Falcons take 2nd at State

Three girls cross country runners place in top 25


As they gather around their trophy, the girls cross country get a team photo after the event. The Falcons took 2nd place at the Class 4 State Championship on Nov. 4. (Photo used with permission by Paige Lehman)

The girls cross country team finished 2nd at the Class 4 State competition on Nov. 4, with three runners placing in the top 25.

These runners include sophomore Cate Rossomanno, who finished 4th with a time of 19:17.00, sophomore Reese Martin, who finished 16th with a time of 19:40.60, and senior Ella Thier, who finished 18th with a time of 19:49.10 in the 5k.

Junior Mia Brown said that State was a little nerve-racking but extremely exciting for the whole team.

“State was so much fun. We all had a great time hanging out with the team. I think that on Friday we all were a little nervous but before the race, we treated it like any other meet. We were focused but also still laughing and having a good time. When the race started I felt confident in my teammates and in myself. We all did so good. I couldn’t be more proud of how the race went,” Brown said.

Head coach Jason Miller said they simply prepared how they usually would for any meet and brainstormed goals for State while keeping high spirits.

“We didn’t do too much different for the State meet from preparation for any other meets. We like to keep things simple. In terms of training it’s much of the same we always do, we try to challenge our fitness while also keeping it recognizable. We did a lot of visualizing that week, and we might have dreamed out loud a little bit about what we could do at State. But generally our team is good at not getting too high or too low and just focusing on ourselves,” Miller said.

Thier said she prepared herself for State by following her typical pre-race routine and having positive thoughts.

“I always try to have a positive attitude. I prepare myself by trusting in the training overall and I always have a specific pre meet routine I do in order to prepare myself, like eating a specific breakfast and stretching,” Thier said.

Rossomanno said her coaches are partly accountable for her accomplishments through their encouragement and experience in coaching cross country.

“My coaches definitely had the biggest impact on my success at State because they believed in me and came up with the perfect workouts and runs. They also support you no matter what even if you aren’t proud of your results which definitely benefited me,” Rossomanno said.

Thier said her teammates greatly contributed to her success at State by their motivation and drive.

“My team had a huge impact on my success at State because they are extremely supportive and we all motivate each other all the time in order to help us during races. We all know to have fun with each other which makes State so memorable, but we also push each other when needed and having my teammates beside me in the race helped me to reach All-State again and have a team podium finish,” Thier said.

Miller said there were many ups and downs in the season but he is extremely proud of how the team performed at State.

“Honestly, there was a time during the season I thought we could win or be in the top two teams, and there were a couple times when I thought maybe we wouldn’t even qualify to State. So finishing on the podium in 2nd place as a team, and only three points from winning State, it felt pretty good to see them do that,” Miller said.

Thier said in order to help her team finish on the podium, she planned to start out strong and maintain her pace throughout the race.

“My mindset going in was to run as best as I can to help get my team to a podium finish again. In order to do that I knew I had to have the strategy of starting the race out fast so I could get out front quickly and not get trapped. Then I maintained my pace throughout the race and stayed with a huge group of girls. Towards the end I knew I had to pick up the pace to get All-State,” Thier said

Miller said that the team came together confidently to do precisely what they trained for.

“Really everyone did exactly what they needed to do to put us on that podium. Nobody backed down, nobody tried to do too much. I think they were really confident that day, really all season, that they could make great things happen. They were in good shape from our training and weren’t scared to go hard in pretty difficult conditions,” Miller said.

Thier said this State was different from her past experiences because it’s her last, but the team’s 2nd place finish ended her career on a high note.

“This year’s State was much more bittersweet than the previous years. It was my last cross country race of high school, but the fact that we got 2nd in State as a team ended my cross country career for high school on a great note. It was so exciting and felt more like a dream,” Thier said.

Miller said he hopes next season to qualify for State for the fourth year in a row and break the school record as well as placing on the podium once again.

“First off, we’ve qualified to State three years in a row now, so qualifying next year would set a new school record of four years in a row to State. That’s what we’re going for. We also think we can challenge for a podium position again, that’s the top four teams, if everything works out right,” Miller said.