Faith Middle School earned an overall second-place team trophy and finished second in the boys and girls meets at the St. Luke Cross Country Invitational Tuesday at Lakebottom Park in Columbus.
Three Warrior Bears made it in the top 10 in the girls race, including second-place Raja Gonzalez (14 minutes, 47 seconds), eighth-place Daniella Emelyanova (15:30) and 10th-place-finisher Erin Colster (15:52).
“I was a little disappointed because I thought I would get first, but I did pretty well considering how many people competed,” Gonzalez said.
Fort Benning and Columbus schools including Faith, St. Luke, Brookstone, Wynnbrook, Our Lady of Lourdes and Pacelli participated in the meet.
Gonzalez said the Warrior Bears have worked hard this season and will continue to work hard to get better. The team has placed second overall in the past two meets and Gonzalez earned first place in the girls’ races. Fort Benning’s Jonathan Bruss was the only boys’ team member from Faith to make the top 10, finishing in seventh with a time of 13:45.
“I could have done better,” Bruss said. “I was leading in the beginning of the race, but it was harder toward the end. The first lap seemed easy, but the second lap I got tired because it was uphill and downhill.” Faith coach Scott Gilpatrick said the meet went well overall.
“We are seeing the kids progress more and more at each race,” he said. “I can tell they are eager and they want to do better.”
Gilpatrick, who coached the team in 2009, said the team has grown to about 35 runners and is more refined than last year.
Both Gilpatrick and coach Likea Bell said they have seen a lot of improvement in the team since the beginning of the season and are happy with the progress.
“This is a very, very motivated team and they are great leaders,” Bell said.
Up next for the Warrior Bears is the Faith Middle School invitational at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Sacrifice Field.