By Kyle LoJacono
Entering the Class 2A, District 5 tournament Steinbrenner High boys cross country coach Bobby McConnell thought the squad could finish in the top three.
The Warriors did that, but exceeded McConnell’s expectations by winning the school’s seventh district championship and the program’s first. It is also the first district crown for one of Steinbrenner’s boys teams.
Steinbrenner entered the event Nov. 4 ranked as the eighth 2A team in the state, but also in the district are No. 2 Berkeley Prep and No. 6 Jesuit High.
Steinbrenner won the close contest with 40 points, besting Berkeley’s 48 and Jesuit’s 54. The Warriors were led by senior Alex Newby’s time of 16 minutes and 32 seconds, good enough for third place individually. Teammates Daniel and Matt Sarver, who are twins, finished with times of 16:47 and 16:48 respectively, putting them in seventh and eighth place.
The Warriors girls team finished second on their side with 48 points, just 10 behind the Academy of the Holy Names. Lauren Garris finished in third place with a time of 20:20, followed by teammate Evyn Moon’s 20:38.
“I’m so proud of how all the athletic programs have done in just our first year and a half,” said Steinbrenner athletic director Eddie Henderson. “I’ve seen all the teams work hard and the coaches work hard to build the Steinbrenner name in all athletics. The district championships are just a testament to what they’ve been doing in practice each and every day.”