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2020 menard invitational

6:10 a.m.

     The sun was just starting to peek through over the trees at the Buhlow Recreational Area. There was almost no movement in the park at this early hour, mostly due to the fact that the park is usually closed until 6:30, but because today was RACE DAY they opened the gates to the park a little earlier. A single car sat in the parking lot; a unknown patron, simply looking to get his early morning jog in before his likely busy got in the way, unwittingly runs the first of hundreds of treks across that well beaten path. His headlamps fade into the distance, harkening thoughts of the day that would soon unfold, and what a day it would be! It was sure to be an amazing day, and in that moment God's beauty was shown once again through his creation!  

8:00 a.m. 

         30 minutes to race time. As the final teams arrived and the final preparations were made, a simple look in the faces of the Holy Savior Menard runners showed everything that a coach could possibly want to see, sheer determination. After a hard week of training, both physically and mentally, it was time to see if the Eagles were going to step up to the challenge before them and defend their own turf! It was almost time for the 2020 Menard Invite!

8:29 a.m. 

     The Varsity Girls along with 97 other competitors from 24 other teams, made their way to their individual starting lines, a new experience in the time of COVID. Anticipation was high to see how this new 'wave start' concept would work, but ultimately the girls could not have cared less... to them it was just time to take care of business.


8:30 a.m.

     BANG... The first wave was off with Quinn Brown and Emma DeRosa representing the Eagles. One minute later it was time for Kannin Cole and Chesney Mathews to make their way onto the course. A minute after that Meredith Seeling, Amie Cochran, Abbey Scalisi, Kerigan Garsaud, and Claire Callis began their race. All runners were now on the course, and although the ultimate outcome of the race wouldn't be decided for another few hours it would only take 25:23 seconds for these girls to be finished with the race and bring home 1ST PLACE FOR THE HOLY SAVIOR MENARD EAGLES!


     The finish line was a mad house as the first three runners sprinted their way towards what would be a near photo finish (1.06 seconds between 1st and 3rd), but it would be QUINN BROWN who would reign supreme on this day in particular, with EMMA DEROSA in 3rd! O Captains my Captains indeed! Quinn ran her season best time of 20:36.61 improving by over 1:10 from her best race so far this year! Emma had a career day herself setting a new *PR* with a race of 20:37.67!!!! ABBEY SCALISI was the 3rd fastest EAGLE today with a new *PR* herself of 22:19.32 and placing 11th overall! There will undoubtedly be songs of her valiant effort today sung throughout banquet halls of the Menard faithful! KANNIN COLE was the 4th EAGLE to SOAR across the line today, with a fantastic time of 22:41.81 and finishing 17th overall! It was the same time last year that kicked off a 3 week tear of PRs for Kannin that led to her current PR (and she ran 25 seconds faster this year)! Huge things are on the horizon for Kannin in the next few weeks for sure! CHESNEY MATHEWS was 5th EAGLE to cross in what was her BUHLOW DEBUT! In her first experience with what has lovingly become known as, "THE HILL MONSTER COURSE", she posted a near season best time of 22:47.28 and finishing 20th! It was a true bounce back race for Chesney as she struggled a bit in the previous week, but showed that she definitely means business and is here to contribute to a championship! Next was MEREDITH SEELING posting another huge SEASON BEST time of 22:59.90 and finishing 23rd! As she improves every week she focuses her sight in on that all so elusive PR! It will no doubt be in the near future! AMIE COCHRAN finished 7th for the EAGLES (30th overall) with a SEASON BEST TIME (by 1:10) of 23:34.87 she pulls within 28 seconds of her PR as well! KERIGAN GARSAUD was next for the EAGLES with an absolute *MONSTER PR* of 23:48.74 finishing 33rd overall! Running with a drive that has always been in her but has been waiting for the right moment to show itself! TODAY WAS THE DAY! CLAIRE CALLIS was the final runner for the EAGLES today running her very first 3 mile race ever and posting an INCREDIBLE time of 25:23.25 finishing 47th overall ahead of 60 other runners! With a total team score of 44 the EAGLES crushed the competition today! Great job Varsity girls team!

9:15 a.m.

     The boys were up next and as they made the way to the line the day had a different feeling to it! In a race that featured 114 runners from 24 different schools the Eagles would have their work cut out for them, but they were up to the task! Charles started the team on the first wave, followed 1 minute later by Mikey DeRosa and Carter Byers. Next to take the course in the 3rd wave was Aaron Cantrell and Eli Watkins (making his season debut), and finally in the final wave was Austin Seibeneicher, Caden Elkins, David Shepherd, Jake Noda, and Matthew Hawthorn!  It was a race that certainly had its ups and downs but eventually ended with the HOLY SAVIOR MENARD EAGLES  finishing 2nd PLACE as a team behind 5A POWERHOUSE West Monroe!



     Coming off the his stellar performance last week of sub-17, Captain CHARLES BEARD was the first Eagle to draw points in the race a with a BUHLOW PR of 17:11.62 and finishing 9th overall! His leadership on the team is unparalleled and as a Captain he once again showed that he was willing and able to step up to the line and leave it all on the course! Next for the Eagles was MIKEY DEROSA, who finished 16th overall with a new *PR* of 18:03.92 (the second PR in the DeRosa household of the day)! This talented Freshman finished the football game last night at 9:30 and still woke up with a fire in his belly for competition proving once again that the DeRosa sibling rivalry is very much alive and well! 17s are right around the corner! ELI WATKINS, making his 1st appearance of the year, was next to score for the EAGLES running a 18:33.03 and finishing 22nd overall! It had been 7 months since his last competitive race but there was no tune up needed for this well oiled running machine! Fast, smart, and with the looks to go with it we had to keep some of the girls from running a second race just trying to chase after him! CARTER BYERS finished 4th for the EAGLES squad (25th overall) ran his 2nd fastest race EVER with a fantastic time of 18:43.25! He proved, as he has every race this year, that the future of HSM XC is bright! His focus and determination makes even the sky the minimum of his potential! AARON CANTRELL was 5th for the EAGLES (29th overall) with a BUHLOW PR of 18:56.15! The only thing faster than his feet is his ability to do math, and the Team Captain once again posted a race for the ages! DAVID SHEPHERD was next up for the EAGLES team finishing 46th overall and improving his season best time to 20:19.94. He is rocketing his way toward his PR from last year and will undoubtedly get there in the next few meets! MATTHEW HAWTHORN made his season varsity debut with an absolute BANG shattering his old *PR* by over 1:10 and posting a time of 20:31.17 placing himself in the top 7 times for the team this year (51st overall in the race)! The RACE for STATE TEAM SPACE is heating up quickly and will certainly be exciting as we enter into the middle section of the season! Right on his heels was JAKE NODA who also crushed his old *PR* by 50 seconds today with a time of 20:34.86 and finished 56th overall! Jake has been on a mission all year and the 19s are just a few races away! AUSTIN SEIBENEICHER finished his first ever BUHLOW race with an absolutely solid 20:45.86 finishing 58th overall. As a 7th grader he continues to learn from every race and his future is as bright as it can be! Finishing up the Varsity Boys was CADEN ELKINS who also posted a new *PR* of 21:27.17! He gets faster every week and as he continues to get more races under his belt he will be one that will make his way all to the top without a doubt! CONGRATS TO THE BOYS TEAM ON THEIR FINISH AND THEIR TIMES!


10:00 a.m.

     One of the brightest, and frankly most impressive, parts of the team has been the progress that has taken place with the JV runners over the last 4 weeks! This week saw PRs for 9 runners this week on what is widely considered to be one of the toughest 2 mile courses in the state! The progress being made by this group every week shows that not only are the varsity teams inn great shape but the HSM legacy has a very bright future indeed! I couldn't be prouder at how there athletes are coming along!


AVA LAROUX: This 7th grade runner has gotten faster in each of her 5 races and this week was no different! She set another *PR* this week with a moster time of 16:18.00! An improvement of 1:05!

BREANNA BULLER: Another 7th grade runner, she competed in her 2nd race ever and made a 2:50 improvement on her previous *PR* running a time of 16:40 this week! 

CHELSEA UGOKWE: Although she is an 8th grader this is her rookie year in XC and with the ups and downs that come with a rookie season she set the bar very high today with a new *PR* of 16.57!!!


GUADALUPE PATINO: Guadalupe set a season best time today, breaking into the 19s for the first time this year at 19:58!


HANNAH CROOKS: Hannah continues to greatly improve every week and this week shaved almost 2:00 off of her previous years best run and came within 45 seconds of her overall PR at 17:54!


KATE GILCHRIST: Another 7th grade runner, Kate continues to improve week in and week out! Running an incredible 2:03 faster than her previous weeks race and setting a new *PR* of 17:03!


MIA PARRISH:  Rounding out the JV group is another 7th grade runner who continues to show her progress as she gets more and more experience! Her time of 19:56 is her 2nd best time of the year!


BENNETT LOYACANO: This 1st year runner has steadily improved week in and week out! He is a huge addition to the team and as he continues to progress will become a fixture in the lineup! He set a new *PR* today for the 3rd straight race at 14:04!

FYNN RABORN: Much like Bennett, Fynn has improved in every race that he has run during his time at HSM. He also set a new *PR* of 14:28 this week on a very tough BUHLOW course! Can't wait to see what the future holds!

JANSEN FAIRBANKS: A staple member of the 7th Grade '4 Horsemen' crew, Jansen improved his *PR* once again this week with a time 15:20 and continues to make his march towards greatness!


MICHAEL WHITEHEAD: Another member of the 7thh grade wrecking crew Michael had a truly BREAKOUT meet this week shattering his previous PR by 3:00 and posting a much anticipated 16:24!

SETH SOPRANO: It won't be long before Seth can run a XC race with the same aptitude that he can solve a rubik cube (16 seconds)! The final member of the 7th grade crew he also toppled his PR this week breaking into the sub-15 group with an amazing time of 14:45!

Congrats to all runners this week and I would like everyone to send a prayer for those members of the team that were not able to run with us today for various reasons! You were all missed! 

The team will be traveling to RUSTON next week for another great test!!

by Morgan Redmon






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