For three miles, St. Francis Borgia Regional senior cross country runner Drew Snider was content to share the lead at the New Haven Cross Country Invitational.
But as Snider and Hermann junior Dalton Gleeson neared the final turn, Snider acted, beating Gleeson in a sprint to the finish.
Snider crossed the line in 16:49.41 to win the boys individual title Saturday. Gleeson was second at 16:50.41.
“It was a great race by Drew,” Borgia Head Coach Mitch Figas said. “I was impressed with his patience. He knows he is very fit so I was a little worried that he would go out too hard and suffer at the end. He learned a lot about how to run his best race during track and really applied that strategy today.”
Overall, New Haven Head Coach John Tucker felt conditions were just right for the meet, the first one of the season for many of the teams.
“It was our 20th meet and a great day for cross country,” Tucker said. “It probably was the best weather we have had in years. I feel that our course provides the runners with many challenges from hills to uneven terrain and relatively flat sections. It’s definitely a challenge early in the season.”
Hermann senior Carter Hemeyer was third to the stripe in 17:09.46.
New Bloomfield had the next two finishers as Caleb Distler was fourth in 17:17.07 and Nathan Hinrichs took fifth in 17:28.21.
Tolton Catholic’s Silas Glaude grabbed sixth in 17:29.51.
Owensville’s top runner was junior Austin Terry in 17:54.76.
Rounding out the top 10 were Tolton Catholic’s Drew Freeman in 17:55.27, Union junior Dominick Beine in 17:59.61 and Tolton Catholic’s Jarod Aholt at 18:00.22.
Four more area runners were in the next 10 finishers. Hermann junior Jake Weber was 11th in 18:01.95.
Union sophomore Gabe Hoekel ended 13th in 18:08.78.
Borgia senior Nicholas Weber was 14th in 18:14.49.
“Nick Weber ran a very tough race and was rewarded with a huge PR,” Figas said. “Nick is a perfect role model for so many young athletes. He didn’t have the best results when he first started, but he stuck with it, always worked hard and now it is paying off.”
Pacific sophomore Collin Haley was 19th in 18:21.86 with Owensville sophomore Bam Wizeman taking 20th in 18:25.37.
The top 15 runners earned individual medals.
In the team standings Tolton Catholic was the winner with 47 points. The Columbia school had five runners in the top 17 finishers.
Hermann was second at 56 points. Pacific took third at 136 while New Bloomfield and Union each scored 157 points.
Owensville was sixth at 167 points, New Haven took seventh at 171 and St. Dominic ended with 188 points to claim eighth.
Rounding out the field were Calvary Lutheran (214), Montgomery County (214), Linn (264), Vienna (285) and Lighthouse Prep (324).
The race nearly ended before it really got going as a Montgomery County runner tripped and fell near the front of the pack as the teams headed out from the starting line. Fortunately, he was able to get up without any other runners falling.
Hermann’s other runners were Peer Giles (23rd in 18:32.61), Josh Hagedorn (24th in 18:33.19), Michael Giles (31st in 19:07.51) and Woodrow Heldt (54th in 20:29.53).
For Pacific, Benjamin Brunjes was 25th in 18:34.37. Nick Hunkins closed out 28th in 18:38.15. Dylan Mooney ended 34th in 19:26.64. Brett Bearden was 43rd in 19:54.82.
For Union, Hayden Monroe placed 33rd in 19:21.37. Matthew Reidel ended 37th in 19:36.37. Tanner Hall rounded out Union’s runners placing 81st in 23:12.21.
Other Owensville runners were Treyden Williams (40th in 19:43.99), Jacob Breedlove (53rd in 20:28.60), Christian Lowes (66th in 21:36.29) and Dylan Fudge (77th in 22:21.92).
“We were only able to race five boys at this meet, but they all came out with solid performances,” Union Head Coach Sarah Meiners said.
“I think Dominick Beine, Gabe Hoekel and Hayden Monroe surprised themselves by how much they improved from last year,” Meiners said. “They all put in a lot of work in the off season and they can see how much it paid off by coming through with big PRs in the first race. Matt Reidel also came out with a strong race considering he is nursing a hamstring issue. Tanner Hall, who is brand new to the sport, just got a taste of his first cross country race. We have a few racing strategies we need to work out with the team as a whole, but there is a lot to be optimistic about here with this group of guys. We are looking to improve even more at Forest Park this Saturday.”
Austin Tegeler was New Haven’s top finisher, taking 27th in 18:37.12. Dominic Lewis was next in 18:44.39. Logan Williams was next in 19:32.53. Matthew Otten placed 46th in 20:08.46 while Hunter Tallent placed 49th in 20:13.22. Keagan Huff (62nd in 21:30.43) and Charlie Roth (64th in 21:31.54) rounded out the Shamrocks.
Borgia’s other runner was Ben Juengling, who placed 30th in 18:57.21.
“This was Ben’s first race since state last year and it is going to take him a bit to get back into racing mode,” Figas said. “You watch his workouts and you know the fitness is there he just needs a few races under his belt and he will be back to the guy who was 31st at state cross country last year.”