St. Francis Runners Sweep Sectional Championships
On Sunday, October 23rd, the SFDS Cross-Country team competed at Alley Pond Park in the Sectional Championships with outstanding results. Out of eight age and gender divisions, SFDS won six championships. In the Sectional Championships, the twelve competing parishes were divided into two sections, Black and Yellow. Competing in the Black section, SFDS’s Junior girls and boys (ages 11 and 12), Bantam girls and boys (ages 9 and 10) and Novice girls and boys (ages 8 and under) were first place gold medal winners. (SFDS had no runners in the Senior division. Hard to believe the parish has no 13 and 14 year olds willing to run a 1.1 mile race.)
Running is an individual endeavor but cross-country is a team effort. To determine the score, the places of the top three finishers from each team in a race are added, the team with the lowest total is champion; the next lowest score is second, etc. Also, individual medals were awarded to the top 15 runners from each section in each race. The SFDS runners focused on running strong and passing as many competitors as they could on their way to the finish line.
For the Junior girls, newcomers Erin Nuszer (2nd, 6:09) and Helen Kennedy (3rd, 6:11) and veteran Patti O’ Rourke (5th, 6:27) won the gold. The Junior boys, known as the juggernaut, placed 9 runners in the first 13 places. Led by Steve Pulkoski (2nd, 5:20), Danny Donahue (4th, 5:26), Joe Wolfer (5th, 5:27), Kilby Featherston (6th, 5:29), Pat Kilgallen (7th, 5:29), James Goldberg (8th, 5:34), John McCormack (10th, 5:43), James Mercer (12th, 5:50) and Connor Davan (13th, 5:52), they steamrolled through their ¾ of a mile race for the championship.
The Bantam boys, running 2/3 of a mile, were just as impressive. Patrick Goldberg (4:12), Ryan Kilgallen (4:21), Devin Rocks (4:22), Jimmy Wolfer (4:25), Jimmy Buckley (4:26), Joe Kennedy (4:34) and Liam Lachner (4:37) placed first through seventh, followed by Tommy Mercer (9th, 4:45) and Thomas Brennan (11th, 4:47). Michael Olsen, John Glynn, Christopher Cole, Sean Morgan, James Leonard and Charlie Wanderer rounded out the championship team. The Bantam girls were led to their championship by Lisa Pulkoski (1st, 4:36), Kaitlyn Sluyk (3rd, 4:58), Anna Pastina (4th, 4:59), Emily Gifford (6th, 5:01), Patricia Buell (9th, 5:11), and the ever-improving Emma Lane.
The Novice boys, running ½ a mile, were led by Chris Ray (1st, 3:28), Alex Goldberg (2nd, 3:33), Bard Featherston (5th, 3:43), Thomas Glynn (9th, 3:48), Matthew Paparelli (10th, 3:49) and Michael Paparelli (13th, 3:56). Andrew Gifford, Connor Buckley, Denis Murtagh, Patrick Rocks, Daniel Paparelli, James Lunny, Gregory Henschel, Chris Thuilot, Ian Richter, Patrick Murtagh, and Thomas Lane all ran well.
The Novice girls’ championship team consisted of Kelly Davan (3rd, 4:22), Katie Marquardt (6th, 4:28), Serena Yannello (7th, 4:34), Kaitlyn Kennedy (8th, 4:38), Julia Carey (9th, 4:40), Kerri Brennan (13th, 4:51) and Emily Richter.
Congratulations to all the runners on an excellent performance.