Girls cross country team races in Kentucky and looks ahead to postseason

October 6, 2021

Members of the girls cross country team raced at Live in Lou Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Kentucky Oct. 2 . This meet allowed the team to bond prior to the upcoming postseason. Additionally, the meet was unique in that it featured runners aged from elementary school to the collegiate level. 

“We went to get the experience of seeing college kids run, and we also ran our own race with a lot of people that weren’t just from St. Louis, ” junior Gillian Hanley said. “However, we did have a hard week of workouts [before the meet]. We weren’t really training for this meet, we’re training for the meet in two weeks, so we weren’t really focused on getting enough recovery for this meet. This trip was more about team bonding.”

Six girls raced in the varsity meet, and 21 girls raced in the junior varsity meet. Hanley recorded a 5K time of 23:26.2, and she placed 11th in the JV race overall. 

“The course was generally flat with a little pop-up hill,” Hanley said. “It was generally a pretty nice course, but overall, [the race] was a very mixed result. Some people felt really bad about their times, they went out too fast, couldn’t finish, stuff like that. But one person got a [personal record] by like seven minutes, which was crazy.”

One of the main focuses of this trip was team bonding. The team ate many meals together, swam in the hotel pool, watched the college and elementary level races and roomed together at night. 

“It’s so fun doing the team bonding thing,” senior Kendall Connors said. “I’ve gotten really close with the freshmen this year, and it’s been really fun being a team with them. This trip overall was more about being with the team. The coaches told us to just go out and have fun.”

After this bonding experience, the team is now looking ahead to the postseason. Having been moved from Class 5 to Class 4 this year, the varsity girls hope to qualify to state as a team. Hanley hopes to potentially qualify for that team by performing well at future meets. 

“There’s another meet that decides who goes to districts, and I’m not sure I’m going to make it onto varsity since varsity running at their best is faster than me, but I least want to run well,” Hanley said. “I’d like to at least feel like I ran my best, and even if I get upper JV from that race, I’ll be satisfied. I mainly just want to see improvement from where I was at the beginning of the year.”

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