Redeemer Lutheran cross country teams making a name for themselves

Sunday, October 11, 2020 | 11:01 AM

Redeemer Lutheran might not be a household name when it comes to cross country, but they are no longer just showing up for cross country meets. They are showing up to win now.

Most recently, Redeemer Lutheran’s boys cross country team finished in fifth place with 126 points at the Bald Eagle Invitational at White Oak Park on Oct. 3.

Redeemer Lutheran finished almost 19 points behind the fourth-place finisher, Bishop Canevin (107). Winchester Thurston won the meet with 24 points as Chartier-Houston (50) and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (66) finished in second and third.

The boys team was led by freshman Jesse Van Wyk, who finished in 16th place out of 65 runners with a time of 19:12.47.

Redeemer Lutheran had two runners finish just outside of the top 25 as junior Peter Van Wyk finished 29th with a time of 20:23.43 and freshman Alex Pappa finished 30th with a time of 20:23.72.

Junior Christian Loewe was Redeemer Lutheran’s fourth runner to finish as he ended up 45th with a time of 21:51.97. Sophomore Demetrius Broadnax finished fifth on the team in 50th place with a time of 23:09.23.

“We ran the Red, White and Blue at the same course two weeks ago and out of the five runners, four ran faster,” coach Nathan Loewe said. “The teams in front of us live and breathe cross country. Most of them have seven to nine runners that they could put in. Whenever you have four kids running the fastest they have all year, that is something to be proud of.”

On the girls side, Redeemer Lutheran doesn’t have enough for a team, but they do have senior Charis Carroll, a state qualifier two seasons ago. Carroll returned to cross country after taking last season off to focus on her studies.

At the Bald Eagle Invitational, Carroll finished in 17th out of 54 runners with a time of 22:22.59. Freshman Emenet Richardson finished 37th with a time of 25:00.34.

“I think they realized they can compete,” Loewe said. “I’ve been here four years, and we’ve had cross country for six or seven years, we never beat anybody in a dual meet. They are really feeding off each other.”

At the Red, White and Blue Classic in mid-September, the boys team finished ninth with 236 points, which was six points behind Bishop Canevin for eighth.

Peter Van Wyk led the way with a time of 19:38.20, while Pappa (20:27.90) finished ahead of Jesse Van Wyk (20:55.60) for second and third on the team. Christian Loewe ran a time of 21:40.10, while Broadnax ran a 24:13.80.

Carroll finished 30th of 83 runners with a time of 22:49.46. Rchardson ran a time of 25:22.50.

“There is a lot of optimism and the kids are excited to compete. They are asking more questions than years past. They are all pulling for each other,” Loewe said. “I think there is a lot of interest in the school, and Charis making it to states two years ago was kind of exciting.”

Loewe believes Jesse Van Wyk and Carroll have the chance to finish between 15th and 25th at the WPIAL Class A championships at White Oak on Oct. 28-29. Loewe has an outside hope they can both medal by finishing in the top-15.


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