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Sports Briefs: Nov. 7

By: Warren Mayes

High school softball

The Westminster Wildcats, District 4 softball champions

For the first time since 2014, the Westminster Christian Academy softball team won a district championship.

Westminster, the No. 2 seed, faced top-seeded Incarnate Word Academy for the Class 3 District 4 title. Westminster scored a 7-5 victory over the Red Knights. Incarnate Word, a Final Four team in 2017, finished at 13-10-1.

“Incarnate Word is an excellent softball team and was coming off a trip to state last season,” Wildcats coach Dan Petke said. “They can pitch, play defense and hit very well. We are fortunate to be playing our best softball at the right time and were able to beat a very good team.”

The Wildcats were thrilled to win the championship.

“The girls were very excited,” Petke said. “They have become a family over the course of this year, and it is great for us to see them believe in themselves and pick each other up in difficult games like this.”

Westminster’s season ended in the sectional round. The St. Louis Notre Dame Rebels scored a 14-1 victory in five innings over Westminster. The win was the second for Notre Dame over Westminster this season. Back on Sept. 14, the Rebels won 10-5 at Westminster.

The Wildcats ended their season with a 13-12-1 record.

High school boys cross country

Parkway Central Colts, District 3 cross country champions

The Parkway Central Colts cross country boys team are district champions for the first time in 47 years.

The Colts won the Class 4 District 3 race that Parkway Central hosted. Parkway Central finished with 31 points.

“The kids had an amazing regular season,” coach Brian Guilfoyle said. “As a coach, I am very proud of the boys. They all worked together to accomplish a team title in a sport that emphasizes individual times and places.”

Senior captain Gottlieb Gerstenecker was the medalist with a time of 16 minutes, 47.93 seconds.

“This was his best time on our course,” Guilfoyle said. “He ran very relaxed and tried to help the other kids on the team with pace.”

Colts teammate Andrew Ahrens came in second in 17:03.30.

“This was a fantastic race for him,” Guilfoyle said. “He showed tremendous grit.”

The other top 10 finisher for Parkway Central was junior Jackson Sniff. He came in sixth at 17:30.60.

High school girls cross country

Parkway West Longhorns, District 2 cross country champions

The Parkway West Longhorns captured the girls cross country district championship and senior Chloe Hershenow won medalist honors with her best time ever.

The Longhorns won the District 2 meet at Francis Park in south St. Louis. Parkway West finished first with 69 points. Hershenow was the medalist with a winning time of 18 minutes, 33.46 seconds.

Eureka was second with 72 points. Marquette wound up third with 76 points and Nerinx Hall came in fourth with 107.

It was the 10th district title in Parkway West history.

“We have won two times out of the last three years,” coach Charlie Cutelli said. “Before that, we had not won a title since the early ‘90s.”

Hershenow ran well to lead everyone in the meet.

“Chloe is rounding into form as we roll into the end of the season,” Cutelli said. “I know she was eager to compete on Saturday and she ran her style of race and came out on top. It [her score] is her PR [personal record] for her four-year high school career.”

The Longhorns’ Claire Smout was seventh in 19:21.44.

“Claire ran great. I think she sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, but we would not be where we are as a team without her,” Cutelli said. “She has been our No. 2 or No. 1 in every meet she has raced in this year and always comes up big when we need her.”

High school girls golf

St. Joseph’s Academy Angels, Class 2 state champions

The St. Joseph’s Academy Angels won their third consecutive Class 2 state championship. The victory ended an undefeated season for the Angels in dual matches, regular season tournaments and three postseason tournaments.

St. Joseph’s posted a 36-hole team score of 627 in the two-day tournament played at Swope Park Golf Course in Kansas City. Finishing second again this year behind St. Joseph’s was Kansas City’s Notre Dame de Sion, who came in four strokes off the Angels’ pace with a 631.

It was the eighth state championship overall for St. Joseph’s. Coach Carol Fromuth said she was proud of her team.

“They were all very determined. That’s all they thought about was to be ready for state and win it,” Fromuth said. “I knew they could do it. We all did, but it comes down to playing. We had the talent to do it. We had to accomplish it and we were lucky to do so.

“This was their goal all season – to three-peat at state. They were under pressure. It’s harder to win when you’re favored, I think. On paper is different from performance on the golf course. The girls had to go out and get it done.”

All five St. Joseph’s players finished in the top 12. Girls who finished in the top 15 individually are awarded all-state medals. So every Angel became an all-state golfer.

The finish was remarkable. It marked the first time, in girls or boys state play that the score of an all-state medalist was not used in the team score. A state team consists of five players and the top four scores are counted.

“They told me that’s the first time it’s ever happened in boys or girls state tournaments,” Fromuth said. “They all did a great job. We’re deep. Any of them could be the low scorer in a tournament. We have a lot of versatility. They were well prepared for tournament golf.”

Junior Grace Aromando led the Angels with a 153 over the 36 holes of play. She finished in a tie for fifth overall. Sophomore Nicole Rallo was a stroke back in sixth place with a 156. Senior Lauren Gallagher tied for ninth with a 160. Freshman Mia Rallo claimed 11th place with a score of 161. Sophomore Drew Nienhaus shot a 162 to finish in a tie for 12th.

• • •

MICDS Rams jump for joy at the Class 1 state meet.

The MICDS Rams finished third in the Class 1 state girls golf tournament and junior Parker Perry came in third overall.

“This season marked the sixth year in a row of taking a team to state,” coach Steve Johnston said. “Don’t know the record books at MICDS, but [I] have to believe our streak of six years in a row has to be a school record.”

This fall, the Rams were put back in Class 1 by the Missouri State High School Activities Association. MICDS has played in Class 2 for the past two years.

The Rams finished at state with a team score of 739 on rounds of 366 and 373. John Burroughs won state with a 701. Springfield Catholic came in second at 703.

Perry wound up third with a 164. Her rounds were 84 and 80.

“Parker is a heck of a player. She will be competitive at the college level,” Johnston said. “After medaling at districts and sectionals, my only words of inspiration and advice at state was to just be Parker Perry. She came in third at state and felt she could’ve done better.

“Parker is an accomplished golfer. Like former Ram Shannon Gould, Parker leads by example with her play and navigation around the courses. She’s hard on herself, but her maturity is beginning to break through, helping and continuing to build her confidence.”

Junior Garrett Goltermann finished 13th and earned a state medal. The top 15 individual finishers earn a medal. Goltermann shot a 178 on rounds of 86 and 92.

High school girls tennis

Lafayette had two athletes compete in the Class 2 state singles tournament at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield and both earned state medals.

Mehlville’s Alyson Piskulic defeated Lafayette’s Katie Ferguson 6-1, 6-0 in the third-place match.

Lafayette’s Erin Davis defeated Summit’s Ella Kinder in three sets in the seventh-place match.

In Class 1 play, the MICDS doubles team of Caleigh McClain and Journee White captured the consolation title. The girls got past John Burroughs’ Ainsley Heidbreder and Kathryn Stengel 7-5, 6-2 in the fifth-place match.

High school hockey

The high school hockey season has just begun, but already teams are hoping their seasons will end in early March with an appearance in either the Challenge Cup or Wickenheiser Cup championship games at the Enterprise Center.

Westminster Christian Academy has won the Wickenheiser Cup for the past two seasons. 

“This season will be a real test for us,” coach Dean Penberthy said. “We have several players that have conflicting schedules that will force them to miss games. We have a young group of kids who will continue to improve and get acclimated to playing against bigger stronger players. At times we will have a short bench and those kids will be forced to step up, compete and grow as players as the season progresses.”

De Smet Jesuit finished second in the Challenge Cup last February, losing to St. Louis University High. Coach Chris Durso, who is entering his second year as head coach, said his team has one goal: To win De Smet’s 15th championship.

“Based on what I’ve seen in the preseason, there should be a lot of parity among the top six to seven teams in the league,” Durso said. “It could be anyone’s to win. I’m confident we will put ourselves in that conversation and hopefully make another run at getting to Enterprise Center, this time with a better result.”

One team will not be returning. Whitfield is not fielding a team this winter. Gary Wesolowski, the club president, said there were not enough players for the Warriors to put a team on the ice.

“Unfortunately, Whitfield will not be fielding a varsity team this year,” Wesolowski said. “The head coaching position remains vacant at this time. [We are] short on players this year. Hoping to rebuild for next year.”

Whitfield’s program has had its successes in the past with two Wickenheiser Cup titles [2012 and 2008] and three Founders Cups championships. The Warriors won the 2018 Founders Cup earlier this year. Previously, Whitfield won the Founders Cup in 2011 and 2014.

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