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Experienced Knight Runners Aim for Return to State

Mike Hammett - September 1, 2014 6:41 pm

The Sacred Heart Knights have made the play-offs for the fifth consecutive year with a 35-0 win at Moundridge.

The Sacred Heart Knights have made the play-offs for the fifth consecutive year with a 35-0 win at Moundridge.

Arnold Schmidtberger is adding the title of Cross Country coach to the list of duties he’s had at Sacred Heart.

Schmidtberger takes over a pair of experienced programs with the departure of Brad Dix. The boys squad returns all seven runners from last year’s Class 3A state runner-up team, while the girls return five runners and will try to qualify for state for the 12th straight season.

As for the boys, the Knights bring back seniors Chris Sandquist, Collin Smith, Spencer Roberts and Callum Grevas along with junior Josh Bergkamp and sophomores Stratton Brown and Rayne Schmidtberger.

“The experience of running at state last year should help as the season progresses,” Arnold Schmidtberger said. “Sandquist was a state medalist last year and should have a strong senior season after a great track season. There will be a lot of competition for varsity spots with many of the younger runners.”

Senior Antonio Hernandez, junior Jake Bulleigh and sophomore Quinn Riordan will try to crack the top seven for the Knights.

There is one key if the Knights are to finish off a state championship run.

“The boys team needs to close the gap from top to bottom,” Schmidtberger said. “The five, six and seven runners need to be closer to our top four, if we are going to have a strong team.”

On the girls side, seniors Kate Schieferecke and Sara Vandervoort are joined by fellow returners in junior Alex Elmore and sophomores Grace Worcester and Alexa Pereyda.

“The girls team has strong leadership and experience from the top runners,” Schmidtberger said. “Schieferecke, Elmore and Vandervoort have been solid runners during their careers. The girls have a strong tradition to build on as the team has qualified for state competition for 11 consecutive years.”

Freshman Jordan Gilliland and junior Ingrid Herrenbruck will try to help out the girls.

“The girls team will only have eight to nine runners on the team, so we need significant contributions from all of them, if we are to continue the past success,” Schmidtberger said.

The Knights open the season on Thursday at Abilene.

2014 Sacred Heart Cross Country Schedule
9/4 at Abilene, 4pm
9/11 at Hesston, 4pm
9/18 at Clay Center, 4pm
9/23 at Southeast of Saline, 4:30pm
10/2 at Beloit, 3:45pm
10/11 at Riley County, 9:40am
10/16 at NCAA meet at Downs, 4:00pm
10/25 Regionals
11/1 State

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