Midwest Catholic Cross Country Invitational Preview


The 3rd Annual Midwest Catholic Cross Country Championships will draw the traditional Catholic schools from Ohio, as well as teams from Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. The meet, formerly known as the All Ohio Catholic Cross Country Championships, will be held this Saturday, September 22nd, at Indian Riffle Park in Kettering and is hosted by Dayton Carroll High School's Cross Country Program. The All Ohio Catholic Meet started in 1995. There is a pasta dinner for all of the teams held Friday evening, and is followed by six different races on Saturday. The meet features a "Gold" race for the title of Midwest Champion, as well as a smaller school "Silver" race. Here is the schedule of races: Women's Gold (10:00am), Men's Gold (10:45am), Women's Reserve (11:30am), Men's Reserve (12:15pm), Women's Silver (1:00pm), and Men's Silver (1:45pm). The 5k course is the same course used for the Mid East Cross Country Championships that are held in November and feature the top 10 seniors from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. There is also a 2 mile "Fun" run at 9:00 that is open to anyone (coaches, parents, junior high runners, etc.).

The meet features some of the top cross country teams in Ohio and surrounding states, as well as some of the region's best individual talent. Leading the way for individuals is nationally ranked senior Jacob Thomson from Holy Cross in Louisville, Kentucky. Thomson is the two time defending Midwest Catholic champion and also holds the meet record (15:41). He was a Foot Locker National Cross Country Championship Finalist in 2011, and ran a 14:34 5k at this past summer's New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Thomson will be competing in the Silver division.

The Men's Gold Race has a loaded field with the #1 ranked teams in Ohio in Division 1 (St. Xavier) and in Illinois in Class A (St. Thomas Moore) going head to head. Additionally, the following teams are currently ranked in their respective state polls: St. Ignatius (Ohio D1, #3 and defending MOC Gold Division Champions), St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio D2, #3), Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (Ohio D2, #13), and Toledo St. John's (Ohio D1, #14). Additional out of state teams include Indianapolis Cathedral (Indiana) and Mercyhurst Preparatory School (Pennsylvania). Individuals to watch in this race include 9 guys who have run 16:10 or faster this year: Tevin Brown (Toledo St. John's), Matt Koval (St. Edwards), Charlie Gibbons (Toledo Central Catholic), George McCarty (Toledo Central Catholic), Jack Miller (St. Ignatius), Patrick O'Neil (Indianapolis Cathedral), Evan Stifel (St. Xavier), Jacob Grabowski (St. Xavier), and Mick Iacofano (St. Vincent-St. Mary). Spencer Clapp (Indianapolis Cathedral) was last year's runner-up.

In the Men's Silver Race, defending MOC Silver Division Champion Carroll (Ohio D2, #14) and MOC Silver Division Runner-Up Covington Catholic look to battle once again. Joining them in the fight for the team championship will be Holy Cross (KY Class A, #3). In addition to Jacob Thomson, the Men's Silver Race individual battle will have Ryan Dull (Carroll - Defending MOC Silver Division Champion), Bradey Couch (Covington Catholic), Brian Menke (Covington Catholic), and Matthaus Ayers (Chaminade-Julienne).   

The Women's Gold Race is also loaded with top teams from Ohio and surrounding states: St. Ursula (Ohio D1, #15), Magnificat (Ohio D1, #23), Ursuline (Ohio D1, #17), St.Vincent-St.Mary (Ohio D2, #1), McAuley (Ohio D1, #19), and Alter (Ohio D2, #3). The race also features the following out of state teams: Indianapolis Cathedral (Indiana), Sacred Heart Academy (Kentucky-2011 State Runner-Up), and Mercyhurst Preparatory School (Pennsylvania-2011 5th Place State). The individual race looks to be one of the most competitive ever with 13 girls having run 19:13 or faster this year: Marissa Rosetti (Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Defending MOC Gold Division Champion), Annie Heffernan (St. Ursula and 3rd place MOC Gold Division 2011), Emma MacAnally (Indianapolis Cathedral), Maggie Allen (Sacred Heart Academy), Sam Simms (Sacred Heart Academy), Caitlyn Carroll (Sacred Heart Academy), Alex Groene (Alter), Macey Walker (Magnificat), Katherine Kerr (Magnificat), Julia Mendida (St. Vincent-St. Mary), Carlile Willett (St. Ursula), and Christine Frederick (Ursuline Academy).

In the Women's Silver Race, Holy Cross (KY Class A, #2), St. Thomas More (Illinois Class A, #15), and Presentation Academy (Kentucky and 3rd Place MOC Silver Division 2011) look to battle for the team title. Individually, Emily Flaherty (Presentation and 3rd place MOC Silver Division 2011), Courtney Carrico (Presentation), Theresa Welle (St. Thomas More), Sarah Billingsley (Oldenburg), Karly Gawarecki (Holy Cross), Helen Wittman (Chaminade-Julienne), and Genevieve Marchese (Carroll) will vie for first place.