XC Boys wrap up season


LT team surpasses opponents as the St. Charles North Invite race progresses (Williams/LION).

Diane Makovic, Co-Editor In Chief

When the cross country season started this year, the boys team had a new assistant coach on the roster, Joe Pontrelli. Pontrelli had previously coached for the girls cross country and track teams but switched to helping the boys team this year.

“It has been one big learning experience,” Pontrelli said. “I have had to build relationships with a new set of athletes, and I am figuring out a different training system. I am learning a lot from Coaches [Mike] Danner, [Jake] Discipio, and [Leonel] Reyes. I have been very fortunate to work with both programs.”

The team has had to adjust to having another coach, but they think his advice and encouragement help him fit in to the team environment, varsity runner Owen Hayes ‘21 said.

“I personally love having Pontrelli as an assistant coach,” varsity runner Jack Ehlert ‘20 said. “He is extremely knowledgeable on running form and mechanics, racing mentality, and communicating with his runners. Also, he is a funny and nice coach who brings a lot of life to our practices. He definitely was a great addition.”

So far throughout the season, the runners have put together some impressive races but think the best races are ahead, Pontrelli said. 

Now, the group is working to get the entire team in a good position for the rest of the season, Hayes said.

“So far, I think the season has gone well,” Ehlert said. “We’ve lacked a bit of consistency in some races, but a lot of kids are starting to step up which makes me optimistic for when we begin to put all the pieces together and compete at full capability.”

Heading into the state series races, the team is focusing on its goals of winning conference, regionals, and hopefully being a team that can compete for a trophy at state, Ehlert said.

“We are expecting to be a very competitive team for the rest of our season,” Pontrelli said. “We continue to have great workouts and have worked very hard to improve our mental approach to racing. These are both key indicators that our team is primed for the rest of our season.”

The upperclassmen have taken their role to lead the underclassmen, especially because the varsity lineup for the boys is very upperclassmen-dominated this year.

“Being an upperclassman, I believe it is a very important responsibility to step up as a leader,” Ehlert said. “This is crucial to being a good role model for freshman and helping keep the team in good form. Also as an upperclassmen I do like having fun with all my teammates and having a good time.”

The conference meet was held at Beren’s Park on Oct. 19. The boys placed third in the varsity race. This weekend on Oct. 26, the varsity runners will race in the Regional meet at SC at 2 p.m. in order to try to qualify for the Sectional race on Nov. 2 and the State meet on Nov. 9.