Gaels 13th in 2A

The 35th annual co-ed state cross country meet failed to produce the final results the St. Edmond boys were looking for here Saturday.

Mike Szalat’s 12th-ranked Gaels settled for 13th in the Class 2A field at Lakeside Golf Course, accumulating 263 points. No. 1 Monticello (63) claimed its third straight state title in dominant fashion behind the individual efforts of second-ranked senior Michael Melchert, who earned gold in a time of 15:18.2.

“Finishing 13th was disappointing,” Szalat said. “We just didn’t see the improvement where we wanted it to be, and some of that might be the way I was coaching. Because of that, we might do some things a little differently next year.”

Senior Casey McEvoy checked in 38th (17:18.3) to pace St. Edmond.

“Casey was our only senior (state participant) and finished his career in a great way,” Szalat said. “He was real close to a (personal record).”

Other Gael counters were junior Jacob Hamilton (62nd, 17:46.5), sophomore Harrison Mayer (79th, 17:58.5), junior Nate Yetmar (83rd, 18:12.4) and sophomore Alex Loerts (101st, 18:34.3).

“Harrison and and Nate both ran a good race and really stepped up at the end the end of the year,” said Szalat. “Alex ran JV in the middle of the season, made varsity the last meet of the year and was our fifth runner (Saturday). He (set a personal record) by 40 seconds, so hopefully he realized his potential.”

Hamilton, McEvoy and junior John Eide were each competing at state for a third year in a row, while Mayer and Yetmar both ran here in 2012.

As a team, perennial power St. Edmond was making its fifth consecutive state appearance and 11th in the past 14 seasons. Last fall, the Gaels were fifth at state with 185 points.

“We had a great crowd, and our football team even came out to watch,” Szalat said. “As a teacher and coach at St. Edmond, it’s nice to see that our kids support one another.”