The Official Home of Notre Dame de Sion Athletics

Main Page2005 Main Page Team PictureSchedule RosterResults Archive


The Greater Kansas City Cross Country Coaches Association has announced their All-Metro selections for the 2005 season. Anna Florzak, Tori Mirfasihi, and Elise O'Connor were selected to the 1st team while Natalie Hays and Jackie Williams received Honorable Mention honors. Congratulations to all.

2005 State Champs! Storm Cross Country edged out West Plains for the state title. Congratulations to the harriers who earned All-State honors: Tori Mirfasihi (6th place), Anna Florzak (15th place), Elise O'Connor (16th place), and Natalie Hays (25th place). Jackie Williams was the fifth scorer, finishing in 26th place. Abby Vickers and Maria Caruso rounded out the state championship team. Congratulations! The Storm cross country team is state-bound, capturing the District 7 Championship. Sion placed all 7 runners in the top 10 for an outstanding score of 16. Senior Anna Florzak earned her third individual district title. Congratualations to the following on earning All-District honors: Anna Florzak (District Champion), Tori Mirfasihi, Natalie Hays, Elise O'Connor, Abby Vickers, Jackie Williams, Maria Caruso.

Tears turn to joy when Sion wins title
The Kansas City Star

Notre Dame de Sion coach Reynold Middleton has been known to downplay his girls cross country team’s chances and/or accomplishments.

Maybe Middleton’s runners have caught on.

Looking at the faces of all the Storm runners following their race at the Missouri Class 3 cross country state meet last Saturday in Jefferson City, you’d have thought they had finished last in the 16-team field. Tears were being readily shed, and they weren’t tears of joy.

In fact, when Middleton discovered that the Storm had, in fact, won its second state title in the last four years, he kept it from the girls, instead waiting to look at their faces when it was announced.

“They were really disappointed,” Middleton said. “They didn’t feel they ran their best. They felt they’d done their best today.

“Obviously, they did. You can’t win a state championship without running well.”

The Storm’s 68-point total was only four better than second-place West Plains. Tori Mirfasihi led the way for the Storm with a sixth-place finish. Anna Florzak was 15th, Elise O’Connor 16th, Natalie Hays 25th and Jackie Williams 26th.

Middleton, who also led a Notre Dame de Sion team to a state title in 2000, said without a doubt this year’s team was his strongest.

“I think this is the best,” he said. “I have more confidence in this team than any other I’ve coached. If this team ran the others head-to-head, this one would win.”


Blue Springs, Sion girls run to titles
The Kansas City Star

JEFFERSON CITY — Two Kansas City-area girls teams cried Saturday at the Missouri state cross country meet. As it turned out, it was for the same reason. It’s just that one team didn’t know it.

The Blue Springs girls knew they’d done something special the minute they crossed the finish line in the Class 4 girls cross country race at Oak Hills Golf Course. Coach Heather Knudsen, back at the helm of the Wildcats after a sabbatical last year, could hardly contain herself after her top three runners finished in the top 25, qualifying for all-state honors. That allowed the Wildcats to score 74 points, good enough to finish 14 points ahead of second-place Eureka.

“I couldn’t be any more proud of these girls, one through seven,” Knudsen said through the tears and hugs. It was Blue Springs’ first girls cross country championship since 2001.

“This is the best group of girls I’ve had to work with,” she said.

Notre Dame de Sion, to a girl, was feeling down following the Class 3 race. The runners believed afterward that they hadn’t run anywhere close to their potential.

“I was feeling I’d let the whole team down,” said the Storm’s senior leader, Anna Florzak, a state champion as a sophomore, who finished 15th.

About an hour later, Florzak led the dogpile on her teammates as an announcer blared that prerace favorite West Plains had finished second. Sion’s disappointment immediately turned to jubilation when it realized it had won its first state team title since 2002. The Storm scored 68 points, four fewer than second-place Eureka [sic].

“This has been a grueling season,” said Florzak, who battled shin pain much of the season. “Tori (Mirfasihi, who placed sixth) was sick through Wednesday. The whole week was draining.

“We were worried we weren’t going to come out here and get the job done. We did.

“I’m just glad we went out my senior year the way I came in.”

Even though Blue Springs had established its strength with team wins at conference and district, Lee’s Summit North had gotten the better of the Wildcats at sectionals, was the defending state champ and was considered a favorite. The Broncos finished fifth after two girls fell near the starting line.

“We didn’t have it at sectionals,” Knudsen said. “But we just kept our sights on today. We trained for Nov. 5. That’s what it came down to.”

Blue Springs was led across the line by sophomore Lauren Renfrow in fifth. Andrea Owensby (14th) and Caitlin Laskowski (23rd) also earned all-state honors.

“To go out there and run our best race is amazing,” Owensby said.

The best might be yet to come for the Blue Springs girls, who made a friendly wager with the Wildcats boys team before the meet. The boys ran very well in finishing third behind Fort Zumwalt South and defending state champ Liberty in second. But because they finished lower than the girls, the boys must show up to the team banquet wearing dresses.


Perfect Storm
KC Star 11/05/05

When the Notre Dame de Sion girls cross country team swept to the Missouri Class 3 District 7 title last Saturday in Warrensburg, it completed an autumn district sweep by Sion teams.

Storm teams have won district championships this fall in golf, tennis, softball, volleyball and cross country.

The cross country team won in dominating fashion, 53 points better than Warrensburg. Anna Florzak won the 5K race in 19 minutes, 17 seconds. Teammates Tori Mirfasihi, Naalie Hays, Elise O’Connor and Abby Vickers followed in places two, three, four and seven.


Yes, Sion was third at KC Metro meet
KC Star 9/28/05

Notre Dame de Sion cross country coach Reynold Middleton was not happy immediately after the girls varsity race of the KC Metro Championships last Saturday at Raymore-Peculiar Middle School.

However, when informed that the Storm had finished third in a strong field of 21 teams, his spirits brightened.

“We were third? Let me see that,” Middleton said, craning his neck to look at the results.

Sion’s 139 points weren’t good enough to beat out Lee’s Summit West or Blue Springs for the top two spots, but the total was 11 better than Blue Valley Northwest in fourth.

Senior Anna Florzak led the Storm with an eighth-place finish, and junior Tori Mirfasihi was 12th.


KC Star 9/09/05

Two girls from Notre Dame de Sion finished 1-2 at the Liberty Invitational last Saturday at Stocksdale Park, and it was no surprise that senior Anna Florzak won. After all, Florzak was the top placer at last year’s Missouri Class 3 state race not from West Plains. However, according to coach Reynold Middleton, it should’ve come as no surprise, either, that junior Tori Mirfasihi placed second. At last year’s state race, Mirfasihi finished 26th despite running the last half of the race with just one shoe, the other slipping off at some point.


KC Star 9/07/05

The Notre Dame de Sion girls cross country team showed itself in fine early-season form last Saturday in the Liberty Invitational.

The Storm didn’t have quite the depth to beat out host Liberty for the team championship, placing second behind the Blue Jays 28-60.

But Sion certainly showed its potency at the top with senior Anna Florzak and junior Tori Mirfasihi finishing 1-2 in the individual running.


In spite of threatening weather and delays, Sion cross country had an excellent showing at their first meet of the season. Natalie Hays, Abby Vickers, Bailey Loyd, Rachel Steilen and Abbye Klamann all won medals in their very first race!