By Marin Murray

Varsity runners ended a cross country season heavily influenced by COVID-19 restrictions, with both second and third place finishes, advancing eleven students to the regional competition.

“I think that it was just very positive, even though we were going through COVID,” girls’ cross country coach of 18 years RoseMary Martin said. “We made the best of a year that was very difficult and so with that we were able to be successful.”

The girls’ cross country team finished third place in their district, barely missing out on qualifying for regionals as a team. However, freshman Marin Murray qualified individually by placing third. The boys’ cross country team did qualify for regionals by clinching second place. Freshman, Andruw Villa, went on to clinch a state qualifying spot by placing seventeenth at regionals.

“This season has been different because of COVID,” senior Ross Stevens said. “So we’ve been more restricted on the things we’ve been allowed to do this season compared to other seasons.”

The cross country teams faced restrictions on their summer programs and were only allowed certain meets to attend. Masks or gaiters had to be worn at every meet, whether it was on the starting line or keeping it on throughout the race. Social distancing was also enforced on starting lines as well as spectators watching the races.

“Obviously I was really pleased with how the season went,” first year coach Michael McCarroll said. “I mean district runner-up, regional qualifier, and having a state qualifier. All of that stuff was great, especially this being my first year. So, I’m looking forward to continuing on the success and building up the program to a higher level than it’s been before.” 

Both cross country teams will be losing one senior each, so the coaches are looking forward to building off this year’s success and strengthening their weaknesses.

“I love the feeling you get when you cross the finish line,” sophomore Molly Bessent said. “It’s the feeling of accomplishment… you really feel like you’ve done something and accomplished something, which you have.”