After a long season of hard work and success, the cross country team took on the state competition on Saturday, Nov. 2 in Nashville.
This race has been on the runners’ minds since the beginning of the season, and the pressure has been building. They have attended endless after school practices and given it their all, rain or shine.
The St. Mary’s state runners were Ginny Bratton, Elizabeth Moody, Jessica Joshi, Sydney Weiss, Caroline Griffin, Hannah Kerlan and Meghana Madasu. The team placed ninth out of 16 teams with Elizabeth Moody (11) placing 13th overall. The team average this year was 22:35, which was a significant improvement from last year’s average of 23:13.
Going into state, the team’s goal was to place higher than ninth place, which is where they finished last year. They had run on the state course four times for various meets, and they were hoping to keep improving on that course. The runners were successful at regionals this year, coming in second place behind Briarcrest with the top five runners all setting personal records. Before state, Coach Hensarling said, “They’ve peaked at the right time; regionals was the best running they’ve done all season. This week we’ve been maintaining their fitness and doing short and fast runs so that they’ll have a good race on Saturday.”
The connection and bond among the teammates is one of the aspects of cross country that the team loves most. When asked what she enjoyed most about state, Sydney Weiss (11), a dedicated cross country runner, said “I especially loved bonding with Coach and the team. Cross country is a sport that’s individual, but we all feel each other’s pain because it can be painful.” She also acknowledged that her favorite part of the season has been growing closer to her teammates.
The runners are sad to say goodbye to the season and running with their teammates every day, but they ended with great success and hope to keep improving in the future.
“The girls ran well; I think it was awesome, and I can’t wait to see what they do next year,” Coach Hensarling said.
For more about cross-country, read our re-cap of fall sports.
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