Girls cross country preview: The race to state

They’ve qualified, and their goal now is to win


Photo S. Lockhart

Shea Dingle (’21) runs in a race at the Mary Help meet on August 29.

Hanna Malone, Sports Editor

Ever since the season officially began on Aug. 29, the girls cross country team has met for practice bright and early every morning at 6:15 a.m.

Before the season even started, the girls were running every day during the summer, restlessly preparing for the upcoming season. The team’s dedication has paid off already; after only two meets, they have qualified for the state tournament on Nov. 14 in Tallahassee.

“We have qualified for states and that is actually our goal this year; to win states,” team captain Shea Dingle (‘21) said. “We’ve worked so hard, even after track, when the season got canceled in March. Our team has trained hard every morning and we just grinded through the hard days even when we didn’t want to do it.”

Though the season is shortened due to COVID-19 precautions, team members are still eager for the upcoming season and to meet both personal and collective goals.

“This year I would love to go sub 20 and win states with my team. They are so inspiring and deserve nothing more than to stand up on that podium,” first-year runner Bella Horiszny (‘22) said.

Kana Kosaka (‘23) broke a school record last year with a 18:51 5k. However, due to injuries, she has not yet been able to race this season.

”My goal is to win states with my team,” Kosaka said. “Whatever role I play in that, I want to be able to do it to my best ability.”

Just like last season, the runners are working to improve themselves and beat past personal and school records.

”I started running XC last August and my first 5k was in the 28 minute range, and daily I ran at about 9:45 pace,” Alessandra Holyfield (‘23) said. “My most recent 5k time was a 22:05, this past weekend, and daily I train at 7:45 pace. This season, my goal is to be under 21:00.”

Their next meet is this upcoming Saturday morning, on Sept. 19 at Starkey Park.