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Girls cross country finishes 13th at State


The girls cross country team competed in the State competition, placing 13th in a field of 17 teams on Nov. 6. 

In the State competition, the top 25 athletes earn All State honors. Sophomore Ella Thier placed 10th out of the 160 athletes that competed, with a 5k time of 19:26.5, not only earning herself a medal but also setting her all time personal record (PR.) They earned their chance to compete as a team after their second place finish at the Class 4 District 2 meet which took place on Oct. 31. The seven athletes that went on to represent their team at state were Thier, freshman Paige Lehman, juniors Claire Pelchman, Julia Boyher, Emily Cole, and Maria Hinkamp, and senior Gigi Bettale. Coach Jason Miller said he gave the runners his advice before they ran their final race of the season at State. 

“Have fun. Smile. Know that you earned it and that you deserve it. You need to run for all of your teammates that are here and that aren’t here. All of the teammates that have come before you and that will come after,” Miller said.

“I kind of wanted to do what I have been doing all season, which is to go out at a comfortable pace. Then I would be able to settle in. I just tried not to go out too hard,” Pelchman said.

Miller said that he was very happy and that he felt really good about the athletes performance at the State meet, but that there are a few things that could be worked on and improved to prepare for next cross country season.

“My initial thing is that we really focused on quality workouts over quantity this year. When you add some quantity back in, it is going to simply take more steps. Run more steps between now and next year. You have to keep that sensation and feeling of positive love in your teammates and let it carry through every single day. Think about how it feels right now and we can make it better,” Miller said.

Thier said she also felt the same way as Miller did about the race performance at the State meet. 

“I felt really great because it was obviously one of my best races. I got a PR and I got top 10 so I was pretty proud of that. Overall I felt pretty tired at the end but I just had to keep pushing to finish it up,” Thier said. 

Pelchman said preparation for the final meet of the season was essential to running the times and getting the results that they wanted to achieve.

“We had been training a lot and making sure that we run and do workouts with the times that we are aiming to hit. I think that really helped us be able to find our groove pretty fast,” Pelchman said. 

Thier said that along with trusting in her training, she goes over her strategies and tries to look over the map to pick out where she needs to pick up her pace and tries to remind herself where she needs to change her speed.

“I felt very nervous but I just had to trust in my training. I knew that I was in the best shape that I had ever been and I felt prepared going into it,” Thier said.

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