck (18:10); 9. Trent Friedman — Perryville (18:14); 10. Jordan Borseth — North County (18:18)

Local top five finishers

DELTA — 25. Kyle Rogers (19:39); 32. Isaiah Thomas (19:55); 54. Gunner Lesch (20:59); 60. Jon Bond (21:29); 64. Grant Coomer (21:50)

LEOPOLD - 46. Caleb Schaab (20:34); 67. Cameron Abernathy (21:58); 75. Connor Lincoln (23:58); 80. Sam Horrell (25:58)

MARQUAND ZION — 59. Timothy Clippard (21:23); 77. Wyatt Simpson (25:15)

MEADOW HEIGHTS — 6. Nathan Shrum (17:59); 68. Corey Bollinger (22:12); 73. Ben Lincoln (23:50)

OAK RIDGE — 11. Tanner Schamburg (18:20); 17. Mason Keith (18:52); 20. Philip Marshall (19:03); 21. Justin Ward (19:12); 33. Bryce Hahs (19:57)

PERRYVILLE — 9. Trent Friedman (18:14); 28. Lucas Smith (19:46); 44. Cameron Smith (20:34); 57. Corey Ziegler (21:09); 62. Haden Copeland (21:38)

SAXONY LUTHERAN — 24. Samuel Varnon (19:30); 66. Ty Seabaugh (21:55)

ST. VINCENT — 2. Jack Baer (17:27); 12. Kyle Steinbecker (18:34); 15. Caleb Roth (18:47); 19. Gabe Anders (18:56); 22. Isaac Hotop (19:16)

WOODLAND — 1. Timothy Sloan (17:20); 4. Carter Mayfield (17:55); 14. Toby Sloan (18:36); 35. Jarid Frymier (20:00); 58. Dominic Lutes (21:20)

GIRLS

Team Scores — 1. St. Vincent 74; 2. Perryville 77; 3. Valle Catholic 108

Top Ten overall finishers

1. Courtney Wright — Perryville (20:38); 2. Tegan Bishop — Perryville (21:44); 3. Madison Otte — Valle Catholic (22:10); 4. Emily Stewart — Woodland (22:16); 5. Anna Schwartz — St. Vincent (22:40); 6. Genevieve Lipe — St. Vincent (22:41); 7. Kendall Holweg — Delta (22:53); 8. Kira Hagan — Perryville (22:54); 9. Hailey Hernandez — Meadow Heights (22:57); 10. Mary Roth — Valle Catholic (23:07)

Local top five finishers

DELTA — 7. Kendall Holweg (22:53); 29. Emily Landewee (25:54); 42. Ailya Callaway (28:42); 48. Harmon Cash (no time posted); 49. Brooke Coomer (no time posted)

LEOPOLD - 19. Kinslee Vandermierden (24:25); 50. Kyla Beel (no time posted)

MEADOW HEIGHTS — 9. Hailey Hernandez (22:57)

PERRYVILLE — 1. Courtney Wright (20:38); 2. Tegan Bishop (21:44); 8. Kira Hagan (22:54); 24. Elizabeth Dunn (24:51); 28. Keturah Pyland (25:39)

SAXONY LUTHERAN — 21. Staci Bangert (24:40); 33. Anna Thomason (26:26); 38. Megan Casasola (27:23); 43. Eden Dehne (30:06); 46. Jillian Majors (33:23)

ST. VINCENT — 5. Anna Schwartz (22:40); 6. Genevieve Lipe (22:41); 12. Gabby Gremaud (23:22); 16. Sophia Martin (24:01); 22. Katelyn Sutterer (24:42)

WOODLAND — 4. Emily Stewart (22:16); 11. Hailee Green (23:14); 15. Harley Green (24:00); 26. Ava Arnzen (25:06); 39. Denyce Harper (27:40)

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