Bishop LeBlond’s girls cross country team didn’t come out as the top squad during Saturday’s Griffon Invite at Missouri Western, but the Golden Eagles showed they were the best Missouri team there.
LeBlond took second place at the Griffon Invite. Three freshmen finished in the top ten of the women’s 5K. Kaitlin Hudson took ninth, Emmerson McChristy took seventh and Tatum Studer took fourth. The Eagles came in second place with 51 points while Omaha North ran away with the meet with a score of 17.
LeBlond coach Gregg Mrkvicka was excited to see his team perform well and come out ahead of the other local teams.
“I think our girls team really stepped up to the challenge,” Mrkvicka said. “We beat the local teams we keyed in on that we’re going to see more often. Polo and Lathrop — we were lucky enough to beat them today. Our girls ran so well. Every girl knocked a ton of time off from Tuesday.”
Mrkvicka also thinks having a strong team like Omaha North there helped push his team even more.
“It’s one thing if you’re against some teams that are a little more equal to you,” Mrkvicka said. “You get complacent. You go, ‘Oh, I’m in the top 10, I’m fine.’ When you got other girls up there, it’s really gonna push that time down.”
As for the boys side of things, LeBlond scored two more top-10 finishes with junior Espiridian Sullivan taking 10th and senior Owen Scott taking sixth. Scott’s finish came down to the wire due to a close race with Hardin-Central Robbie Crippen.
Scott’s time of 20:20.03 seconds barely beat Crippen’s time of 20:20.49 after an accidental bump from Scott that knocked his opponent to the side right at the finish line. Scott says his competitive spirit propelled him to past Crippen no matter what.
“Probably 100 meters left in the race, (Crippen) came in front of me,” Scott said. “I was just completely gassed. I thought I had nothing left, and coming around the turn, he was about 20 yards in front of me. I just started kicking it, moving my legs as fast as possible. I though, ‘I can do this, I can do this.’ By the end of it, I didn’t even care about him and just finished off as hard as I could.”
Scott played in the LeBlond football team’s Friday night 74-12 loss to North Andrew, and he joked that he brought over the smash-mouth style to the grassy knoll.
“I guess my football practices kind of carried over to cross country a little bit,” Scott said. “I gave the guy at the end a little elbow on accident. I apologized, though. My mentality is just, ‘Man, I hate that guy in front of me. I just want to run him over.’”
LeBlond’s next meet is this Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Chillicothe, Missouri.