Highlight of Cross Country district competition


Taylor Chronert

The JV boys, JV girls, and Varsity racers pose for a photo before they go off to compete

Taylor Chronert, Staff Reporter

After a long twelve weeks of competing, training, and prepping, it was time for what the whole Vandegrift cross country team had waited for: districts. Every runner on the team competed in at least one of the six races: Varsity girls, Varsity boys, JV girls, JV boys, freshman girls, and freshman boys.

Due to weatherage, there was a slight delay with the competition races, but the first race finally began. The first race was the Varsity girls race with the top seven girls competiting. By the end of the race, the Varsity girls took home second place with sophmore Caitlin Garrett being the district winner for the Varsity girls with a time of 18:59.

“I was so tired at the end of the race, but now I’m just kind of in shock that I actually got first because around the last half mile, there were three girls in front of me, but while I was running I heard so many people screaming and cheering for me, and Coach Sully, he told me, I guess he was trying to motivate me, by saying ‘Caitlin it could be you, you could be in first’ and that really motivated me and gave me the strength to push forward and then I sprinted,” Garrett said.

Right after the Varsity girls race it was then time for the Varsity boys race, with the top seven boys. The Varsity boys won first place for that race, with junior Kevin Sanchez being the district winner for the Varsity boys with a time of 15:33.

“This season has been really fun, districts was muddy, it was rough, and the course was not ideal, but I feel like I performed to the best of my abilties today, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the competition season,” Sanchez said.

Moving on after the Varsity races were the JV races. The first JV race was the JV girls race with an unlimited number of girls competiting in that race. The JV girls won first place with junior Finley Schwenker winning first place in the JV girls race.

“The race was really hard but it went good, and winning for the JV girls and team felt really good,” Schwenker said. 

Finishing off the JV race, was the boys JV race with the unlimited JV boys. The JV boys took second, with senior Alex Peterson winning first place in the race with a time of 17:35.

“At the beginning of the race, I felt rough, I was not feeling good,” Peterson said. “However in the middle of the race it was so good, I was on fire and was passing everybody.”

The final two events of districts was the Freshman boys and girls race. The first freshman race was the girls freshman race, with nine girls competing. The freshman girls got 1st place in their event, with freshman, Cate Cloran taking first place in the freshman girls race.

“I felt pretty good about it, and I’m hoping to continue to improve overtime,” Cloran said.

The final race of districts was the freshman boys race, with eight boys competiting. The freshman boys took home third place with their event, and freshman Jack Ebeier was first for the team by getting third place. 

“It was really great, hardwork paid off, credit to Jackson for training me hard all year,” Ebeier said.

At the end of the event when all the plaques and medals were handed out, head cross country coach, Collin Sully said he was pleased with how the day turned out.

“For 10 girls and 10 boys, this is just the beginning of a long championship season that includes regionals and state,” Coach Sully said. “For most of our team, this is a transition period from XC to Track. Of the six races, we had today, VXC had individual race winners in five, we took home three team titles and were not far off the lead from the other three. I’m looking forward to our postseason, but I’m also excited for what the future holds for this team.”

If you would like to see more of Cross Country’s district competition, check out the photo gallery where you can find many pictures from the competition:  https://www.vandegriftvoice.com/multimedia/2021/10/14/cross-country-at-districts/#slideshow