The runners of Hermann High School’s cross country team showed well at the state tournament the weekend of Nov. 9-10.
Three runners medaled while the boys’ team as a whole took home the fourth place plaque, the first podium finish in the school’s history.
In the girls’ 5K Class 2 Division, sophomore Morgan Miller medaled, finishing third out of the pack with a time of 19:41.3.
Freshman Katy Menke finished 29 overall with a time of 20:39.0 and sophomore Clara Scheible finished right behind Menke at 30 place with a time of 20:39.4.
“The girls were among the best in the state this year as well, but failed to advance to the state meet as they were third at districts to the teams who took first (Fatima) and Father Tolton (second) at state. The girls are already talking about winter training and highly motivated to not let anything stand in their way next year,”
On the boys’ side, junior Dalton Gleeson and senior Carter Hemeyer both medaled.
Gleeson placed 5 overall with a time of 16:17.8 3 and Hemeyer placed 12 with a time of 16:45.5 9.
Finishing 48 was junior Jake Weber with a time of 17:22.7; finishing 49 was junior Brayden Brown with a time of 17:28.6; finishing 91 was junior Peter Giles with a time of 18:08.2; finishing 102 was senior Josh Hagedorn with a time of 18:15.2 and finishing 118 was junior Michael Giles with a time of 18:33.2.
Miller, Gleeson and Hemeyer, Hermann’s three medalists, were all recognized as all-state athletes.
“The team has put in a ton of effort to reach the level they are at now. We have a core group of junior runners who have continually worked to make the boys team what it is today. Their example, along with some of the younger athletes who continue to work hard during the off-season, has set the standard for what it takes to be successful,” cross country coach Joshua Morris said.
Morris said that the record that the boys’ team set, placing that high as a team, was a product of several years of concerted effort to get to where they are and that they are setting an example for generations to come.
“The fourth place finish, as you mentioned is Hermann's first podium finish in cross country, is a culmination of their hard work. The boys know that being part of the first podium cross-country team is special. Hermann has storied success in many of our athletic programs and these kids realize that they're helping lay that foundation of excellence for cross-country,” Morris said.
Cross-country isn’t always seen as a team sport, but in the case of Hermann’s boys’ team at state, the team aspect really came into play when the final points were being tallied.
“With the boys it wasn't just one of them having a good day that made the difference at the state meet. All seven guys continued to make big jumps throughout the race earning Hermann's first podium spot for cross-country,” Morris said.
After every great season, teams all over not just Missouri, but the country, will face losing important seniors that have helped meld programs and pave the way for younger athletes. Hermann is no exception, but with the example set by Hermann’s seniors, the foundations are there for underclassmen to step in and take over seamlessly.
“While it will hurt us to lose Josh and Carter to graduation, as they were big pieces to the podium finish, the expectation to be among the best in the state in our class will remain. We return five of the top seven boys and there are many promising young runners who are ready to follow in the upperclassmen’s footsteps by putting in work during the off-season to make the varsity team,” Morris said.
“I'm extremely proud of the way the kids ran on Saturday. I'm even more proud of the time, energy, and effort they've put in to make the team and themselves better everyday,” Morris said.