Varsity cross country team to make state

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Page Franz, Staff Reporter

Varsity cross country is on track to finish out a record-breaking season for both their boys and girls team.

With only one more meet until region, the team has asserted themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

On Sept. 26 at the Horizon Christian Invitational, the team showed just how much skill they really have.

Varsity girls runner number one Ava Trankina placed second overall in the varsity girls race. On top of that, junior Corey Robinson placed first overall and Matthew Dworkin placed fourth overall in the varsity boys race.

The girls team, led by senior team captains Belen Izquierdo and Ava Trankina, is currently ranked second in the region behind Fellowship Christian Academy.

This year’s lineup for the girls looks strong with six of the top eight runners being experienced seniors.

The boys team, led by juniors Corey Robinson and Finn Howard, is looking to qualify for the state meet alongside the girls.

Currently ranked first in the region, they have high hopes of taking the trophy next Thursday at the region meet where the top four teams qualify for the state meet.

A large part of the team’s success this year can be attributed to a more inclusive team culture.

On top of training hard, the team this year has priortized creating a sense of inclusion and acceptance.

To help fulfill this goal, head coach Emily Payne created two new positions.

This year senior Jenna Culpepper is serving as team chaplin.

“I hope that I’ve made an impact this year,” said Culpepper. “I hope that I’ve helped remind the team that, especially in a time like this with the pandemic, we should be grateful for the opportunity to compete.”

Filling the other new position is senior Morgan Boylan who has been serving as team bonding coordinator.

“Cross country has a lot of different kinds of people,” said Boylan. “So I think it’s important to [get together]… [It has helped] us get along really well.”

One new addition made this season is regular team dinners organized by Boylan. Before every Saturday meet, the team meets up for a team dinner to destress and carbo load before their meet.

Whether the team is running mile repeats up the big hill on Brumbelow or sprinting around the track, it is apparrent that the team strives for a sense of community.

With the region meet only a week away, the varsity cross country team is working hard to make sure they come out on top.

Because only the top four teams by gender are able to run at the state meet, the team intends to run hard to secure a spot at the state meet in Carollton on Nov. 7.