Over the weekend Jefferson R-7 ran in the Forest Park Festival, which was held at McNair Park in St. Charles this year due to COVID restrictions. As part of the white division, they finished in 5th place with a score of 99.
While the tournament only handed out awards to the top 10 participants, junior Jerry Chipps, who qualified for State last year, came closest to medaling by leading the pack like he did much of last season and finished 12th with a time of 18:45.2. “Seeing how everyone performed at the meet gave me quite a bit of hope for the season” he said. “I saw a lot of potential in some of the boys that I haven’t seen in the past years. Several of our boys finished with new personal records which gave me a great feeling about this season. If we all keep working hard at practice, then I could easily see our team making an appearance at state again this season.”
However, the rest of the team put out a very impressive timesheet against a group of much larger schools.
Following Jerry’s lead , fellow State qualifier CJ Johnson (sophomore) crossed the finish line at 19:16.4. Then Christian Stark (senior: 20:21.8), Bradley Glass (senior: 20:51.5), Sam Hawley (junior: 21:10.8), Jack Hueter (junior: 21:42.7) and Matthew Glass (senior: 23:25.5) came cruising in.
For the girls, sophomore Kaelyn Nilson (sophomore) led the way placing 20th with a time of 24:58.8, followed by Juniors Hannah Wigger at 26:41.6 and Katie Deevers at 26:48.6.
Finally, in the freshman/sophomore race, Alex Breeze (freshman) put together an impressive first run with a time of 22:51.9 Ian Ehrhart (sophomore) followed with a 22:53.1 and Landen Hill (freshman) finished with a 31:17.5 time to round out the day for Jefferson at the track.
The Blue Jays have just a week to prepare for their next meet when they will participate in the Festus Bowles invitational on Saturday where both teams were fighting some sickness last year.
Thomas Welch-Ameritime Sports Writer