‘Pressure’ not part of Lindbergh High girls’ cross country team’s lexicon this year

Lindbergh High girls looking to boost their race confidence.

The Lindbergh High School girls cross country team is looking to improve on last years ninth-place finish at state. Bill Milligan photo

The Lindbergh High School girls’ cross country team is looking to improve on last year’s ninth-place finish at state. Bill Milligan photo


What would you expect from a team that finished ninth in Missouri last season and didn’t lose anyone to graduation?

The word pressure isn’t part of the Lindbergh High School girls’ cross country team’s lexicon this year.

“We didn’t race well at state last year, (but) we still were ninth,” assistant coach Jim Wilder said. “They’re excited about their season. This year we want to apply the pressure, not feel it. Our team is working very hard. Our biggest thing now is race confidence. They said last year they were nervous before a race.”

Individual team members discussed pressure and nerves during summer camps they attended.

“They sat around the campfire and agreed the state title was their goal,” Wilder said. “This year after the first few races, I think they’ll realize how much they’ve progressed.”

Preseason polls place Lindbergh eighth in Missouri thanks to hard work and experience, but “they don’t mean anything,” Wilder said.

This season the Flyers will be paced by four seniors, Colleen Riley, Connie Bevirt, Grace Watt and Sophia Meyer.

Wilder said junior Lindsey Ganter, is a big key.

“She should be in our top four and around that 20-minute mark,” Wilder said. “If we can get four runners under 20 minutes, then great things can happen.

“We’ve got to get our fifth person under 21 minutes and then our sixth and seventh will be pushing runners from other teams,” he added.

Competition for the Flyers’ top seven spots is intense thanks to contributions from sophomores Sarah McCaughey, Mal Paridy, Madison Russell and Abby Klosterman.

“They’re very solid runners,” Wilder said. “College coaches say you have to be under 20 minutes to receive scholarship money.”

The problem will be qualifying for the state finals.

“There are going to be five or six teams competing for four spots,” Wilder said, mentioning Kirkwood and Eureka among the area’s premier programs. “Whoever gets out will place high at state.”

Lindbergh Girls’ Cross Country

Sept. 3 First Capitol Inv. A 4 p.m.

Sept. 9 Webster Invitational A 4 p.m.

Sept. 11 Forest Park Meet A 10 a.m.

Sept. 16 Parkway Central Inv. A 4 p.m.

Sept. 24 Fox Invitational A 4 p.m.

Oct. 2 Lakeshore Invitational A 10 a.m.

Oct. 9 Conference Tourney A TBA

Oct. 14 Patriot Classic A TBA

Oct. 23 Districts A TBA

Oct. 30 Sectionals A TBA

Nov. 6 State A TBA