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Dr. Gallagher Report: Wildcats Take 3rd at Carnival Race

By Dr. Michael Gallagher '71, 09/10/18, 9:15AM EDT


Runners and Parents,

Saturday was a busy cross country day for the Wildcats.

The freshman, jv and open squads travelled to the bucolic campus of Walsh Jesuit High School.

The meet summary is compliments of Dillon "Scoop" Bangasser:

As the first of the runners arrived at the meet, they were greeted by damp, muddy ground, almost as if Mother Nature knew it was Walsh week. The course that awaited them was a 3.1 mile Slip'n'Slide, with various shoes scattered about, left over from previous races. With each completed race, the backstretch became muddier and muddier, with about 400 meters of unrelenting mud accumulating around the 1-mile mark. Yes, the conditions were suboptimal, but the JV and Open squads came ready to compete. 

The JV race fired off first and Nick "Well-Played" Mulhern fought for an early lead. The Wildcats quickly took control of the race, with Mulhern  fighting a Euclid runner for first place and Freddy "Cheeto" Becker leading a pack close behind. Mulhern, thirsty for a first place finish, overtook the Euclid runner to win the race with a time of 18:29. Becker was the next 'Cat across the line, followed by Will Leahy, Luke Chesney, and Joseph Maloney for a perfect score of 15 team points (!) to win the race. 

Next up was the Open race. A horde of fifty Ignatius runners jogged over to the starting line, announcing their presence with their sheer numbers. From the starting line, the 'Cats looked out onto a course that had been ravaged by rain and races throughout the day, with a muddy pond awaiting 150 meters in the distance. The gun went off and the team jostled into position as the other schools looked around in utter shock at the size of the team. After sloshing through the start, Bangasser, Eicher, and Paliga quickly formed the lead pack . The pack held together through the 2-mile when Paliga made a move and quickly pulled away with 800 meters to go, winning the Open race with a time of 19:00. Bangasser, Ward, Eicher, and Klanac followed closely behind in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th places, respectively, for a near-perfect 16 point victory. Even though the weather conditions added a considerable amount of time to the races, the JV and Open squads still finished one place off of two perfect wins, making it a great day to be a Wildcat. 

The varsity A and B squads made the annual trek to Tiffin past the endless fields of yet to be harvested corn and soybeans.

Due to a steady rain and sixteen previous races, many parts of the course looked like a tractor had driven doughnuts on them.  But hey, that's cross country!

The B team was up against thirty-four other teams on the line.  The start looked like the backstretch of the Kentucky Derby with mud flying everywhere.  Elliot Rodstrom led the 'Cats through the first mile in 5:05.  Coming off the 2 mile, the team started to close the gap with the leaders.  Peter Fitzpatrick made his move on the final 200 to finish 11th for the 'Cats in 17:25.  Connor McAndrew 17:33, Aiden Monroe 17:34(letter winner and a huge PR!), Elliot Rodstrom 17:42, Connor Geary 17:57, Matt Kelly 18:02, and Ben Crane 18:15 followed.

The team finished 3rd to St X  and Bellbrook.

The A race was, well, even more treacherous. Matt Blouch went down from a crackback block (there are no flags thrown in XC) at the start as the rest of the team struggled for footing.  The 'Cats fought back throughout the race, their white singlets muddied with their effort, but still came up short with  a 3rd place finish behind St. X and Ashland.  Nick Saul 16:17, Matt Blouch 16:32, Steve Zucca 16:35( big PR), Nathan Soria 17:05, Andrew Biehl 17:09, Logan Kijewski 17:16, and Jack Mayer 17:22  scored for the 'Cats. Thanks to all the parents and siblings who braved the conditions to support the team.

**** Please note!!!   Due to the late start of the Galion meet and the distance,  we have decided to run the McDonough meet at Forest Hills this Saturday 9/15.  My apologies for the late schedule change.

There are 3 races: JV @ 10:40.  Runners:  Mulhern, Sean Becker,  Leahy, Chesney, Maloney, Paliga, Kachmarik.  Open @ 11:50 . Varsity @ 1:00.  Runners:  Fitzpatrick, McAndrews, Monroe, Rodstrom, Geary, Kelly, Crane

This week's schedule: Due to the ever-changing weather, the practice schedule may be updated via

Monday: Mastick 3:30 - 5:30; lifting at 645am

Tuesday: Edgewater 3:30- 5:15

Wednesday: Mastick 3:30 - 5:30; lifting at 645am

Thursday: Cedar Point 3:30 - 5:30

Friday: SIHS 3:00 - 4:00

Saturday:  McDonough Invite Forest Hills Park.  See above for schedule. Bus leaves school @9 am

***** Fr. Paul's mother passed away recently.  Please remember Fr. Paul and his family in your prayers.

P.S. If you haven't cleaned out your bags, washed your spikes and uniforms, do it now before it becomes an environmental hazard.

Go 'Cats!