As the old saying goes, to be the best, you need to beat the best.
The Wildcats certainly did that on Saturday.
The Saint Ignatius varsity cross country team defeated the No. 1 team in the state on Saturday, the Hudson Explorers, en route to winning the Strongsville Invitational.
The Explorers have dominated the Northeast Ohio cross country scene for the last few years. Hudson has also excelled state-wide, entering this week as the No. 1 team in the state, as ranked by the OATCCC. Hudson had not finished second in a meet since taking second at States in 2016. The Wildcats won Saturday with 72 points, besting Hudson by 11 points.
A well-rounded effort by the Wildcats ensured the win on a cloudy, cool first day of fall in Strongsville off Lunn Road.
Nick Saul led the pack for the blue and gold. The senior finished first on the team and sixth overall with a time of 16:25.51. Fellow senior Matt Blouch came closely behind, notching 10th overall at 16:34.95. Steve Zucca earned a time of 16:45.27, placing 14th. Andrew Biehl clocked in at 16:57.50, cementing himself at 18th. Senior Nathan Soria rounded out the point scorers with a time of 17:02.72.
Logan Kijewski, Jack Meyer, Connor McAndrew, and Aidan Monroe also raced for the Wildcats.
The meet victory represents the second of the season for the men of Dr. Mike Gallagher '71. The Wildcats won the Mentor Invitational a few weeks ago. The squad will look to repeat the effort next week at the prestigious Meet of Champions at Hilliard Davidson next Saturday.
This week's triumph could be an indicator of great things to come for the Wildcats. Based on this Goliath-beating effort, the Wildcats could make plenty of noise at States later this season.