Mascoutah Comes On Strong To Sweep FTTF KickOff Classic Titles

Edwardsville, IL-

The 9th Annual First to the Finish Kickoff Classic was hosted on the SIU-E cross country course. The competive meet took place Saturday morning where 55 high schools competed against one another for a day of great racing. Newcomer Lydia Roller rolls to victory (Tracy Burmester photo)

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Top 5 Girls Teams-
1Mascoutah High School8813+14+18+19+24 (32+34)0:48 1-5 Split | 21:52 Avg
2Lutheran (Springfield) High School1113+7+9+22+70 (114+149)3:53 1-5 Split | 21:50 Avg
3Freeburg High School1162+21+23+33+37 (43+60)2:49 1-5 Split | 22:05 Avg
4Decatur St. Teresa High School1304+17+30+35+44 (45+52)2:54 1-5 Split | 22:14 Avg
5Breese Mater Dei High School19215+28+36+46+67 (69+90)2:25 1-5 Split | 22:59 Avg

Girls results

It was a different sight in the girls' race now that former four-time champion Effingham (St. Anthony's) Anna Sophia Keller was not there to lead the way.  There was however another freshman that decided to leave her mark on the challenging 5K course. Lydia Roller of Staunton ran a smart race positioning herself among the top two runners for the first mile, then took the lead by the second mile.  Coming down the home stretch, Roller was all alone and managed to cross the finish line in under 20 minutes.  Her time was 19:53.9, with Breanna Chandler of Freeburg running 20:08.8 to finish second.  Chandler also demonstrated an impressive race by running in fifth place through the first mile, but worked her way up within the second, more challenging mile.  When the runners came into view following the two mile mark, Chandler had moved up to third place and eventually  passed Herrin's Kaelan Hall who was in second place at the time.  Hall went on to place fifth, while Veronica Hein of St. Teresa placed fourth and Maddy Eck of Lutheran Springfield place third.

Jackson Stewart was victorious on the boys side (Tracy Burmester photo)

Boy Results

Top 5 Teams-

1Mascoutah High School11015+21+23+25+26 (39+58)0:44 1-5 Split | 17:56 Avg
2Freeburg High School1286+17+20+38+47 (80+82)1:51 1-5 Split | 17:55 Avg
3Notre Dame (Cape Girardeau) High School19810+11+32+70+75 (85+105)2:10 1-5 Split | 18:19 Avg
4Father McGivney High School2058+24+44+61+68 (99+159)2:22 1-5 Split | 18:25 Avg
5Pinckneyville High School22516+18+36+49+106 (125+140)2:38 1-5 Split | 

In the boys' race, multiple moves were made to determine the outcome of the race. Jackson Stewart of St. Teresa ran a controlled race by positioning himself behind a group of runners that chose to go through the first mile pretty quick.  Wesclin's Justin Mumford ran right beside Stewart as they passed the mile marker and managed to stay close behind as Stewart moved to the lead by the two mile.  That one-two remained until the end as Stewart crossed the line in 16:29.0 and Mumford 16:35.1. Luke Goebel of Breese Mater Dei came in just a second later to place third, followed by Caleb Cornelius of Saxony Lutheran and Austin Knight of Carterville who finished fourth and fifth.  Charlie Parrish of Freeburg was the winner of last year's meet but did not run Saturday morning.  Parrish was the only runner to run under 17 minutes in 2016, and this year there were nine runners who did so. 

Looking at how schools finished in the team results, Mascoutah proved to be a strong team across the board; both the girls' and boys' teams took home first place hardware.  There were more than 300 runners in the girls' race, and even a hundred more in the boys' race.  The top five finishers for the Mascoutah girls were Julia Kapp, Arianna Climaco, Elizabeth Byington, Kailee Chau, and Naya Busbea, who placed 13th, 14th, 18th, 19th, and 24th to have a team total of 88 points.  Lutheran Springfield placed second with 111 points, while Freeburg earned 116 points to place third.  The Mascoutah boys' team also did a great job of running as a pack; the top 5 runners placed 15th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, and 26th, which were Casmir Cozzi, Patrick Thompson, Brandon Johnson, Darion Taylor, and Matthew McNicol.  Freeburg place second with 128 points, and Notre Dame Cape Girardeau earned 198 points to round out a third place finish.