Girls cross country ends the season drought

Huddling before the race, the girls cross country team chants

Kristen Witt

Huddling before the race, the girls cross country team chants "Carpe diem, let's go West!"

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






On the cold and overcast morning of Nov. 8, eight girls gathered under a red and light blue striped tent, each caught in her own thoughts as they prepared for their first State race as a team. Seated on a bin nearby, Coach Cutelli chatted with the girls’ teammates who came to support the them. All were calm on the exterior.

“I was so nervous. I was shaking before the race and the night before it was hard for me to sleep because I kept thinking about it,” junior Sydney Jackson said.

While Jackson was nervous, the seniors were enjoying the experience.

“Since State was my last cross country race, ever, in my life, I just wanted to take it all in and really appreciate everything,” senior Rachel Yang said.

The cross country state course was located in Jefferson City at the Oak Hills Golf Center.

“The golf course has been there since the ‘70s and it’s tradition to hold cross country state there. The course has been changed over the years but it’s relatively challenging and that’s why we like it,” Girls’ Cross Country Coach Charles Cutelli said.

The last time a full varsity team competed at state was in 2005.

“For the past two years we’ve been close – placing fifth at sectionals. This year I felt like we had the group of girls who could do it, so I wasn’t surprised when we qualified for state,” Cutelli said.

Cutelli was not the only one who was not surprised by the team’s success.

“I was excited because I could see the capabilities of my teammates; they just had to see it in themselves and really work hard for it. I knew they could do it,” senior Captain Maddy Brown said.

Although the team didn’t meet their goal of finishing in the top ten, they did meet their main goal for this year.

“We got 15th out of 16. I think the girls were slightly disappointed in how they ran, but our goal was just to get a team to state, which we were very happy about achieving,” Cutelli said.

However, getting to state was not as easy as the team expected.

“Districts turned out to be a lot closer of a race than I thought. We were one point away from tying for third and held fourth place by five points. We rested big time for sectionals because we wanted to do well, which paid off because we placed third at the sectionals meet,” Cutelli said.

Despite the nerves and close races, junior Lindsey Stucki had a fail-safe method of preparing for her races.

“I listened to a lot of different music but I do have a special playlist, which is rather personal, that I listen to before every race as I put on my spikes and we do our dynamics at the starting line,” Stucki said.

On a whole the team was careful to keep themselves calm and collected before the race as they completed their routine warm-up.

“We warmed up earlier in order to dedicate more time in all parts of our routine so we weren’t rushed. We shag and stretch. Afterwards we go back go to the tent where we put on our spikes before heading over to the starting line. We do our dynamic stretches at the starting line just before the race,” sophomore Natalie Rath said.

The girls maintained their calm attitudes, initiated by their routine warm-up, even when there were four false starts.

I was excited because I could see the capabilities of my teammates; they just had to see it in themselves and really work hard for it. I knew they could do it,”

— Maddy Brown, 12

“Before the initial start we were super nervous, but the false starts let us forget our nerves and just be excited to race,” junior Rachel Osborne said.

Sophomore Maggie Morse had one of the more specific goals on the team for the race though.

“My goals were to run with Lindsey Stucki for the first mile and then pick people off one by one,” Morse said.

Not all eight girls were allowed to race at state however as a varsity cross country team is only allowed seven members. Sophomore Maggie Hulen was the team’s alternate.

“It was such an amazing experience being able to have the opportunity of traveling to state with the team. I was glad that I could be able to support the girls,” Hulen said.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email