HSM Menard Invitational

     

     It is rarely the moments in life that go the way that we wish that they would that define us. In fact, it is the moments in which we face the greatest difficulties that we are best able to find the things that we must improve upon the reach our full potential. It is those moments, that we sometimes see as setbacks, that launch us into a new trajectory that we never believed was possible! This is true in life and in sports as well. There is nothing to be learned from winning a football game by 70 points against an inferior opponent, just as there is nothing to be gained from running a great time in cross country race that does not challenge you by forcing you to the brink of your abilities. There is of course the great jubilation that comes with the initial accomplishment, but unless you win the state championship is such a fashion, or run a 2:00 PR in the State cross country race in your Senior year, the insatiable appetite for improvement should never feel quenched.

     The HSM XC team is very lucky to have such a cross country course that serves as their home course. The ravenous beast, known by a single word, presents a different kind of challenge than any other course in the entire state of Louisiana. She has taken many forms over the years and with the recent changes to the course she may be a mightier foe than ever. Her daunting hills, seemingly never ending, begin within the first half mile and unrelentingly whittle away at the legs of her victims for the next 2 and a half miles, only subsiding in time to dangle the carrot of the finish line in front of the face of those who have braved her treacherous path. By the time the runners cross her finish line there is no doubt in their hearts that there is work to be done before facing her once again, and despite the agony of their experience they yearn to return. You cannot compare your race time at this historic location with your time anywhere else because there is nowhere else like the hollowed ground that lies in the heart of the great state of Louisiana. What is her name... the name of the course whose hills sap the energy out of even the strongest of legs... who humbles the greatest of runners... who strikes fear into the soles of all the shoes who line up on her start? We all know her as BUHLOW!

     "Of all the courses, in all the towns, in all the world, she had to be my mine." -Runphrey Bogart (Casaverdeyblanca 1942)

     It was here, at the hardest course in the state, that the HSM XC team found themselves running this weekend against 30 other schools from around the state, 10 of which were late additions due to weather in the south not allowing some of them to run. The weather was not ideal for the first weekend of October, but rarely can you count on it being ideal in the throws of hurricane season, but the HSM crew set out to run. We did not see many PRs this week, but when compared to the times the team ran at Buhlow to open the season in our Jamboree we saw some very good improvement!

 

Girls Varsity:

     The Girls team found themselves back in a familiar position this week by taking second place overall in the Varsity Girls race! Leading the team this week, as she has all but one race this year, was Kannin Cole and ran a great Buhlow time of 21:35, her best ever official race time at Buhlow! She has gotten to the point in the season where she is primed for a breakthrough just like many of her teammates. Senior Emma DeRosa finished second for the Eagles this week. Her time of 22:29 was 13 seconds faster than her time she ran in the jamboree meet and she will look to really make a solid jump in next weeks race in the teams much anticipated return to Highland Park in Baton Rouge. Like Emma, Quinn Brown also has her sights set on the return to Baton Rouge following a year long hiatus from the course, but it didn't stop her from running a strong time of 23:24 this week in the official home opener for the Eagles. Chesney Mathews improved her Buhlow time from earlier in the year by almost a full minute and finished 4th on the Lady Eagles team with a time of 24:05. 5th for the Varsity girls team was 8th grader Claire Callis, improving her time on the new course by over 2:00 to 25:41,and continuing her campaign towards making a major impact on this HSM team by the end of the year. Next up was Ava Grace Laroux, another 8th grader on the team this year who has major steps toward cementing her place on this years state team with another solid performance of 25:59! Abbey Scalisi and Amie Cochran wrapped up the Varsity team this week with times of 26:48 and 27:12. Each of them have such grand plans for the season and there is no doubt that those goals will be realized next week at Catholic High.

 

JV Girls: 

     The JV team this week consisted of 3 girls who all finished in the top 10 of the JV race and although they did not have enough runners score to win the race would have certainly demolished the rest of the competition! Breanna Buller finished second in the race with a fantastic time of 26:54 and improved over 3 minutes from her time earlier in the year. Caroline Crooks finished 4th overall, in her first top 5 finish of her career, running a time of 28:38! Mia Parrish wrapped up the JV girls team with a 10th place finish and a time of 31:00. Great job to all the girls this week!

Varsity Boys:       

     

     The varsity boys team put up an incredible fight but ultimately finished in third behind two quality programs Barbe and ESA. Noah Gad continued his streak of leading the team this year with another top 10 overall finish and an improvement on this Buhlow course of almost 20 seconds. His time of 17:55 showed his drive and effort despite to difficulty of the race. Cayden Gorham ran one of his strongest races of the year with an awesome time of 18:16! For the second time this year he beat out his fellow 8th grader Austin Siebeneicher in the finish order who ran 18:28 this week. These two runners push each other day in and day out in a friendly competition at practice that is driving both of them to unbelievable heights! Carter Byers was next for the Eagles running a time of 18:58 in what was certainly one of his bests races (although he did not throw up this week). Charles Beard wrapped up the top 5 this week with a time of 19:19 on what was a very difficult day for times, but a very solid day for effort! Following Charles was Mikey DeRosa who struggled a bit in the early part of the race but finished very strong with 3rd mile that was faster than his first mile bringing home a time of 19:38. Aaron Cantrell returned to Buhlow to start his Senior sessions at the place he has called his home turf for quite some time. His time of 19:43 was not his best time ever at Buhlow, but it was certainly an improvement over his time earlier in the season. In the next 3 races at Buhlow he looks to leave his mark in the face of this monster of a course. Landry McGlothin, the other Senior on this years team, finished next for the Eagles and although this is the first time that he has run at Buhlow as his official home course he has his fair share of sparring sessions with it. His time of 19:58 gives a little glimpse into the future of what is to come with a date with destiny and sub 19:00 in the near future. Matthew Hawthorne ran one of his best Buhlow races with a time of 20:00 and looks forward to his upcoming race at Highland where he will look to once again be back on the PR train! Finishing up the Varsity group this week was Michael Gad who finished the race with a look of astonishment that he had indeed tamed the hills of the mighty Buhlow. The toll it took on him passed quickly though once he realized that his best time on the course had been run at 20:44!

JV Boys:

     This week for the JV boys was an immense success with the team bringing home 1st place for the meet and Jake Noda not only leading the pack of 6 HSM Eagles in the top 10, but also racking up the #1 overall time in the race at 20:13! Assisting Jake in the victory was Jansen Fairbanks who finished 2nd for the Eagles (4th overall) and ran a time of 22:22! This was his best Buhlow time ever and a great effort for the 8th grader. Seth Soprano finished 6th in the race overall and 3rd on the team for the Eagles this week! His time of 22:33 gave him a huge boost going into next weeks race in Baton Rouge! Caden Elkins continued his major comeback season (suffered a major injury setback at the end of the summer) with a 7th overall finish and a great time of 22:55! He will undoubtedly demolish his old PR next week as he has been chasing it for a full year now! Adam Traczewitz was 8th overall and ran a time of 23:01. His times throughout the year have steadily fallen lower but with this being his first race at Buhlow his time is far more than an accomplishment for this outstanding 8th grade runner. David Shepherd fought with everything he had to run his time of 23:20, giving 100% through the finish line and earn the 9th overall finish in the race. Simon Chapman put together an impressive effort for a 7th grader by running a time of 25:06, and will look to hit his goal of breaking 22:00 in the coming weeks! Next was Noah Ryder who once again put together a great race of 25:12 and will undoubtedly continue to get better every single race! John Laborde also recorded his first official Buhlow race this week and found it to be extremely daunting, but didn't give up and ran a time of 25:14. Michael Whitehead continued to show his progress by shaving several minutes off of his previous best Buhlow time by running a race of 26:45! He has put together a string of great races and hopes to see the fruits of his labor next week in Baton Rouge. Jack Anderson finished up the JV team with a time of 27:20, setting the lone PR for the week by 3:00 and making huge strides forward every day at practice. Griffin Green made his season debut in the 2 mile race this week and set his initial mark for the race at 20:15! This was his first race as part of the HSM XC family and we are happy to have him be a part of the team.

Great Job Eagles!!!