The cross country team exceeded preseason expectations by qualifying for the state championship. Both the girls’ and boys’ teams qualified for states, which were on Nov. 12. They did this by finishing in the top seven in the West Region Championship.
At the MPSSAA 4A West Region Championship on Nov. 3, the boys’ team finished fifth, with a score of 128. Sophomore John Riker led the team with a time of 16:36.73, good enough for eighth overall. Senior Renato Nunez finished 17th with a time of 17:12.22 and sophomore Joe Pohoryles finished 29th with a time of 17:26.25.
The girls’ team finished in second, with a score of 98, and was led by sophomore Jessica Trzeciak, who finished sixth, with a time of 19:24.02. Freshman Alyssa D’Arpa finished 16th with a time of 20:09.17 and sophomore Madeline Grainger finished 23rd with a time of 20:36.55.
Their whole season came down to one final three mile-race, states, which was at Hereford High School on Nov. 12. They practiced and ran hard all season for this moment .
The boys’ team finished in ninth place, with a score of 260. They were led by Riker, who finished in 11th place with a time of 16:47.2. He was followed by Nunez, who finished in 37th with a time of 17:16.7 and fellow senior Connor Lawrence, who finished in 70th with a time of 17:38.8. “The boys team faced much competition with other strong teams,” junior Amir Van Gieson said.
The girls’ team finished second with a score of 118 and were led by Trzeciak with a time of 17:36.0. She was followed by D’Arpa, who finished in 19th place with a time of 20:24.6 and sophomore Adna Trakic, who finished in 21st place with a time of 20:27.0. “The girls had their best race of the year. It was the highest finish in school history making this one of the best girls teams ever at Wootton High School,” coach Matthew Davis said.
This was another successful year for the cross country team. Four members of the team were able to medal at staes: Trzeciak, D’Arpa, Trakic, and Riker. They were not projected to do as well as last year, but with upperclassmen leadership, they were able to have a solid year after the departure of last year’s class. The team will be losing 20 seniors in total: 10 boys and 10 girls.
“After losing many talented runners last year, the team was faced with many large shoes to fill. Having taken this into consideration, I think that the team was satisfied with what we accomplished. I believe that we can continue to improve as a team and next year will be very promising,” Van Gieson said.