Girls, boys cross country compete in states finishing 14th, 20th respectively

Junior John Laing passes his competitor at the state meet Nov. 6. (Photo by Gigi Lewis)

The boys and girls cross country teams competed in states Nov. 6, with the girls placing 14th and the boys finishing 20th.

Assistant coach Jeff Landis said he was overall pleased with both teams’ finishes, especially with the growth of the girls team throughout the season.

Junior Rylee Barno said the girls team made much progress and was happy with the success they enjoyed, despite some uncertainty about how well the team was going to do when they started.

“I was excited to run, but I didn’t know how far we’d make it in the season,” she explained. “I was really proud of what the team accomplished.”

Landis said despite the girls team racing well at states, it was not their best meet and that they had performed better in other postseason races.

However, he said that the boys team underperformed at states and it was a disappointing end to their otherwise successful season.

“The boys team should’ve done much better,” Landis said. “If everyone had run a normal time, then we would have gotten 14th.”

Junior John Laing agreed that the boys team did not do as well as they hoped at states but that going was an accomplishment itself.

“I was really impressed by both the boys and girls teams,” he said. “I was proud we made it all the way to states.”

The boys had a young team, with only one senior and two juniors in the top seven runners, he added.

Senior Miller MacDonald said that a lot of the boys team’s success was due to everyone’s belief in the program and the coaches.

“The team really just bought into what the coaches said and worked hard,” he said.

There was uncertainty about how they would do given they had younger teams, Barno said, and she didn’t know what to expect going into the season.

“I started out the season nervous since all the seniors left,” she explained. “I honestly didn’t know who would be on the team and what it would look like.”

Landis added that both teams had a good district meet, with the boys and girls placing second. Both teams placed third at regionals to move on to states, he explained.

“The boys ran phenomenal and the girls ran pretty darn good in all the mud,” Landis said.

He added that they experienced success in the season with two girls, senior Claire MacDonald and sophomore Addison Helon, making the all-district team, and four boys, sophomores Solomon McDow and Athen Young and juniors Drew De La Cruz and John Laing, receiving all-district honors.

MacDonald said that he thinks the disappointing finish at states could lead to more success moving forward.

“The meet is just going to make them hungry for next year,” MacDonald said. “Adversity at the high levels is the main fuel that’s going to help them go to even bigger heights next year.”