It wasn’t hard for Lutheran South senior Riley Schelp to find a silver lining about her final appearance in the Forest Park Cross Country Festival.
Schelp said she would have preferred from a personal level to run in a more competitive division but conceded the White Division — the meet’s third tier, though still plenty salty with 17 teams and 132 runners — was probably the best place for the Lancers.
That proved to be true as Lutheran South finished second in the team standings with 95 points behind champion Smithville’s 75.
Plus, Schelp enjoyed her best Forest Park finish in three tries — as the White Division champion.
“It ended up being super fun to win it,” Schelp said. “I’m so glad.”
Schelp was the runaway White Division winner in 20 minutes, 33.74 seconds. Bayless senior Adrianne Bruckner was second in 20:51.70.
In two previous appearances as a freshman and sophomore, Schelp had finished third. She missed last season’s race with torn ligaments in her foot.
Schelp still went on to qualify for the Class 3 state meet a season ago, but her 37th-place finish was by far her worst after finishing 13th as a sophomore and 15th as a freshman.
“I definitely want to turn it around this year,” said Schelp, who also has been a three-year state track qualifier. “I’m trying to be really cautious, though, at the beginning of the season and just not get any injuries early on like last year. I definitely want to be all-state again and I would love to be in the top five.”
TRAINING PARTNERS THRIVE
So far, so good for the newest distance duo for John Burroughs.
Bombers senior Arianna Latuda has been a three-time state qualifier and said she’s enjoyed the daily push she’s gotten from freshman Kylie Goldfarb.
For the second consecutive week, they produced strong individual finishes, as well. Competing in the Gold Division, Goldfarb finished second individually in 20:11.89 and Latuda was fourth in 20:49.99.
“She’s a great training partner,” Latuda said. “She pushes herself and she pushes me, as well.”
While Latuda was a veteran of the festival atmosphere that goes into the Forest Park meet with music, food and merchandise vendors and games, it was a first for Goldfarb.
The freshman is coming off a successful track summer that included a third-place finish in the AAU national meet in the 14-15-year-old 1,500 meters. She’s happy to be helping out over 5 kilometers now for the Bombers.
“I didn’t know what to expect and it was hard, but I was glad to do it for the team,” Goldfarb said. “I was I had gotten first, but that’s OK.”
Ste. Genevieve junior Sarah Moore was the Gold Division individual winner in 19:57.74.
Cor Jesu didn’t have an individual finish in the top 15, but that was just fine.
The Chargers packed well enough to earn a second-place team finish in the Gold Division with 116 points, just ahead of Francis Howell North’s 125 for third.
Shawnee Mission West (Kan.) won the Gold Division team title in impressive fashion with 53 points.
“We’re really excited,” Cor Jesu sophomore Molly Rolwes said. “It’s our first team trophy of the year. We always do it for the team. It’s not for an individual person. We always run for the team.”
Rolwes was the top Chargers finisher, crossing in 16th, and junior Emma Mohrmann also earned a podium spot by finishing 27th.
Not far behind were junior Emma Nohara-LeClair (31st) and senior Annmarie Buckley (32nd), with sophomore Ana Klenke rounding out the team scoring in 39th.