By J1 Reporter Julia Hingorani
A starter gun is fired. Crowds cheer. Hundreds of runners begin sprinting. It’s time for State Cross Country.
Among these many runners was freshman Brooke Wigdahl, whose first time running at State Cross Country was this Friday, October 21.
The race was a 5k, which is standard for a high school cross country race. It was set in Kearney, Nebr. on the Kearney Country Club golf course.
As a freshman, Wigdahl was completely new to cross country. Greg Golka, the assistant coach of the team, said, “Cross country is a great way for incoming freshman to make friends and to be connected to something.” This is true, along with excitement for the most anticipated race of the year.
State was divided into eight races with approximately 100 runners in each race. Because Marian is a Class A school, the top seven runners for Marian ran in the girls Class A race.
Wigdahl was definitely excited for state cross country, regardless of how nerve-racking running the actual race may be. The team, coached by Marian teachers Roger Wright, Greg Golka, and Alee Cotton, left from Marian around 1 p.m. the previous day.
Before running a race, Wigdahl says a runner should do several things. “It’s a good idea to eat a pasta dinner the night before and go on a short jog the day before to keep loose,” she suggested. When running the actual race, she tells herself two things: keep going and think positively. Wigdahl has also found that it helps to have a fast-paced song in her head.
Wigdahl ended her race as the top Marian runner with a time of 20:33, which is her best time on the Kearney course. She finished 29th place out of 99 runners. Overall, the Marian cross country team ended in 8th place out of 12 teams.
Golka sees a bright future, “This meet shows us that there are good things to come in the future. There are several current freshmen and sophomores on the team, so we have a very young team,” he said. Brooke Wigdahl will be running cross country again as a sophomore, and said she can’t wait for state next year.
Read more about Marian cross country here!