Cross country teams overcome obstacles


John Wilson

Girls varsity runners junior Claire Smout, senior Lauren Calvin, senior Emily Dickson and junior Chloe Hershenow run at the Aug.26 Parkway Quad.

Peyton Gaskill, Staff Writer

The boys’ and girls’ cross country teams started the season off by winning at the Parkway Quad, Stan Nelson at Northwest High School, the Ed White Invitational at Cape Girardeau and the Hancock Invitational. Both teams have overcome roadblocks en route to success.

“We came into this season with a lot of injuries,” senior and varsity runner Emily Dickson said. “We still have our first girls out. We have Natalie Butler down right now. For the boys, Blake Selm is dealing with hip injuries, as is his sister who’s on our varsity team, and a lot of girls have low iron which makes it difficult to run. I think the team is very robust despite that, so that’s kind of what we’re playing to.”

Despite the injuries, the girls team has still been able to succeed as a whole.

“While they’re injured, other people from the team step up and fill their roles so that we can still be successful as a team, even if they’re not racing,” junior and junior varsity runner Tracy Wilson said.

Much like the girls team, the boys cross country team went into their first event, the Parkway Quad, with several top runners absent as well.

“[The boys] varsity and junior varsity swept, which is a big deal because varsity was down their top two: [seniors] Blake [Selm] and Matyas [Csiki-Fejer],” Dickson said. “Mat was taking the SAT and Blake has his hip issue, so they still won despite that which is a pretty big deal.”

Wilson attributes the teams’ success to their training, aimed to help them overcome challenges on and off the race course.

“Sometimes [coach] Cutelli makes us switch groups for a run, so he’ll make me run with someone faster just so I can get prepared for doing things outside the norm in a race,” Wilson said. “I think that’s really helped because not everything goes as planned sometimes your teammate falls back and you have to run by yourself, or that kind of thing.”

Although both teams still have a long road ahead on their journey to state, senior and captain Nathan Stucki is optimistic about their chances at winning.

“I think we’re good, I think we’re doing really well,” Stucki said. “We are projected to win state, but that’s up to us to work really hard for it.”