Cross country wraps up postseason with three meets

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Photo courtesy XCWootton Instagram

The team gathers at the 4A Region XC State Championships.

Since Covid, it’s been almost two full years since Coaches Kellie Redmond and Jacob Buxton have been able to run a normal series of meets. The coaches saw an influx of new runners from all grades. This meant a lot of unfamiliarity with how the team is run. Nevertheless, every runner, veteran and newcomer, the coaches said, put forth their best efforts to create an unforgettable stretch of races. 

To end the season, the team raced in the county, regional and state meets. The girls’ team finished sixth in the state behind only Dulaney, Severna Park, Urbana, Broadneck and Walter Johnson. The season as a whole included 12 events: two two-mile time trials, four regular season meets, two invitationals, one track 5K for the freshman and sophomores and three postseason meets. “I am very pleased with the season as a whole,” Redmond said. “The progress we made as a team from August to November was exceptional. As we moved to the postseason, I knew we were ready to put our best foot forward and compete with the best of them.”

Both varsity teams finished in the top 10 overall at the county championships. “The county meet was a nice start to the postseason and we represented well with the girls finishing fourth and the boys ninth,” Redmond said. “I knew that especially on the girls’ side we had more to give.” 

The 4A West Regionals was more lopsided in terms of how the girls and boys did. “Moving into regionals, the girls had a breakout race and qualified for the state meet,” Redmond said. “Although the boys team didn’t make it as a team due to some sickness, both Nate Riker and Jason Wang had breakout races and qualified as individuals for the state meet.”

Again, the girls continued their dominance at the 4A MPSSAA State Championships. “We had three girls earn individual medals – [sophomore] Tori Ketlzer, [junior] Maya Gottesman, and [junior] Rebecca Vasconez, and the team finished sixth in the 4A race,” Redmond said. “The boys (Riker and Wang), having some injury and sickness, toughed out a very strong race finishing right next to each other and giving everything they had.” 

It was really great to be back with the team starting in June, and watch us grow from then onwards. The senior class had spent four years together so it was really great to have those close bonds and also get to make new ones with underclassmen.”

— Mia Mikowski

Even though the last two years have been challenging for everyone, the excitement of not only returning to school, but returning to sports, fueled the runners’ performances. The coaches said out of all the teams they’ve seen, this would be toward the top of the most memorable list. “It was really great to be back with the team starting in June, and watch us grow from then onwards. The senior class had spent four years together so it was really great to have those close bonds and also get to make new ones with underclassmen,” senior Mia Mikowski said. 

Although the cross country season is over, it was a time that everyone involved won’t soon forget. “I thought my last season of XC was my best one yet. I was a captain this year, so I really enjoyed being a leader on the team. I also greatly enjoyed the deepened team camaraderie and how everyone was so supportive of one another,“ senior Dylan Safai said.