Women reach State after two-year drought

By: Hanna Sanderman

With five out of seven girls placing in the top 15, the women’s varsity cross country team locked up a title at the district meet on Oct. 22 and qualified for State for the first time since 2013.

Junior Allison Zierke individually qualified and ran at State last year. “It was fun going to State and having everyone cheer me on, but it’s definitely going to be a lot better this year knowing that I can experience the full thing with my team,” Zierke said. “It’s going to give me a lot more confidence and motivation now that I’ll have my teammates running next to me.”

Running varsity for her second year, sophomore Madison Larsen said he loves this year’s team dynamic during both practices and races. “Not everyone has a good day on the same day, so I feel like we’re really good at encouraging each other,” Larsen said. “Sometimes we talk to each other during races, just a few words to motivate each other. We know we can run with our teammates [during races] because we do it every day in practice.”

Head coach Don Williams agreed that this year’s team is something special. “The dynamics of this group is very much about getting the job done as a team without regard to individual accomplishment,” Williams said.

For the state meet on Saturday, Oct. 31, assistant coach Amanda Johnson has a few objectives she’s aiming for. “Goals for the state meet would be to have seven personal records and compete well as a team. We would like to be a top 10 team for sure,” Johnson said.

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