XC Season Comes to a Close


Estella Brady

Rowan Boulter '22 strides towards the finish line.

Estella Brady, Opinion Editor

The mud beneath the freshly-cut grass was slightly wetter and softer

Yasar Hassan ’19 halfway through the race

than the runners would have liked, but considering the entire season–full of delays and cancellations due to rain and flooding–that was about to come to a close, they were excited to be able to give a race everything they had, regardless of the conditions.

The temperature being in the low-50s and being assigned to share a starting box with some of the highest-ranked cross country women in the state provided Rowan Boulter ‘22 with an ambitious start. For the first few hundred meters, Boulter was amongst the top 10 runners.

“I think I finished strong and made some moves in the last thousand meters, but next time I want to keep a more controlled pace at the beginning,” Boulter said. “I think I started too fast and wasn’t able to maintain that speed, so I quickly fell behind and had to make up for it at the end.”

Boulter finished the race in 36th place with a time of 19:53.9, but as it was her first year at state as a freshman, she has set even higher hopes for the rest of her high school running career.

“I’m very excited for next year. I hope I can improve and have another shot at state,” Boulter said. “But I’m really sad the season is over. It was so much fun! I’ve learned so much this year, not only about running, but also about teamwork.”

Like the women’s team, City High men’s cross country also brought an individual to represent the team in Fort Dodge, IA on Oct. 27. Yasar Hassan ‘19, the men’s individual qualifier, had a similar experience to Boulter’s at the state meet.

It was Hassan’s first time racing at the state meet. But he didn’t let that fact get to his nerves.

“I think I did a good job of staying relaxed and not letting the pressure get to me,” Hassan said. “Going into the race, I was just thinking about having fun with it. During the first mile, I had to tell myself to not panic, because I was last for all of it, but throughout the rest of the race I was just thinking of different poses for the camera.”

Hassan finished in 91st place with a time of 17:28.8, but is focusing more on next year’s team than on his own accomplishment.

“I’m excited to see how next year’s team does. They’ve got a lot of potential and I think overall they’ll be a stronger varsity team,” Hassan said.

Exiting the season, his whole high school running career, and his team, Hassan had some closing remarks he wanted to share, “Cross country isn’t just a sport, it’s an experience. It’s because of my teammates that I continued the sport, and honestly, I think it’s the team aspect that attracts so many people. I don’t think any other sport captures that same feeling. We’re all just one big running family.”