The tension was high, but it wasn’t enough to deter the St. Mary’s cross country team from pulling out all the stops to secure their spot in the state race. The qualifications the runners had to meet to advance to the next stage were brutal. To qualify as a team (5 runners and above), they had to have placed within the top eight teams, but if there were not enough people for a school team (4 runners and below), they had to have placed within the top 25 individuals.
But the St. Mary’s girls, Sophia Hogg, Anna Peluso and Summer Rodrigue, defied the odds and all three individuals placed in the top 25 despite not having enough members to qualify as an official team. The boys team, however, Colton Cross, Reaves Hogg, Matthew Mayeaux, Mason McCart and Mason Melder, did not advance to the next stage after just missing the mark by placing ninth as a team.
After enduring such stiff competition, the team has an intense week of practice ahead of them as they prepare for the state meet. The Tigers’ current success cannot go unnoticed as the girls move into the upper echelons of the cross country world.
When one of the top performers, Peluso, was asked about her triumph, she responded, “It feels really nice to have all of my hard work pay off after training to qualify for state. Our team has been practicing very hard since August and I think it has prepared us for this upcoming meet.”
Peluso, Hogg and Rodrigue will run at the state meet Nov. 14 at NSU. Hogg and McCart will be recognized for being selected to be on the LHSAA All-Academic Composite Cross Country team.