GLEN CARBON - Junior cross country runner Riley Strack has enjoyed a very good season for Father McGivney Catholic High School thus far, having finished in the top part of the individual standing in many of their meets this season.

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In the Griffins' most recent meet, Strack led the Griffins to a 10th place finish in the Freeburg Invitational, coming in 24th with a time of 17:02.7, and he has been the top runner most of the season so far.

For his efforts both on and off the course, Strack has been named the Byron, Carlson, Petri, and Kalp Father McGivney Catholic Male Athlete of the Month.

Strack, who runs for coaches Jim Helton and Russ Hart, has enjoyed success in his three years running for the Griffins.

"I have been the number one runner for the boys' team in the first two races of the season," Strack said.

Strack thanked his parents for their encouragement and support as a runner.

"I would like to thank my mom and dad, Deana and Jim Strack, for always supporting me and pushing me to achieve," Strack said.

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Strack is in his third season of running for McGivney, and enjoys the benefits of working hard towards his goals and ambitions with the cross country team.

"This is my third season," Strack said, "and I love the personal satisfaction that pushing and obtaining goals brings me."

The life lessons of sports, in this case, cross country, have been very beneficial to Strack.

"Playing sports in high school has kept me focused on my physical health and my studies," Strack said. "It has helped set and achieve goals for myself, and I have made many friends from teammates."

Strack is also an outfielder for the Griffins baseball team that finished second in the state Class 1A playoffs this past June, enjoys both hunting and fishing, and hasn't yet decided if he'll continue to run in college, or where he'll go to school at. He plans on pursuing an undergraduate degree in either agricultural business or agricultural engineering. Strack is also an honors student at McGivney and encourages others to become involved in school activities and organizations.

"Getting involved in activities in school is important for kids to develop their whole self,' Strack said. "It gives us a sense of personal accomplishment, and shows us the importance of being a team player also."

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be proud of. Please join us in congratulating this young athlete. We at Riverbender.com wish you continued success in your future!

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