The Varsity cross country (XC) team was on the chase for a state title this year. Marian had previously claimed seven team Class A state championships in 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Marian has also had four individual state championships claimed by runners in the years of 1999 by Anna Jones, 2000 by Laura Spanheimer, 2006 by Emily Sisson, and 2008 by Kelli Budd.
The 2020 Varsity cross country team competed in the A-4 district tournament hosted by Lincoln North Star on Oct. 15. Coached by Mr. Roger Wright, Mr. Greg Golka, Ms. Megan Han ‘13, and Mrs. Alee Cotton ‘05, the team had a successful race with five runners placing in the top 15. Freshman Stella Miner placed first with a time of 18:29.37, more than one minute ahead of the second place runner. Gracie Lampert ‘24 finished in seventh, Molly VonSeggern ‘23 in eighth, Emily Salzman ‘21 in ninth, and Eva Watson ‘21 in 14th. Marian finished as the district runner-ups.
2013 was the first year of the 5,000 meter race. Since then, the best times in the state meet had an average of 18:35.303.
This year’s XC team had a strong freshman class with many returning runners.
“This team is a special combination of experience and youth. We have five returning runners from the squad that ran at state last year combined with the best freshman class of runners in many years,” head coach Roger Wright said.
Prior to state, Wright said, “it’s going to be a good race,” and it was.
After this young group of athletes competed for the 2020 Class A state title on Oct. 23 in Kearney, the team ended its season with a fifth place finish overall with four runners placing in the top 40.
History was made as Miner now holds the Nebraska state record for fastest 5,000 meter race with a time of 18.11.00, beating the previous 2013 record holder Jeralyn Poe of Lincoln North Star, who had a time of 18:14.90.