City High Cross Country Competes at State

Jae Dancer, Reporter

On a sunny October 30,  in efforts to put their hard work to the test, City High cross country racers spiked up, preparing to face the competitive atmosphere of the 2020 State Cross Country meet.

“We were all really nervous at state [because] it was most of our first time going so we didn’t know what to expect. Despite us being nervous, it was very fun to run there and it was a very exciting atmosphere,” Truman Thompson ’22 said.  

This year, state was put together a little differently where each division’s race was split up throughout two days. In the past, divisions would run back to back in one day. This was put in place to limit the number of spectators and supporters for each division and encourage safe social distancing. 

“There were a lot of smaller groups there and it made it feel slightly more peaceful. I wouldn’t say it was overly empty but it was definitely smaller than it has been in years past which just felt different,” Lilly Reynolds ‘21 said.

The Boys XC team placed eighth overall finishing with 224 total places. They also successfully had Ford Washburn and Thompson finish in the top 20 with times of 16:11.2  and 16:26.1.

“I feel I ran a good race, I started towards the back and tried to stay in control for the first mile so I would have energy for the last 2, I was passing people the whole race and pushed from towards the back up to ninth [it was] definitely one of my best paced races,” Thompson said.

Due to location and travel time to the meet, City High usually provides a pep bus for students to ride up for support however, with the inability to successfully social distance, the pep bus was cancelled.

“We knew going into the season that fan busses would not be an option this year [however] the women’s team still had great representation of fans, parents, and teammates,” Ryan Ahlers said.

The girls team did not fully qualify as a team partly because, due to COVID, they needed to take a total of five weeks away from each other throughout the season. This included postponing in person summer training till mid July and attending less meets leading to a disadvantage when it came time to qualify for state.

“It was kind of unfair for our team,” Lilly Reynolds ‘21 said.  “A lot of other teams from our area had a disadvantage as well and I was just happy to be there and compete for that race.”

Even though the girls team didn’t qualify all together, Rowan Boulter ’22 and  Reynolds qualified as individuals, both with past experience of racing at state.

“Lilly is a two-time captain, and a great role model for the rest of the team [and] she will be missed next year,” Ahlers said. “Rowan faced more adversity this season than she has in the past.  We had to ride the wave of not knowing when we would compete [but] Rowan was a pivotal part of directing our team when the coaches could not be present [and] we are very proud of Rowan’s leadership in this area.”

 Boulter finished in 19:55 and Reynolds in 20:09 placing 48th and 65th overall.

“Making it to state especially after last year was just something that I was looking forward to that could not get cancelled and I’m glad I was able to still make it work even with everything that is going on right now,” Reynolds said.