Big test awaits ND runners at Hancock Invitational

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Bulldogs will get their first look at defending Class 3 state champion Potosi.

The Notre Dame boys cross country team will get its first real test at the Class 3 level Saturday when it travels to Jefferson Barracks for the Hancock Invitational.

Notre Dame found out it had been bumped from Class 2, where it won the defending state champs, to Class 3 shortly before the school year began. At the Hancock Invitational, the Bulldogs will get to see defending Class 3 champion Potosi, a new district opponent for the Bulldogs, as well as district foe Ste. Genevieve.

"It's really our first opportunity to be what I call super-taxed," Notre Dame coach Bill Davis said. "We'll really get pushed."

Potosi is the hands-down favorite in the race for the mid-sized schools, but the Bulldogs along with Ste. Genevieve could push for top-three spots. Ste. Genevieve is also making the move to Class 3 this year after finishing third in Class 2 last year.

"Ste. Genevieve, I'm anxious to see them," Davis said. "I'm sure they'd like to beat us. They did last year at Hancock, and that was a stepping-stone for us last year."

The Bulldogs are coming off a team title at the Central Invitational.

Neil Kanneberg and Logan Davis, returning all-state runners, have led the Bulldogs this season. Jonathan Ramsey, Ben Beussink and freshman Wynn McClellan were among the top five runners last weekend for the Bulldogs. Dillon Klaffer, coming off a junior varsity win at Central, will move into the varsity lineup this weekend.

"We're planning on getting measured, and I know a lot of people are wanting to see us too," Davis said.

Saxony Lutheran, Central, Perryville and Kelly are also scheduled to make the trip to the meet, which includes three divisions for both boys and girls. The race, which is run at Jefferson Barracks Park in south St. Louis County, is one of the largest and most competitive cross country meets in the state.

ND-Kelly, Round 3

Area softball rivals Notre Dame and Kelly will meet for the third time this season Monday at 5:30 p.m. under the lights at Notre Dame with the conference championship at stake.

The Bulldogs have beaten Kelly both times the teams have met this season, both times in tournament semifinal games. Notre Dame won 7-6 at the Incarnate Word Tournament and 9-5 last weekend at the Jackson Invitational.

Both teams have excelled this season and have high playoff hopes in their respective classes. Notre Dame sits at 20-2 and is unbeaten against Class 3 schools. Both of its losses came in tournament championship games. Kelly is 18-4 and hoping to return to the Class 2 final four. Its other two losses this year were against Poplar Bluff and the Notre Dame junior varsity team.

Monday's game will mark the start of the final full week before district play begins. District play is set to begin Thursday, Oct. 5. Kelly and Notre Dame are both coming off district-champion seasons, with Notre Dame trying to make its third straight trip to the state final four.

Notre Dame cracks poll

The Notre Dame boys soccer team entered the initial Missouri Soccer Coaches Association Class 2 top 10 poll tied for fifth.

The Bulldogs have started the season 10-1. St. Dominic is ranked No. 1 in Class 2.

St. Louis University High edged Chaminade for the top spot in Class 3, and Trinity held the top spot in Class 1.

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