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Girls’ Cross Country runs into history

Chase+Kappler+battles+her+competitors+in+the+girls+Cross-Country+raceat+States+in+Great+Meadows%2C+VA.+She+ended+up+finishing+second+in+the+state+after+an+impressive+performance+throughout+the+race.
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Girls’ Cross Country runs into history

Chase Kappler battles her competitors in the girls Cross-Country raceat States in Great Meadows, VA. She ended up finishing second in the state after an impressive performance throughout the race.

Chase Kappler battles her competitors in the girls Cross-Country raceat States in Great Meadows, VA. She ended up finishing second in the state after an impressive performance throughout the race.

Courtesy of Katie Orchard

Chase Kappler battles her competitors in the girls Cross-Country raceat States in Great Meadows, VA. She ended up finishing second in the state after an impressive performance throughout the race.

Courtesy of Katie Orchard

Courtesy of Katie Orchard

Chase Kappler battles her competitors in the girls Cross-Country raceat States in Great Meadows, VA. She ended up finishing second in the state after an impressive performance throughout the race.

Mike Damiano, Owais Khan, Zach Thompson, Sports Assistant Editor, Staff Writer, Viewpoint Assistant Editor

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It was regular season, then Districts, then Regionals, and then it was States. All three meets, a victory. A victory that marked the varsity girls Cross-Country (XC) first ever State title.

Both Districts and Regionals were at Burke Lake Park, and the girls placed first at these meets which earned them their spot in the State championship.

The girl’s XC however from the very start of the season had many injuries that prevented some of the team’s best runners from competing in States and the rest of the postseason. However, the team’s depth helped pull them through this setback.

“We had lots of injuries that we recovered from and we have depth, which helps us deal with injuries,” said sophomore Elizabeth Bruenjes.

However, despite the girl’s depth, the team and XC Coach Chris Pellegrini decided to take an extra precaution and sit a few of the girls in regionals.

“We made a calculated risk to sit a couple girls at regionals to make sure they were ready for states,” said Pellegrini.

Even then, at every part of the season the girls were constantly reminded of the team’s condition and had to be conscious of it.

“This year, the girls XC team was kind of fragile, so everyday we had to feel ourselves out and see who wasn’t here, who was too injured,” said senior Haley Seaward.

With these preparations, the girl’s XC went into States with a set plan that was ultimately affected by the weather.

“We knew it would be very cold, muddy, and windy so our race plan was to be relaxed and make our move late [in the race],” said Pellegrini.

Going into the meet the girl’s plan was not to worry about the conditions, but too focus on their running and try to make their last move in the later parts of the race where they could come back if needed.

“The girls showed resilience at regionals and it showed a level of toughness,” said Pellegrini.

And the girls did just that, which resulted in their victory. The main thing that truly earned the girls their State championship was the pure strength and ability to overcome the conditions that they showed throughout the race.

“My race went pretty well, I started out with some teammates and we managed to do pretty good,” said Senior Hope Stephens. Stephens placed 13th overall in States and also said, “the team’s done spectacular this season, and we’ve proven a lot more than we ever thought we could.”

Another big factor for the girls while running during States was their mindset going into the race and how they felt. A lot of the girls used the team’s injuries as a fuel and thing to run for.

“My main thought when running was that we had to do it for the people who [weren’t at States],” said Seaward.

Lastly, many of the girls credited their success and mindset to Pellegrini’s preparations before the race.

“Our coach gave us speeches to motivate us and told us our depth was good even when we were missing people,” said Seaward.

It was important for the team to stay positive throughout the whole season, and eliminate any doubts due to injuries on the team.

In the end, it was a great run to states and result credited to the girl’s toughness and Pellegrini’s decisions.

“I was really happy [when we won] mostly for our coach since he’s been teaching here for a while and this is the first time he won a state championship,” said Seaward.

After winning the race many girls were blown away at their ending accomplishment, and how far they had come as a team from the start of the season.

“It was kind of surreal. and super exciting getting to know that everyone got what they wanted, maybe not individually but as a team everyone was able to achieve what they wanted to,” said Stephens.

 

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Girls’ Cross Country runs into history