There will be a new face leading the Knights on the cross country trails this fall, as veteran coach Mike Parker takes over the boys’ and girls’ cross country programs. The Knights have been hard at work for their new coach throughout the first few weeks of the preseason, with the runners completing up to six to eight miles a session with varying intensity intervals. These hard training sessions will hopefully lead to a championships season for Gill.
“I told the boys at the first day of practice that we can definitely win our division in the conference and place highly at Preps,” Parker said. “I don’t see why we can’t. We honestly have a really solid crew, and the big key will be to stay healthy and improve a little every day.”
For the boys’ squad to bring home its first hardware since the 2015 season, Gill will be relying on a good mix of senior leadership and skilled underclassmen. “We have great senior leaders on this team,” Parker said. “Teddy Lazar, Luke Mariak, and Niels Rongen have worked extremely hard this summer. I will also be depending on Brian and Andrew Young ’21, along with Will Strong ’22 to help round out our starting lineup.”
On the girls’ side, GSB will be represented by sophomores Emma Ryan and Anne Wang. Unfortunately, since the program does not have at least five female runners, the Knights will not be able to compete as a team. However, the girls have been working equally as hard as the boy runners, and Parker is excited to see Ryan and Wang individually improve throughout the fall.
Gill will start the season off with a bang as the runners will compete at the Newark Academy Invitational on September 7th. Other big days on the Knights’ schedule will be the Homecoming race against Rutgers Prep, the Skyland Conference Championships on October 17th, and the Prep Championships at Blair Academy.
“We’re going to work as hard as we can to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves,” said Parker. “However, the most important thing, for me, is I want to give the kids a great experience that they will remember when they think back on their time at Gill.”
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful, and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.