The Fairmont Cross Country team had another successful season in 2011.
In the GWOC Championships on Oct. 15, senior Jake Gentile led the Firebird boys to a 4th place finish in the GWOC Central by finishing 2nd in a season’s best time. Other top finishers were junior Ben Gilbert, senior Jeff Bruns, freshman Matt Kitze, junior Max Ducharme, junior Kevin Whaley and senior Alex Durham.
The girls finished 5th at the GWOC Championships. Sophomore Nicole Olgiate led the Firebirds, finishing 18th. Other top finishers were sophomore Rylee Smith, freshman Katie Loch, senior Brittany Johns, junior Brandi Kenrick, junior Rachel Herman and senior Melanie West.
On Sept. 24, the boys had a very successful meet at the Sidney Invitational, placing 2nd out of the 8 teams running. Gentile led the Firebirds with a second-place finish. The girls were not as successful, finishing 7th out of the 9 teams.
Although the team had a solid season, some runners weren’t as happy with how their season ended. Gentile wished he had ended on a better note. “My season was pretty successful, but I wish I would have placed for state.”
At the banquet on Sept. 1, the team awards were announced. The winners were: Most Valuable Runner: Jake Gentile; Most Improved Runner: Matt Kitze; Sportsmanship: senior Andy Hannan; and Coaches Award: Jeff Bruns. For the girls, the winners were: MVR: Nicole Olgiate: MIR: Rylee Smith; Sportsmanship: Melanie West; and Coaches Award: Brittany Johns.
Gentile encourages younger runners to give it their all the whole season. “Your senior year comes faster than you think it would. All of a sudden, it’s your last race,” he said. “Don’t look back on your season and regret or want to change anything.”