CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS PODIUM AT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP AND HEAD INTO REGIONALS WITH MOMENTUM
Greenhills’ boys and girls cross country teams finished in second and third place overall, respectively, at the 2023 Catholic High School League (CHSL) Cardinal Division Cross Country Championship on Friday, Oct. 20. Both teams competed against schools vying for the state title, and they were up for the challenge.
“We competed incredibly well,” said cross country head coach Sara LeBlanc. “All season we’ve battled injuries, and the depth of our teams really shined last weekend.”
The individual performance of Greenhills athletes was also recognized at the league championships, with the following runners being recognized with All-League and All-Catholic honors:
- Girls All-League: Navya Ashok ’24 (17th)
Girls All-Catholic: Libby Schuster ’27 (7th), Anika Bery ’24 (8th)
Boys All-Catholic: Lincoln Cha ’24 (5th), Henry Beck ’26 (7th), Mason Stranahan ’25 (12th), Nico Aagesen ’26 (15th)
The CHSL championship marked the end of the season’s league competition, and Greenhills’ girls team was named the season’s Sectional Champs, having swept the jamboree portion of the season.
Both teams are now looking ahead to the regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Willow Metropark in New Boston. The top three teams will qualify for the state meet, along with the top 15 individuals who will also qualify regardless of their team finish.
“This Saturday will be a much faster pace than what they’re used to at the beginning of the season,” said LeBlanc. “They’ll have to get out a little harder than what’s comfortable for them. Some will be excited from the energy of a big meet and they’ll have to be careful not to get out too hard. But our team is good with trusting the process and knowing where they’re supposed to be to make sure they have a solid second half of the race.”
The boys team is anchored by senior Lincoln Cha, who LeBlanc says “pulls the entire team forward.” Each year he has gotten better, and his times are among the 20 fastest ever for a Gryphon cross country athlete. Another Greenhills athlete in the list of top 20 fastest cross country runners is senior Anika Bery, who has been a top finisher all year. And joining her out front is Libby Schuster ’27, a talented young Gryphon who already has the ninth fastest time in school history.
Though many Greenhills runners have seen individual success this season and are poised to qualify for the state championships, LeBlanc says the key to this year’s success has been the way the team works together and supports each other.
“Our teams’ strength has been running as a pack and trusting one another—trusting the process—and allowing someone to go when they’re having a good day,” said LeBlanc. “That’s not easy to do. Despite some unfortunate injuries this season, we have a lot of depth and a lot of talented, strong runners step up when others have gone down.”
The teams will have to work together and have a strong showing to make it to states. They’re certainly capable of that, as they’ve demonstrated throughout the season. Gryphons are part lion, after all, and when the Greenhills pride comes together, they’re hard to beat.