Girls cross country runners

Crusader girls participating in the scrimmage. In the back, left is Valentina Rohlfing. Next to her is Anika Sathoff. (Photo courtesy of Dale Compton)

Starting in 2006, one year after Loyola restarted a cross-country program after a five-year hiatus, the Crusaders have gotten their season into gear with an alumni scrimmage.

On Saturday, the scrimmage was a two-miler around the Loyola campus.  

“We bring back alumni to reconnect with the team,” said head coach Dale Compton. “It’s great too for our new athletes who haven’t participated in a cross country meet, so they can see how the race starts and what competition is like, and it is nice too for them to bring the alumni back so they can see our history and tradition.”

This year, six Cleveland alumni runners who participated in the scrimmage, including  Alex Schaefer from the Class of 2019;  Ellie NygrenMitchell Johnstone , Brett Omtvedt  and Jerrett Peterson from the class of 2020 and Tyler Erickson, who graduated last spring. 

All the Cleveland male alumni had participated in one or more state competitions.

This year, a rebuilding one, the Crusaders have no seniors on the team. Cleveland students participating include sophomores Nathan Strobel, Lilly Croatt, Jorden Rossow and Jewell Factor; freshman TJ Waldron, eighth graders Charlie Maxfield and Elijah Mons; and sixth graders Valentina Rohlfing and Anika Sathoff

Compton pointed to Strobel and Waldron as top runners.

“Those two are ready to go. They’ve really been putting in some good work these first two weeks. Nathan came out and did exactly what I thought he would do today. He was in third place behind two alumni (Johnstone followed by Erickson), so he was our number-one finisher today.

The Clippers hooked on to Loyola’s cross-country team in 2012.

The Crusaders officially start their season today (Thursday) with a home meet at 4:00.

Crusader boys participating in the scrimmage. In the front left is TJ Waldron. Next to him is Charlie  Maxfield. In the back left is Jorden Rossow. Next to him is Nathan Strobel. Elijah Mons is in the front row, third from left. (Photo courtesy of Dale Compton)

Clipper alumni who participated his year were Alex Schaefer (2019), Ellie  Nygren (2020), Mitchell Johnstone (2020) Brett Omtvedt (2020) Jerrett Peterson (2020) and Tyler Erickson (2021).