Patch continues to shine in cross country
October 11, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany — The Patch Panthers’ boys and girls cross country teams swept top honors at a wet and slippery course at Rheinblick recreation area Saturday.
While many of DODDS-Europe top runners were absent to take the SAT – including top girls contender Julia Lockridge of Patch - other runners were happy to fill the void.
Patch’s Michelle Gelacio came in first place for the girls in a time of 21 minutes, 26 seconds, just one second faster than fellow Panther Gabby Gante.
“We’ve been neck-to-neck all season,” Gelacio said of Gante after the race. “She pushed me so much to go faster, so I’m grateful for that.”
Wrapping-up the top girls individual finishes were Kaiserslautern’s Megan Mackie (21:33) placing third, followed by Patch’s Nina Gante (21:47) for fourth.
Although the Baumholder Buccaneers, who were designated as a D-III school this year, arrived late after their bus broke down, head coach Stephanie MacDowell was happy to compete with larger D-I programs.
“This is huge for us,” MacDowell said shortly after learning one of her boys earned a top ten finish, and one of her girls qualified for Europeans. “We needed that … she needed that.”
In boys’ action, defending European champion Mitchell Bailey of Patch cruised through the finish line almost unopposed in a time of 17:15. One of Bailey’s top rivals, Warriors’ Ryan Parker, who’s trailing two seconds behind Bailey in this season’s best times, was also taking the SAT.
“I would’ve liked to race against Ryan,” Bailey said.
Rounding out the top four finishers for the boys were Panthers’ Alexander Bowman (17:36), and Alex Donnelly (17:46) earning respective second- and third-place finishes, followed by the Warriors’ Jason Fisico (18:00).
The DODDS European cross country championships are Oct. 25 at Baumholder. Those who haven’t qualified yet have one more Saturday meet to do so.
The DODDS cross country European championships are Oct. 25 at Baumholder.