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The Final Race

The Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country Teams Take on the State Meet

Photo by Maclay School

Since the first season in 1978, the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams have each been state champions five times. In the previous year, the girls' team secured fourth place and the boys' team ended in 15th. Throughout the course of this season, both teams dedicated themselves to enhancing their performances, focusing on improving both their team standings and individual personal times. After both teams crossed the line at States, scores were tallied up and the girls came in third place and the boys came in 11th.

In order to prepare for the five kilometer race at Apalachee Regional Parkway, a course which hosts both local and national races, the runners made a point of getting ready for state well in advance. Both teams prepared for the meet by tapering their mileage down, hydrating and making sure to stay healthy. Along with maintaining their health, they made sure to make time for fun team bonding throughout the season by having themed team dinners.

“[My favorite theme] was ‘dress as your type’ because it was fun to see everyone’s take on it,” senior co-caption Olivia Bishop said.

Both teams have been running since the summer with early practices and workouts to improve their progression. With months of training under her belt, sophomore Caroline Couch placed second in the girl’s race with a time of 18:17.

“I am honestly still in denial about getting second place at state,” Couch said. “It's an amazing feeling. I am also so proud of our team for performing so well against other top teams in the area.”

In a race with 235 people, it can be hard to stay focused despite the months of training that goes into preparing for the meet. In order to combat this, runners promised to think of their shared goal of placing high during the race.

“It's always easier to perform individually when there is a team goal in sight and that is what guided me during the race,” Couch said. “Personally, I wanted to get top three at state no matter the time because I felt that was what I could do to help our team win a state title."

On the boys side, personal bests and high performances were all around. Freshman David Barton ran a time of 16:22.

“I had two goals going into the race,” Barton said. “Those goals were to get a medal which is top 15 and to break sixteen minutes. I accomplished getting a medal, as I got 15th place. As a team we wanted to get to the top 10 and we almost accomplished that goal as we got 11th place.”

The bond created throughout the season has helped bolster the team’s motivation.

“I felt good about my performance in the meet,” Barton said. “I felt like I helped out the team by trying to score as low as possible. I feel like the team is really tight which helped me focus on my race and run as good as I can.”


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