(Ste. Genevieve) The Valle Catholic girls cross country team capped off a stellar season with a 2nd place finish at the Class 1 State Meet this past weekend.

Head coach Samer Zoughaib says the moment his team knew they were going to be on the podium, it was pure jubilation.

Valle had seven runners competing and junior Camryn Basler took the top spot for the Warriors as she placed 17th with a time of 22:08.70.

Perhaps most notable about the performance by the Valle girls is the fact that the runners that competed in the state meet were all the runners they had – minus junior Mackenzie Karen who was unable to compete.

The Warriors took 2nd place in Class 1 with an eight girl team, and they started with even fewer.

However, Zoughaib says once they were able to add Basler and Lillian Hoog, who were pulling double duty competing with the Valle volleyball team, he knew they were positioned to do something special.

While the four juniors – Basler, Hoog, Karen, and Katie Kertz – and the lone sophomore – Natalie Kist – all played key roles in the team’s success, it was the senior trio of Mary Roth and twin sisters Rachel and Nicole Valle that catapulted the Warriors to the podium at the state meet.

Zoughaib says he saw the potential in those three all the way back in eighth grade.

Zoughaib adds that it was not just what the three seniors provided on the course for the Valle Catholic girls cross country team, but it was also the leadership they offered the team off the course that helped propel the team to such a successful state meet.

Valle Catholic also had three boys who competed in the Class 1 State Meet this past weekend.

Sophomores Peter Roth and Braden Coleman placed 33rd and 85th respectively and senior Josh Hoog placed 70th.


Full Interview with Samer Zoughaib:



17. Camryn Basler – 22:08.70
31. Mary Roth – 22:57.00
34. Rachel Valle – 23:03:00
35. Nicole Valle – 23:05.50
85. Lillian Hoog – 24:50.10
90. Katie Kertz – 25:06.50
159. Natalie Kist – 32:14.30


33. Peter Roth – 18:21.90
70. Josh Hoog – 19:16.70
85. Braden Coleman – 19:34.20