Support our mission
 
St. John's senior Kayla Smith won her third consecutive title on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at the DODEA European cross country championships in Baumholder, Germany. Smith ran 19:15.85 to beat teammate Abby Michalec by 5 seconds.
St. John's senior Kayla Smith won her third consecutive title on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at the DODEA European cross country championships in Baumholder, Germany. Smith ran 19:15.85 to beat teammate Abby Michalec by 5 seconds. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
St. John's senior Kayla Smith won her third consecutive title on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at the DODEA European cross country championships in Baumholder, Germany. Smith ran 19:15.85 to beat teammate Abby Michalec by 5 seconds.
St. John's senior Kayla Smith won her third consecutive title on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at the DODEA European cross country championships in Baumholder, Germany. Smith ran 19:15.85 to beat teammate Abby Michalec by 5 seconds. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Mac Roberts, a junior from Black Forest Academy, raises his arms in triumph after crossing the finish line first on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at the DODEA European cross country championships in Baumholder, Germany. Roberts ran 16:48.98 on the 5-kilometer course to win his first European title.
Mac Roberts, a junior from Black Forest Academy, raises his arms in triumph after crossing the finish line first on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at the DODEA European cross country championships in Baumholder, Germany. Roberts ran 16:48.98 on the 5-kilometer course to win his first European title. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
A pack of runners sprints by at the start of the DODEA European cross country championships on Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany. Cold temperatures and gusting winds made for challenging race conditions.
A pack of runners sprints by at the start of the DODEA European cross country championships on Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany. Cold temperatures and gusting winds made for challenging race conditions. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Runners prepare for the start of the girls' race at the DODEA European cross country championships on Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany.
Runners prepare for the start of the girls' race at the DODEA European cross country championships on Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Runners start to spread out in the first mile of the boys' race in the DODEA European cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany, including Stuttgart's Paul Fullwood, in black, Ramstein's Jose Serrano and St. John's Isaiah Lowney.
Runners start to spread out in the first mile of the boys' race in the DODEA European cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany, including Stuttgart's Paul Fullwood, in black, Ramstein's Jose Serrano and St. John's Isaiah Lowney. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
A Kaiserslautern runner looks over his shoulder during the boys' race in the DODEA European cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany.
A Kaiserslautern runner looks over his shoulder during the boys' race in the DODEA European cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Naples' Daniel Aleksandersen, Ramstein's Jose Serrano, and Stuttgart's Paul Fullwood were in hot pursuit of frontrunner and eventual winner Mac Roberts of Black Forest Academy during the DODEA European cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany.
Naples' Daniel Aleksandersen, Ramstein's Jose Serrano, and Stuttgart's Paul Fullwood were in hot pursuit of frontrunner and eventual winner Mac Roberts of Black Forest Academy during the DODEA European cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Runners spread out as they race down a hill and around a bend at the Rolling Hills Golf Course in Baumholder, Germany, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. The wind and cold made race conditions challenging at the DODEA European cross country championships.
Runners spread out as they race down a hill and around a bend at the Rolling Hills Golf Course in Baumholder, Germany, on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. The wind and cold made race conditions challenging at the DODEA European cross country championships. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
SHAPE's Holly Moser races ahead on the downhill of Stuttgart's McKinley Fielding during a portion of the DODEA European cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany. Moser and Fielding finished third and fourth, respectively, overall in the girls' race.
SHAPE's Holly Moser races ahead on the downhill of Stuttgart's McKinley Fielding during a portion of the DODEA European cross country championships on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Baumholder, Germany. Moser and Fielding finished third and fourth, respectively, overall in the girls' race. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
St. John's Abby Michalec crosses the line in second place on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at the DODEA European cross-country championships in Baumholder, Germany
St. John's Abby Michalec crosses the line in second place on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at the DODEA European cross-country championships in Baumholder, Germany (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)

BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Two runners who went undefeated all fall kept their unbeaten streaks intact to win their respective races Saturday at the 2017 DODEA European cross country championships.

Black Forest Academy junior Mac Roberts posted a time of 16 minutes, 48.98 seconds in the boys’ race to gut out a victory by 6 seconds over Ramstein’s Jose Serrano and claim his first European title in the 5-kilometer distance.

In the girls’ race, St. John senior Kayla Smith notched her third consecutive European title at the Rolling Hills Golf Course, fending off freshman teammate Abby Michalec by 5 seconds at the finish.

Roberts’ and Smith’s performances helped boost their respective teams to victory in the Division II team standings.

In Division I, Ramstein toppled cross-town rival Kaiserslautern on the boys’ side, while Stuttgart upended SHAPE to claim the girls’ team title. In Division III, Hohenfels took both the boys’ and girls’ crowns.

No course records fell this year. Blame Mother Nature. Frosty temperatures and gusting winds made the meet as much a race against the elements as against the competition.

The weather “was definitely a factor,” St. John’s coach Matt Smith said. “Times were slow today, probably about 30 to 40 seconds (slower), I’m sure. The wind was rough.”

Despite the conditions, Roberts was formidable, taking the lead from the start and never looking back. He caught glimpses out of the corner of his eye, however, of Serrano and initially Naples’ Daniel Aleksandersen, who were both pushing the pace early on behind him, along with Stuttgart’s Paul Fullwood. Aleksandersen eventually faded to fifth, while Serrano, the DODEA Europe 800-meter champion in track, almost made it a race at the end.

“I didn’t really expect them to be with me for that much of the race,” Roberts said of Serrano and Aleksandersen. “But they really pushed me. I was happy about that. I just found that finishing kick and closed it out.”

In fact, he left nothing on the course - except for breakfast.

“I threw up four times,” he said, of his post-race experience. “I gave it my all.”

Roberts was 12th last year at Europeans but was struggling at the time with low energy and this spring was diagnosed with Type I diabetes,. Managing that, along with running about 500 miles this summer, helped make this his most successful cross country season yet, he said.

For Smith, the wind put a personal record on the hilly course out of reach. “I felt pretty good, but the wind was really rough,” she said.

As usual, she led from start to finish, with the goal of defending her title. This year, however, she had company. Michalec, her teammate, was in striking distance.

“She was my only worry,” Smith said. “She’s been running very well this year in workouts. She’s someone to watch in the years to come.”

Other notable performances in the girls’ race included SHAPE’s Holly Moser, who was third in 19:50.40, and Stuttgart’s McKinley Fielding, a freshman, in fourth.

Fielding led a dominant effort by the Stuttgart girls, who placed five runners in the top 15.

“It was very much a team effort,” said Stuttgart coach Philip Bailey. “They’re a very cohesive group.”

The Ramstein boys also placed five runners in the top 15, giving them the edge over Kaiserslautern, which had four runners in the top 15.

“A lot of our kids ran” personal records,” said Ramstein coach Alan Correa. “They peaked at the right time.”

svan.jennifer@stripes.com

Migrated
twitter Email

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up