SFDS Runners Win Championships
Through the month of October, St. Francis de Sales runners competed in four cross-country meets culminating in the CYO Diocesan Championships on October 31. The races were divided by gender and age, with older runners running longer distances. Running is an individual endeavor, but cross-country is a team sport. The finish place of the top five runners from each team are added and the team with the lowest total wins the race. So it is up to each team member to race to the best of their ability. And all the SFDS runners performed fantastically. Senior girls and junior girls each won diocesan championships. Senior boys placed second in the Diocesan Championship.
Senior boys (13 and 14 years old), after winning the sectional championship on October 24, narrowly lost the diocesan championship to St. Kevin’s, 34 points to 40 points. John Brennan and Stephen Werner dueled for the lead in the diocesan championship race with John (6:26) just nipping Stephen (6:27) at the finish, each setting personal records for the 1.2 mile course. They were followed by P.J. Mullin (11th, 7:20), Brian O’Donnell (12th, 7:22), Greg McLoughlin (14th, 7:26) and Patrick Benn (18th, 7:39).
The senior girls defended their diocesan championship, defeating St. Thomas More 34 points to 54 points. They were also sectional champs. As in the senior boys race, SFDS runners dueled for first place with Lauren Diffendale (6:52) edging Cristen Mullin (6:54). Lauren and Cristen each broke the 7:00 barrier for the first time in SFDS and CYO history. Ellenora Featherston (8th, 7:46), Mary Edwards (9th, 7:56 - a personal best!), Chrissy Suslak (14th, 8:15), Cara O’Donnell (8:30), Suzanne Hurley (8:52) and Liz Hurley (8:58) completed the championship team.
Junior girls (11 and 12 years old), led by Martina Featherston (1stt, 5:59), Corrine Howley (2nd, 6:23), Bantam Shinnanne Featherston (9th, 6:44), Allison Lee (10th, 6:45) and Courtney Donahue (11th, 6:46) scored 33 points to win the Diocesan Championship over St. Kevin’s (96 points). The junior girls also won the sectional championship on October 24.
Competing in the junior boys race (one mile) were Jim Hayden (5:47) and Chris Jones (6:25).
Bantam boys (9 and 10 years old), led by Andy Cruz (1st, 4:23) won second place in the sectional championship. Competing in the diocesan championship three-fourths mile race were: Andy Cruz (4:28), Sean Kearney (4:34), Danny Edwards (4:38), Brian Frazer (5:25), Novice Luke Werner (5:55) and Ryan McHale (6:18).
Novices competing in the half mile diocesan championship race were Kilby Featherston (4:08) and Danny Frazer who, despite being tripped in the middle of the race, finished in a personal best 4:01. Novice girls in the Diocesan Championship race were Sarah Donahue (4:04), Susan Richter (4:19), Kathryn Edwards (4:20) and Fallon Mullin (4:51).
A special thanks to the parents who supported our cross-country season and helped at the meets.