Cross Country Wraps Up with a Win


Owen Fink ‘18, Editor

The Salesianum cross-country team, at its largest size ever this year at 104 runners, has quite the extensive vocabulary. Capitulation, however, is a word still unknown to them, proven as they showed time and time again this past fall the value of hard work and dedication. The team took to heart the motto of “Accept the Challenge” that their captains chose for the 2017 season. Whether it was hard workouts at Rockford Park in 90º+ weather or 50-minute runs leading up to Counties as temperatures plummeted, the team continually encouraged each other to keep moving forward and push their own limits.

The opening of the season saw the runners participating in many tournaments, starting with the Cherokee Challenge in New Jersey. Out-of-state competitions were a major part of the schedule for most of the season, with events like the Oatlands Invitational in Virginia, and the Manhattan Invitational in New York highlighting the schedule.

Returning varsity runner and senior captain Lucien Peach was a little apprehensive heading into the season about the size of the team, but ultimately had a positive feeling for the following season as the year concluded. According to Peach, “the biggest struggles that the team faced this year were mainly internal. We had a really big roster and had some problems getting everyone on board with the message of the team. The captains had to take some initiative to make sure that our team was staying focused, but we were really glad with the results. Especially towards the end of the season, our comradery strengthened a lot. I think people finally fully understood the mindset that some of the other runners had and took it up with enthusiasm.”

That mindset spread throughout the team and remained with them throughout the year, as the team won both Counties at Winterthur and States at Killens Pond. Junior Mike Keehan led the team at States to an all-state finish, placing first overall. He was trailed shortly by senior Austin Barry in 3rd and fellow junior Sean Banko in 5th. Senior speeches at Sallies after the long bus ride back from Killens marked the true end to the season, and left underclassmen with advice to think over as they now accepted the new challenge of stepping up to each play their own part in the next fall’s team.