Girls cross country looks for Top 10 finish

The+girls+cross+country+team+completes+a+workout+on+Aug.+23.+

Dana Morgan

The girls cross country team completes a workout on Aug. 23.

Dana Morgan, A&E Team Leader

Coming off of a successful season last year, the girls cross country team is ready to build on their previous triumphs.

In 2017, the girls won one meet and finished in the Top 10 in every other meet up until regionals, where they placed second. Last year, the girls finished second at sectionals, then went on to qualify and place seventh at the IHSA State Championships.

Returning juniors Nina Shanahan and Kaylee Ratcliff are hoping to help out the JV and varsity teams this year.

“The season only started a few weeks ago, but everyone is already working hard to get better. Everyone is coming together as a team and pushing each other to do better,” said Ratcliff.

The team lost important teammates Emily Shelton and Emily Ellis last season due to graduation, but they are confident in the newly added freshmen.

“The new freshmen are crazy good. In addition to the five that made varsity, there’s so many more who will definitely help out on the JV team,” said Elizabeth Resnar, sophomore.

The practices, which started Aug. 8, are becoming more and more vigorous, pushing the girls past their normal limits.

“The workouts are slowly getting harder and harder, but it will all be worth it when the meets roll around,” said Resnar.

A runner who has stuck out over the past few years is senior Vivian Van Eck, an all-state runner in 2016.  Running at both sectional and state meets last year, Van Eck is hoping this season is successful once again.

“We have been working so hard all summer and are ready to compete. Everyone has their goals set high, and I know this team is going to perform their best,” said Van Eck.

As the season begins, the girls have very high expectations for themselves. In the end, they think working as a team is the most important factor that will lead them to success.

“We want to put together the best possible team. We want to get back to State and I think we can be a Top 10 team in the state of Illinois,” said head coach Kevin Gummerson.

The team is looking strong for this upcoming year. The girls’ first meet on Saturday, Aug. 25 at Normal West High School.