Blood, Sweat, And Cheers; Aiden Monistere, PB Win D3 State!


Blood, sweat, and cheers.

On Monday, the LHSAA Divison 3 Boys' State Cross Country Championships had a little bit of everything as Parkview Baptist junior Aiden Monistere won his first state XC championship with a time of 15:25 while guiding the Eagles to their third-straight team title.

The Eagles edged out Newman, 24-50. The Greenies were led by senior Sam Haber, who was the runner-up with a time of 15:37.

After the race, Monistere talked about what it meant to him to win his first cross country state championship.

"It feels great," Monistere said. "I've done track. Cross Country is a lot harder to do. You have one chance. Not multiple events. I knew it was going to be a tough race. There was a lot of competition. It felt really good to pull out the win."

The Parkview Baptist boys are a close-knit team. Sometimes--like at the start of the D3 boys state championship race--they are a little too close. Parkview Baptist's Caleb Whipp, who finished seventh with a time of 16:22, spiked Monistere in the shin leaving a little blood stain on his right leg to match the traditional red socks below.

"It happened right at the start," Monistere said with a laugh. "I got too close to Caleb. I've done it to him before, so this is just payback."

Monistere was not surprised that the start of the race was too close for comfort.

"I knew it would be packed at the start," Monsitere said."We were very packed, I feel like. After the first mile. I feel like we picked up a lot. I'm not sure we really did. I knew at that back straight away that it was just me and Sam (Haber) left and we would have to fight it out for the win. Right after the two mile, I started pushing it"

Other members of Parkview Baptist's state championship team included senior Kohl Feucht (5th; 16:05), junior Ethan DeLatte (6th; 16:18), and junior Reed Boudreaux (9th: 16:31). 

While he wasn't surprised about some things on Monday, he was a little surprised about his time.

"I thought it would be slower, but we pushed it," Monistere said.

The close-knit Eagles are making a habit of leaving Natchitoches in mid-November with the state championship trophy. 

"It feels great," Monistere said. "We are all very close. We've been friends since fourth grade. We've all been running together. Especially since the last four years we have been very close and we've been able to win two before. It feels great."

For Monistere, it's the strong bond that has built over the years and during the long runs that puts cross country at the top of his favorite sports.

"It's one of the reasons I love this sport the most," Monistere said. "We are so close. We have fun every practice. It kind of sucked this year because I had the shin injury and all that stuff. I had to separate a little and not do as much as they could and do a little bit different stuff."

As they shared one last moment after their final race of the season, the Parkview Baptist boys gave out a  loud cheer while having their picture taken on the podium. 

After the race, there was no rest for the weary as Monistere headed to Sulphur on Tuesday to compete at the LHSAA State Swimming Championship. 

Haber discovered during the race that his race plan was similar to Monistere's.

"It was a plan of staying up with that front group and kind of hang behind Aiden," Haber said. "I wanted to see what he would do and see what his plan was. I think he had the same plan I did--make a move late with about 1K to go. He made it. He made it better. He had a great race today. I cannot be that upset. I think I did all I could. It is what it is. I'm happy to come away with the runner-up. I think that's special. 

"Sam did great," Newman Coach Mark Falivino said. "He executed the race plan like he does week-in and week-out. I could not be happier for him. Dating back to middle school, he has put in seven years worth of work and it culminated with the showing he had today. I couldn't be happier for him and I couldn't be more proud."

Besides Haber, the Greenies had three other runners in the top ten--sophomore Logan DeGruy (4th; 15:29), sophomore Rivers LeLong (6th; 16:25), and junior Maslen L'Esperance (8th;16:36).

Loyola's Tripp Roemer (3rd; 15:58) was the only D3 boy in the top ten not wearing a Parkview Baptist or Newman singlet.