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Cross Country runs away with the bling

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Cross Country Coach Chris Pelligrini poses proudly with Spartan runners who participated in the Footlocker meet.

Cross Country Coach Chris Pelligrini poses proudly with Spartan runners who participated in the Footlocker meet.

Courtesy of Michael Rogers

Courtesy of Michael Rogers

Cross Country Coach Chris Pelligrini poses proudly with Spartan runners who participated in the Footlocker meet.

Murwah Murad & Marie Laverdiere, Oracle Editors

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The Footlocker Cross Country South Regional Meet in Charlotte, North Carolina is the race beyond the state meet, and five athletes of the WS’s Varsity Cross Country Team were given the opportunity to compete this year.
Spartan athletes competed in divisions based on grade level. On the girls’ side, team captains Kiera Bothwell and Emily Keast were in the Senior Girls Race, and sophomore Sarah Coleman was the only female underclassman racing.
Bothwell and Keast are both veteran runners, and have run in highly competitive meets before. For both girls, this will be their fourth and final cross country race as Spartans.
“I am always happy and grateful to go as far as I do, because I love it so much,” said Bothwell. “[But] it’s kind of nerve racking because I don’t want to finish the season out in a bad way.”
Bothwell placed 1st in her race. On the boys’ side, senior Michael Rogers placed 5th in the senior race and freshman Chris Weeks placed 3rd in his race.
“Michael Rogers was our best runner, our most consistent runner,” said Assistant Cross Country Coach Brad Adams. “He just had a phenomenal season, [personal records] across the board.”
Rogers is another veteran runner on the team that has moved up the rankings this season. He led the team to place 23rd at States in November.
“I feel like last season I had fallen in the footsteps of other people, and just going to the side. [I] wasn’t really putting forward the effort myself,” said Rogers. “But I felt limited mentally, and I was able to break through that with coach’s help.”
The Footlocker South Regional Meet is not a required post-season meet, so coaches select athletes based on their skill level. It gives athletes another opportunity to go up against other runners in the post-season.
“It’s optional, I mean anybody can go and race it, but you have to be pretty talented,” said Adams.
The current cross country coaches have trained these athletes from freshman year, and know how to pick the runners that should move on.
“Watching their long term development has been a pleasure,” said Head Cross Country Coach Chris Pellegrini.
This year’s cross country season may be over, but the runners have an indoor track season —that has already started— to look forward to.
“We were the underdogs, but we pulled it all together and we [became] better than we were last year. It was insane,” said Bothwell.

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Cross Country runs away with the bling