Young Tigers encouraged by performance at Astronaut Invitational

Holy Trinity freshman Skyler Jensen finished 12th at the Astronaut Invitational Saturday morning at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville with a time of 17:33. Another freshman, Ava Knight, led the Holy Trinity girls team with a season-best time of 21:13.

TITUSVILLE – A solid showing at the Astronaut Invitational Saturday morning showed the Holy Trinity cross country teams are, once again, a team to watch this season … and in the years to come.

Freshman Skyler Jensen finished 10th overall in the boys varsity 5K race with a time of 17:33 that was just 13 seconds off his personal record.

Ava Knight, meanwhile, had her best showing of the season with a time of 21:13. That put her 21st in the girls race as Holy Trinity finished seventh overall as a team.

“It was a good race,” Knight said. “It was a little bit muddy, so it was definitely a challenge. But overall, it was a pretty good course. I think everyone worked really hard.”

Friday’s heavy rain, coupled with a hot, humid morning certainly made things challenging for the Tigers and all the other runners who took part in Saturday’s race at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville.

But in some ways, that also made it an opportunity for a learning experience.

“I think the mud really challenged us,” Jensen said. “I think it made us better for future races.”

Holy Trinity’s boys team, which has a lineup of mostly freshmen and sophomores, finished 17th overall on Saturday.

Sophomore Augustine Stehley was the No. 2 runner for the Tigers, coming in 57th in 18:52. He was followed by a pair of freshmen – Zackery Gunderson (19:52) and Sawyer Jacobs (20:07).

Garrett Tinker, a sophomore, was next in 20:16. Senior Jack Riggs was right behind him in 20:17. Freshmen Donovan Boesch (20:18) and Aiden Silika (20:41) rounded out the day for the Holy Trinity boys.

On the girls side, sophomore Sophia Weiner was the next-highest finisher for Holy Trinity. She finished 37th in 22:23. Freshman Natalie Morris came in two spots behind Weiner with a time of 22:28.

Junior Julia McNatt came in at 23:22 and freshman Katherine Schwinn finished in 24:42. Seventh-grader Gabby Weiner was next in 26:08.

Holy Trinity coach Marc Bailey was happy with the way his team performed.

“Our boys team is young, but talented,” Bailey said. “They’re hard workers. They’re dedicated. I thought they had a good race. I thought some of our top boys maybe got caught up a little bit in the front and that might have slowed them down a little bit.

“But overall, they had a good race. And overall, our girls team had a good race. I’m proud of them.”