August 28th, 2013

CSAA Holy Cross Invitational cross country meet

Brad Knoop

Staff Writer


CSAA Holy Cross Invitational cross country meet
Holy Cross Invitational / photo by Brad Knoop

On a Wednesday evening hot enough to melt the screen printing off a T-shirt, more than 600 Catholic grade school children hit the course at the Elementary School Cross Country Invitational at Holy Cross High School.

Cool mist fans were a treat for the younger kids and each team set up pop-up canopies and gathered near tall, shady trees to help escape the heat any way possible.

In each of the meet’s 20-plus years at the Dixie Highway school, it has welcomed veteran runners and newcomers, from schools nearby and across the Ohio River.

Doug Barney has been driving the 20 miles from Floyds Knobs, Ind., during rush hour to get his daughters here for years.

“I have one in high school now and one still running in grade school,” Barney said. “We love this event, the way it’s set up.”

His youngest daughter, Bella, is a fifth-grader at St. Mary’s of the Knobs.

Fourth-grader Raelyn Willman is a first-year runner for St. Bernard School. Her dad, Matt, says Raelyn was excited about running.

“She’s always full of energy and ready to go,” Willman said. “When I asked her what sport she wanted to try, she said she wanted to do something different this year.”
 
The course is created by Holy Cross cross country coach Richard Reynolds. The 30-year Cougars coach celebrated his birthday Tuesday night by working until midnight getting the venue ready.

“You know, I got home late last night and there was a birthday cake on the table,’ Reynolds said. “My wife said, ‘You really love doing this stuff.’ And I said, ‘Yes I do.’ It’s about these kids. And with turnouts like this, we’ll keep on making it happen.”

The course begins on the football field and wraps around the campus, through a thin row of trees and winds back around to the finish line, just south of the football stadium. The parents may have a tougher time with the course than the kids as they have to navigate their way around fences and ropes to get a good view of their children running. Some sprint across the field to get the best angle for a photograph.

Brooke Reichmuth has a young dynamic duo of racers. Her daughters, Allison and Grace Norton, are in kindergarten and second grade, respectively, at St. Stephen Martyr School.

“I run and I encourage them to run,” Reichmuth said. “Now, my youngest daughter, Grace, would rather socialize. But Allison is a pretty good runner, actually kind of fast. I’m excited for them.”

 

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