State Bound Shamrocks - Five cross-country runners to run in State Meet

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State Bound left to right: Fey Chavez, Clare Roth, Dominick Pataky, Seth Schenck, and Zack Grater.
Photos by Kyle Quick

Linn, Mo. – “Amazing” and “On top of the world” is how Fey Chavez and Clare Roth described the feeling of qualifying for state after Saturday’s District meet.

Seth Schenck, Zach Grater, and Dominick Pataky finished in the top 15 to join Chavez and Roth at next Saturday’s Missouri State Cross Country Meet.

Chavez had played volleyball her first two years of high school but choose to try out cross-country this year, which turned out to be a smart move.  Chavez ran a career best, 22:13, to finish in fourth place.

Pictured Fey Chavez.

The young freshman Clare Roth took 13th place, one of few freshmen to advance onto state.

In the boy’s race Schenck finished fourth and tied his career best with at time of 17:31, the same time he ran as a freshman during the state meet where he finished 14th.

Pataky ran a season best time of 18:03 to finish seventh and Grater came in ninth place with a time of 18:16.

After the race we spoke with several of New Haven’s cross-country runners.  Chavez said, “It feels amazing.  When I crossed the finish line I felt tired, but really happy.”  The first words she said after catching her breathe where, “Going to state.”

Both Chavez and Roth were extremely excited afterwards and simply could not stop smiling.  Roth said she feels, “Really good, really excited…I’m on top of the world.”

Coach John Tucker said, “Comparing Clare’s [Roth] times, I didn’t know if she would qualify.  Her finishing 13th was excellent.  I am very proud of her.”

Last year’s state meet is one race Schenck would rather not think about after finishing 29th place.  Compared to last year Schenck is much stronger but more importantly has developed into a smart runner.

Pictured right: Coach Tucker tells Seth Schenck what place he currently is in.

Schenck talked about what he has learned from the past two years of running at state.  He said, “I don’t go out as fast as I use to…kind of conserve energy during the first mile then “pickoff” people as I go.  Regardless I just have to run my race and stay focused.”

Both Pataky and Grater will return to state for the second straight year with hopes of improving from last year’s finish.

Pataky said the one thing he learned from last year’s state meet was, “Not to freak out or be intimidated by the thousands of people.”  Pataky commented on how it felt to qualify for the second straight year.  “Very fulfilling, I feel I have achieved something, which is a great feeling to have.”

Pictured left is Dominick Pataky and right Zach Grater as they approach the first mile marker.

Along with Pataky and Schenck, Grater will also make his second appearance in as many years at state.

Grater said, “State can be overwhelming and after last year I feel better prepared mentally.  As for the race itself, I know I have to be prepared to run my best and give everything I have so I can finish as good as possible.”

Tucker said, “I couldn’t be more proud with how everyone ran.  We accomplished our goal today and now we focus on state.”

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High School Principal Tim Strobel congratulates cross country team.The picture below needs no caption.