Oakville boys’ cross country team focused on doing some damage at state in 2009

After losing only two runners to graduation, head coach Mike Bishop is optimistic about his 2009 Oakville High boys' cross country team. Bill Milligan photo

After losing only two runners to graduation, head coach Mike Bishop is optimistic about his 2009 Oakville High boys’ cross country team. Bill Milligan photo

By STEPHEN GLOVER

After finishing 15th at last year’s Missouri Class 4 Championships, the Oakville Senior High School boys’ cross country team is focused on doing some damage at state this fall.

“We’ve only lost two runners to graduation from last year’s team that qualified for state,” Oakville head coach Mike Bishop said. “So I think we’re going to have a pretty good team.”

Sophomore Jake Bast returns as the Tigers’ leading threat after finishing 15th last season at state with a time of 16:34.

“Jake was All-State as a freshman and was the first freshman to take All-State honors in the past 10 years,” Bishop said. “He had a great summer and really looks strong this season.”

Senior Kevin Whaley returns as a two-time state qualifier for the Tigers after finishing 79th last season with a time of 18:03.

“Each year, Kevin’s gotten stronger and he’s put the mileage in over the summer,” Bishop said. “He’s a good runner who’s a role model and team leader.”

Junior Lucas Beckman is another state qualifier from last season who took 85th overall with a time of 18:09.

“Lucas has gotten stronger from all the mileage he put in over the summer,” Bishop said. “I think that he’s going to finish high in every meet.”

Another junior who could make an impact on this year’s team is Nick Creahan, who suffered knee problems last season.

“Nick was hurt last year, but he’s going to be one of our big guns,” Bishop said. “He’s healthy now and is looking good.”

Sophomores Brian Whaley and Brad Morlock are returning state qualifiers who should shore up the Tigers’ lineup this season.

“They were new to the sport last year and have a year under their belt,” Bishop said. “So they know now how to race and compete this year.”

Oakville Boys’ Cross Country

Date Opponent Site Time

Sept. 3 Webster Groves A 4 p.m.

Sept. 5 Lutheran South A 9 a.m.

Sept. 10 Webster Groves A 4 p.m.

Sept. 17 Parkway Central A 4 p.m.

Sept. 25 Fox A 4 p.m.

Oct. 2 Ladue A 4 p.m.

Oct. 7 Mehlville A 4 p.m.

Oct. 10 SIU-E Border Wars A 9 a.m.

Oct. 17 Conference A 11 a.m.

Oct. 24 Districts A TBA