Redeemer Lutheran runners finish cross country season strong

Saturday, November 14, 2020 | 11:01 AM

Redeemer Lutheran’s cross country team was hoping to finish strong with the runners who qualified for the WPIAL meet in late October. That’s exactly what happened as three competitors placed in the top 100 of the girls and boys races.

Senior Charis Carroll finished in 41st place with a time of 22 minutes, 17 seconds to lead the Rams in the WPIAL Class A girls race at White Oak on Oct. 29.

“For Charis, it was bittersweet. It was a good ending for her since she got her best time of the year at the last meet,” coach Nathan Loewe said. “She’s one of the most determined people I’ve met. The last two races she gave everything she had. She ran her two best races in the last two meets.

“Her silent leadership always helped because the rest knew how hard she was working. She won’t have to look back and think, ‘If only I ran a little bit harder.’ ”

Freshman Jesse Van Wyk turned in the best time for the Rams as he finished 65th in the boys race with a time of 19:25.

“Jesse is learning about his pace,” Loewe said. “He went out too fast at the Tri-State meet. He paced himself a lot better at WPIAL. If he runs his race, he will be very successful, and he realized he’s not that far off to be competitive.”

Freshman Emenet Richardson was the third Ram to finish in the top 100. He was 96th with a time of 24:55.

Carroll and Richardson finished in the top 100 of 170 runners in the girls race, while Van Wyk was in the top 100 of 184 runners in the boys race.

The girls team only had Carroll and Richardson compete, while the boys had a full team in the field. The boys team finished 21st with 520 points, which was ahead of Sewickley Academy, Greensburg Central Catholic, Seton-LaSalle and Steel Valley.

Junior Peter Van Wyk and freshman Alex Pappa finished split-seconds apart with a time of 20:28, good for 107th and 108th place.

Sophomore Demetrius Broadnax finished 144th with a time of 22:23, while junior Christian Loewe finished 162nd with a time of 23:35.

“I think the grind helped us learn,” Nathan Loewe said. “In previous years, we would take a couple of breaks but we tried to get a couple races in at the end. They learned how to grind, and if they want to do well, then everything is important. We talk about sleep and food. It’s more than just about showing up and running.”

Next season, Loewe will look to replace Carroll, who qualified for the PIAA meet two seasons ago.

“She gave me hope,” Loewe said. “At the beginning, we were just trying to fill a WPIAL commitment. She made me want to coach better and want more for the kids and want more kids around her. It showed the kids that if you’re determined, good things will happen.”

Even with the departure of Carroll, Loewe will return Richardson on the girls side and the whole boys team.

“This was a two-year process,” Loewe said. “It was about getting the meets in and the competition in for the kids. We will look to compete in every race, and our dual meets will be a lot more fun than they have been in the past.”

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