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Donald Aquallo and Chase Boltz form a tough tandem for the St. Francis cross-country team.

Dynamic DUO has St. Francis poised to do DAMAGE in cross-country
Aug 12, 2017

By Rich Winter

High school cross-country practies got going across South Dakota on Thursday, and while the road to the state cross-country meet is a long one, folks in South Central South Dakota better strap it on because the St. Francis boys look like they are going to be a handful.


Very excited to see the senior tandem of Chase Boltz and Donald Aquallo getting after it for coach Totes Waln. Boltz, who should have made the podium at the state meet a year ago (lost his shoe early in the race and never did find it), returns for a senior campaign that promises to be a good one.


Senior Donald Aquallo was a big part of the Todd County state championship team several years ago, and has multiple state cross country appearances, transferred to St. Francis during the school year last season, and is back for one more year, this time in the crimson and gold of St. Francis. 


I'm excited for this pair for a couple of reasons. Boltz has really been a shining beacon for the St. Francis cross-country program for the past few seasons. While he's had good runners around him, he's never had someone of Aquallo's caliber to train with for an entire season. 


Until now!


Boltz and Aquallo have both been notriously slow starters during the cross-country season, working their way into shape during the season and then peaking just in time for the regional or state meets. Think it's awesome they'll have someone to pace off during practice and someone to suffer with during those long intervals that cross-country is so famous for. 


I'm expecting a little different attitude from these guys this year, their senior year. Expecting them to get up and compete earlier in the season, lead their team by example and be raring to have a top-25 finish at the state meet, as both have come close but have never made the podium at the state meet. 


Toss in Traven Traversie (Sorry if I get that name wrong, it always seems to flummox me every year), who qualified for the state meet a year ago as an 8th grader, and the Warriors have 3/4 of a team that could all do quite well at the state meet.


Waln has been slowly building that program over in St. Francis. While individuals have qualified previously, this could be the year, a team from St. Francis makes the big dance, and then does some damage. 


Good luck to all the local cross-country teams as the road to greatness has just begun. 

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