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Sports Briefs: Nov. 1

By: Jonathan Duncan


High school boys cross country

Winning the Gateway Athletic Conference South Championship meet was so enjoyable for the Fort Zumwalt West boys cross-country team that they made it their mission to do it again this fall.

Mission accomplished. The Jaguars recently captured the six-team meet title with a superb performance turned in by just five runners.

“It was an outstanding performance given we only ran five guys,” said Fort Zumwalt West coach John Cunningham. “We have a big team with 61 guys but a lot of it is youth, so we hadn’t quite determined the full varsity lineup. So, we made it with five guys and hopefully that sets up good things for the rest of the season.”

In the long course portion of the meet, the Jaguars got top-shelf performances from seniors Jason Brown and Noah Lee. Brown finished the course first with a time of 17:04.53. Lee was third with a time of 17:31.72, behind Timberland’s Nathan Petro.

“Noah had the lead actually about two miles into the race,” Cunningham said. “But Jason ran a great last part of the race and he was able to take the title. When you have two guys finish in the top three that keeps your point total really low.”

Zumwalt West topped the field in first with 37 points, followed by Francis Howell with 58. Other local scores included Timberland [60], Troy [102], Francis Howell Central [104], and Francis Howell North [123].

Even better than winning the GAC South championship for the second straight season, the Jaguars qualified all five of their runners for all-conference honors. All-conference honors are given to the top 14 finishers each season in the conference meet.

Along with Brown and Lee, Peter Classen, Cameron Sakuma and Mateo Robbins finished as all-conference performers.

“That was one of our goals to get all five into the top 14, and we had five of the top 13 and that was exciting to see,” Cunningham said.

High school girls softball

Another successful season for the St. Dominic softball team came to a tough end in the postseason.

The Crusaders were eliminated in the Class 3 quarterfinal round by an always challenging Incarnate Word club. The Knights handed St. Dominic a 6-3 loss at Incarnate Word.

St. Dominic swung the bats well, racking up 11 hits, and managed to get the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning, but could not get over the hump. Abby Wamhoff had two hits and an RBI. Julie Minniky also had two hits.

The Crusaders opened the playoffs by beating Orchard Farm [15-0] and O’Fallon Christian [6-2] to win the Class 3, District 7 championship; then, downed Mexico [4-3] in a sectional to advance to the quarterfinals. Carly Bloomfield and Abby Benedict paced the Crusaders with two hits. Benedict homered, drove in three runs and scored a run. Bloomfield gave up just three runs on five hits to get the win.

• • •

St. Dominic finished its season at 18-12.

Francis Howell North also had its season stopped in the playoffs. The Knights fell to state semifinalist Francis Howell 12-2 in the Class 4 quarterfinals at home.

The Knights defeated Parkway North [9-1] and Parkway Central [3-0] for the Class 4, District 5 title at Parkway Central.

In sectionals, Howell North upended Hazelwood West 7-3 and earned a trip to the quarterfinals. Elizabeth Davis and Macy Miller led the Knights with 3 hits each against the Wildcats.

Howell North, which flirted with the .500 mark four different times this fall, ended the season at 13-12

High school girls volleyball

It has been a season of success for the Timberland girls volleyball club as the Wolves rolled into districts playing lights out on the court.

Timberland finished the regular season at 28-2-1 thanks to a five-game winning streak that included victories over Troy Buchanan twice, Francis Howell North, Fort Zumwalt North and Holt.

A blazing 9-game win streak at the start of the regular season allowed the Wolves to start fast and not let off the gas.

The Wolves were able to dominate opponents along the frontline thanks to the steady work of 5-foot-10 senior middle hitter Kendall Enyart, and 6-foot senior outside hitter Amelia Flynn. The two towering frontliners gave Timberland opponents big problems as they respectively averaged 2.78 and 4.70 kills per game.

Enyart also was tough defensively at the net as she led the club in blocks.

Junior middle hitter Savannah Hayton and senior libero Kiley Hunt started plenty of rallies with strong serving. Hayton and Hunt led the Wolves in serving aces, averaging almost two per game.

Timberland recently headed into post-season play and started off on a good note, defeating rival Holt [25-17, 25-23] to claim the Class 4, District 8 championship at Liberty High School.

During the regular season, the Wolves clinched a share of the Gateway Athletic Conference South title with Francis Howell thanks to a 9-1 conference record.

College football

Former Francis Howell football standout Sutton Smith is having a breakout season this fall for the Northern Illinois University Huskies.

Smith, who came to NIU in 2015 as a running back, was converted to defense as he redshirted his freshman year. As a defensive lineman, the sophomore has been relentless and downright dominant at times.

Heading into the second half of his sophomore season, Smith was making his mark as one of the top defenders in Division I college football with 141.5 tackles for loss and seven quarterback sacks.

A rangy 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end, Smith already has been honored as the Mid-American Conference West Division Defensive Player of The Week and named to the Associated Press Sports Mid-Season All-America team.

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