NIC Conference Championship Recap


Katie Lavelle

With aspirations of making state, Saint Joe Cross Country team showed in force at the NIC Conference Championship Meet this past Saturday. The team racked in 20 PR’s and 7 athletes claimed All NIC recognition. 

In the girl’s varsity race Meg Baxter led the team in an 8th place finish with a time of 20:45. Baxter stated she is “so proud of how well our team has done during the regular season and NIC was a great finish. We all have our eyes set on making it to state and 4 of us getting all-conference shows that if we work hard enough we can get there this year!”

Ava Rousseve followed close behind in 11th and recorded a record of 21:01. Ava shared, “I’m super excited that so many of our girls got all-conference because it shows we have a much stronger team than last year.” 

Freshman Cam Ritschard claimed 15th in her debut Conference championship with a personal best of 21:05. Ritschard was so proud of her new team sharing, “I’m so happy being all-conference and proud of how amazing our team is doing!” 

This young XC standout has been dropping time consistently since the beginning of her season and is looking very promising going forward into the state series. 

Tess Collins also joined these remarkable women with a Person Best of 21:11 to earn her an All conference title. Collins missed this opportunity last year because of a season-ending injury and shared, “I am super happy about being all-conference because I missed the opportunity last year. At this meet last year I was on crutches so I am so thrilled that I not only got the chance to run but also got the chance to run to the best of my ability and earn all-conference. I’m also really excited that we had 4 girls get all-conference because it shows how much depth we have this year compared to the past 2 years I’ve been on the team and it makes me excited to see how far we can go in the postseason.” 

On the Boys Varsity team, Sophomore Gabe Polaniecki, Senior Colten Brandt, and Junior Carmelo Russo all claimed an All conference title. 

The boys placed 4th overall, girls varsity placed 3rd, and both JV teams claimed the runner up for both the NIC and NLC combined reserve races. 

This Saturday the squad competes in the first meet of the state- series (sectionals) at Erskine Golf Course. Make sure to come out and cheer on the team as they take on “Heartbreak Hill.”