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Cross Country (Co-ed V) Cathedral High School

Season Review: 2023 Boys Cross Country

By Tyler McClure | Dec 22, 2023 11:38 AM


The idea was to develop, improve and compete. Cathedral High School boys cross-country did all three in 2023, achieving an encouraging measure of postseason success with an eye on the future. “We grew as a team; we got better overall,” Jason Moyars said. Moyars, in his third and final season as the Irish boys cross-country coach, said a young Cathedral team made up largely of freshmen and sophomores improved throughout the ’23 season and peaked as the season drew to a close. The Irish not only turned in a strong regular season with 13 runners registering personal bests at the All-Catholic meet, they advanced through the Section 17 meet to qualify as a team for the Regional 4 meet. “You’re trying to get as many PRs as you can as the season goes on and keep those going,” Moyars said. Moyars said the early part of the season – and much of the season in general – for the Irish was about building miles for multiple young runners who figure to form the core of a strong season moving forward. “It's a big adjustment from running a three-K[ilometer middle school race] to a five-K[ilometer high school race], for whatever reason,” he said. “For these freshmen coming in, it is a big jump. It’s a reason why you won't see a freshman at Cathedral run varsity until the third 5K of the year. [Former Cathedral boys cross-country coach] Jim [Nohl] and I have always done that. Even with Cole Hocker and Nick Hruskoci, Division I runners, they ran in the JV ranks for three 5K meets before we brought them up to varsity.” The Irish boys in 2023 advanced to the regional meet with a fifth-place finish at the sectional meet at Mount Vernon. Senior Alex Lozano finished 27th at the sectional meet in 17:36.9 with sophomore Jackson Klitzman finishing 28th in 17:42.2, sophomore Alexander Wesseling finishing 34th in 17:53.0, junior William Wise finishing 38th in 18:08.5, junior Mick Webb finishing 44th in 18:32.7, freshman Oliver Golden finishing 48th in 18:55.6 and junior Joe Mervilde finishing 51st in 19:21.2. “That was a very cool moment,” Moyars said of the fifth-place finish. “We didn’t really have a front-runner, a low stick. I don't think anybody expected us to advance out of the sectionals this year. We're still a very young team relying on freshmen and sophomores to score for us with several juniors and a couple of seniors.” The Irish followed the sectional finish by finishing 17th at the regional meet at Shelbyville at Blue River Park. Klitzman finished 93rd at the regional in 17:26.6 with Lozano finishing 97th in 17:27.2, Castor finishing 112th in 17:35.6, Wesseling finishing 145th in 18:02.9, Webb finishing 175th in 18:26.2, Wise finishing 181st in 18:34.1 and Mervilde finishing 228th in 19:49.9. “They handled the season really well,” Moyars said. “We talked a little bit about pack running since we didn't have that No. 1 low stick. If we could get our one through five for sure, and hopefully six and seven, to be within minute and a half to two minutes from first to seventh, then we would be able to score decent and have a chance to advance in the tournament.” Lazano set personal records in five of seven meets as a senior, and along with senior Josh Castor was a team leader – with Wise also emerging as a vocal leader late in the season. “He'll most likely be the actual leader from for next year's team,” Moyars said of Wise. “The younger guys, the junior class, kind of took the freshmen underneath their wings and showed them some of the ins and outs, which helped the coaches to more worry about other things than trying to get those guys just to come together as a team.” Moyars, a longtime cross-country and track assistant at Cathedral before becoming head boys cross-country coach in 2021, informed the team shortly before the late-season City Meet this was to be his final season with the program. Moyars’ son, Brayden, played volleyball at Cathedral and is now playing collegiately at Lourdes. “I kind of went back and forth all summer with my assistant coaches on what we would want to accomplish this year,” he said. “When I coach, I coach all in. If I'm not all in then it’s time for me to step away and that's just how I felt. My main goal was I did not want to leave – for lack of a better word – the cupboard bare for whoever takes over.”

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