By Tom Gamble, GCL South Commissioner
Senior Nathan Mountain from St. Xavier covered the 5K course at Christ’s Church in Mason Saturday morning in a winning time of 16:31.7 to finish atop the varsity field in the Greater Catholic League Cross Country Championships, helping the Bombers successfully defend their league title for the eighth consecutive year.
St. Xavier runners captured five of the top eight spots and finished with a team score of 24 points, while Elder’s Jarod Timmers (16:33.4) and Cooper Mullen (16:35.2) finished behind Mountain to help the Panthers come in second in the team standings, with 42 points. La Salle was third with 73, followed by Moeller at 105.
The Bombers have won 13 league titles since 2000.
Ursuline Academy was the winner again in the Girls’ Greater Catholic League race, held in conjunction with the GCL South. Junior Hannah Doerger and senior Jenna Murdock finished first and second, respectively, with times of 18:40.0 and 19.09.3 to help lead the Lions to their fourth straight title, posting 34 points. St. Ursula Academy was second (63), followed by Mercy McAuley (71), Seton (95) and Mount Notre Dame (95).
Joe Doogan (16:38.2), Matthew Hoak (16:40.0) and Nick Mills (16:42.9) – all from St. Xavier – came in fourth through sixth, respectively, in the boys’ varsity race. La Salle’s Ryan Crail (16:43.7), Thomas Walters of St. Xavier (16:44.6), Nick Vogt of La Salle (16:49.0), and Elder’s Connor Magness (16:51.5) rounded out the top 10 finishers. Mountain was named the GCL South Runner of the Year for his efforts, while Bombers’ coach Andy Wietmasrchen was named GCL South Coach of the Year.
Elder cross country coach Steve Spender was recognized during the post-race awards ceremony. Spencer is retiring following the season after leading the Panthers’ “Purple Pack” for the last 45 years. During his tenure as Elder’s cross country coach, the Panthers won 15 GCL titles and had an unprecedented run of 22 consecutive seasons qualifying for the state meet. Elder won state titles in 1972, 1981, 1986 and 1989.
Other GCL South race division winners were: Junior Varsity – John Dillon, St. Xavier (16:56.1); Open – Michael Srinivasan, St. Xavier (17:12.2); and Freshman 2 Mile – Nate Stieger, St. Xavier (11:15.2). St. Xavier finished first in the team standings in all four races. For complete race results, visit http://www.finishtimingresults.com/2018/10-13-GCL/.