Elbert, Kitchell at Meet

Washington's Travis Elbert, left, and Tate Kitchell compete at the Parkway West Invitational. Elbert earned a medal by placing 25th in 17:10. Kitchell was 46th in 17:57.

Travis Elbert continued his solid start to the cross country season by earning medalist honors Saturday at the Parkway West Invitational.

The top 30 varsity finishers were awarded medals.

Elbert, the Washington High School senior, finished 25th in the boys race in a time of 17:10.

“Travis was our lone medalist. He ran a great position race, being as high as 15th. The pace took its toll on him as he lost eight positions over the last minute,” said Washington Coach Mike Olszowka. “Travis understands what happened and what he needs to do over the next three weeks to make a run to be a state qualifier.”

The meet took place at Living Word United Methodist Church in Wildwood.

“We were pleased with our kids’ efforts. It’s a strange course that puts you in a position to go out hard to establish position or to run a regular start and get pushed back by a large pack and a close narrow pinch point,” Olszowka said. “Our kids did great. They got out the way they needed to, but then read their positions and settled down to their normal pace.”

The Blue Jays finished 12th out of 19 teams in the varsity boys team standings with 339 points.

Lafayette won the boys team title with 56 points. Rock Bridge finished second followed by O’Fallon Township, Ill., St. Louis University High and Parkway West.

Also running for the Blue Jays were Tate Kitchell (46th in 17:57), Daniel Lock (77th in 18:59), Josh Luck (89th in 19:23) and Jacob Huxol (102nd in 19:59).

Rock Bridge’s Evan Schulte won the boys race in 15:46.

The Lady Jays placed 14th out of 16 teams in the varsity girls team standings with 339 points.

Josie Plowman led Washington’s girls, finishing 32nd in 21:11.

Also running were Ashton Leslie (44th in 21:42), Cheyanne Leslie (84th in 23:31), Alex Ready (87th in 24:02) and Kassy Briggs (92nd in 24:41).

Cor Jesu’s Jill Whitman won the girls race in 18:36.

“For an average, we were almost 45 seconds better than last year on the same course. Those are the kinds of improvements that show what the kids have done over the last year,” Olszowka said. “Most of the kids are starting to come up out of their valley and are in a good position for a peak over the next two to three weeks.”