Girls cross country enters championship season

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Girls cross country enters championship season

Racing ahead, varsity runners and seniors Rikita Saunders and Maggie Morse compete at the Stan Nelson Invitational.

Racing ahead, varsity runners and seniors Rikita Saunders and Maggie Morse compete at the Stan Nelson Invitational.

Kristen Witt

Racing ahead, varsity runners and seniors Rikita Saunders and Maggie Morse compete at the Stan Nelson Invitational.

Kristen Witt

Kristen Witt

Racing ahead, varsity runners and seniors Rikita Saunders and Maggie Morse compete at the Stan Nelson Invitational.

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The varsity team will begin their championship season at Districts on Saturday, Oct. 22. If they qualify as one of the top four teams at the meet, they will then attend Sectionals on Oct. 29 to qualify for State.

“I feel nervous because we will be facing tougher competition, but at the same time that’s exciting because I think our team is capable of so much and we need other good teams to push us,” sophomore Natalie Butler said. “As a team, I really feel like we could win districts and sectionals and get top 3 at the state meet.”

Although the team has started to taper their practices, runners are still working towards getting better by staying healthy and positive.

“We’ve been preparing by working really hard in practice and pushing each other,” Butler said. “For me personally, I’ve been working on pacing myself better in workouts. In past meets, I tend to run my first mile way too fast, and then pay the price for it in the last two miles.”                

As an alternate, sophomore Hannah Rushing also feels the pressure of the approaching meets.

“Every year Cutelli pulls one of the JV runners up to do workouts with varsity, and he takes them to sectionals and state as a back-up varsity runner. That’s me this year,” Rushing said. “Working with varsity has really helped build my endurance. Now I can go at a faster pace for a longer period of time.”

The team is focusing on supporting each other and doing their best as they approach these important meets.

I think that we’ll move onto state from districts and sectionals because our top runners are really talented, and we have been undefeated the entire season,” Rushing said. “We’re such a strong team, so I definitely think we can at least place in the top 5 at state.”