Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country teams return to states

Grace Mecurio, Reporter

The cross country team made it to states with the boys’ team finishing 19th and the girls finishing 14th.

The boys’ team had not advanced to states under coach Patrick Marshall’s tenure with an individual or a team.

It’s been two years since the girls’ team last visited states, taking ninth overall, led by then freshmen Erin Spreen’s eighth place finish.

They were eager to go again, and the team was preparing themselves for harder competition.

“It’s different from other meets because it’s a lot bigger, and it’s a lot more competition. If we do well, then it will be a great accomplishment, and all of our hard work will pay off,” Spreen said.

Spreen, who began running in the seventh grade, led the team the entire season and took 20th (19:05) at the state meet.

Following Spreen in the second and third slots were seniors Natalie Mitchell 71st (20:12) and Sydney Quate 78th (20:17). The girls finished with an average time of 20:24 minutes.

I did fine, I guess. I didn’t break my personal record, which is what I wanted to do. Which sucks, but I ran well,” Mitchell said.

The boys were led by senior John Autry who finished 73rd with a time of 17:01.79.

The boys’ slipped into states as the fifth place team out of regionals, advancing on a tie-breaker with the sixth place runner and knew they would face tough competition.

“We tried to run as a pack, and some of the guys did. I think that helped them a lot because they had someone there with them,” Autry said.

Autry has been running since he was in fifth grade, and has been competing in cross country throughout his high school career. He still carries the same passion for competing ever since he started.

“I’m just a competitive person, and it’s a sport where I can be very competitive because it’s just everyone out on the line together. It’s the purest form of competition,” Autry said.

Autry said he reached his personal goal at state, and walked away from the competition with a good experience.

“It was cool to realize how many fast people there are in the state, and that nobody is that special because there are so many people like that,” Autry said.

Junior Benjamin Hayes followed Autry for the Cougars with a 137th place and a time of 18:01.60.

The teams felt that the experience was all that mattered.

Spreen said, “I got an experience of working together as a team, building new relationships with the people on the team, as well as really communicating well with them.”