By Jimmy Gillispie
Mill Valley has remained atop the girls 5A cross country coaches poll all season, but the Jaguars were beaten Saturday at the St. James regional meet.
The Jaguars fell to No. 2 ranked St. Thomas Aquinas by three points. STA scored a low score of 42 to clip the top-ranked Jaguars in the second-to-last meet of the season.
The girls’ team victory helped STA complete the regional sweep. The STA boys team continued its great season, scoring 45 points and defeating second-place Blue Valley Southwest by 21 points.
In the girls race, the Saints’ 1-5 split was just 1:07. The team’s top five runners finished between third and 12th place. Senior Mareike Krebs and sophomore Sophia Spinello led the Saints, placing third and sixth overall. Junior Quinn Babcock, senior Alexis Huddin and freshman Anna DiCarlo finished 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively, to round out the team’s scoring.
Mill Valley might have lost the team title, but it claimed the top two individual spots. Senior Katie Schwartzkopf earned another victory in her final high school season. Her winning time was 17:57.6 – 45 seconds ahead of second place.
Mill Valley freshman Charlotte Caldwell was the next runner across the finish line. She completed the 5K course in a time of 18:42.1, giving Mill Valley a 1-2 finish.
Freshman Megan McAfee was the third Jaguar to finish. She placed seventh overall. Sophomore Kynley Verdict (15) and freshman Laura Hickman (20) were the fourth and fifth runners for the Jaguars.
Meet host St. James was the third and final team to qualify for the 5A girls state meet. The Thunder scored 94 points, and were led by freshman Katelyn Menghini’s ninth place finish.
Three St. Thomas Aquinas boys ran under-16 Saturday en route to finishing first through third. They were senior Logan Seger (15:14.5), senior Ashton Higgerson (15:43.7) and junior Colby King (15:47.7). Senior Frank Curran (17) and junior Alex Waldie (22) rounded out the team’s scoring.
BV Southwest and St. James were the other two qualifying schools in the 5A boys meet. BV Southwest was led by a pair of top-10 finishers in senior Drew Dombrosky (7) and junior Micah Paschke (8).
Senior Eli Moore led St. James with a fifth-place finish. Junior Andrew Hartegan placed ninth as the second Thunder runner.
The 5A girls race will be the first of four races Saturday at the 5A-6A state meet at 4 Mile Creek Resort in Augusta. The girls will begin at 10 a.m., with the boys scheduled to start at 11:20 a.m. Awards will given out after all four races, with the last set to start at noon.