State serves as a learning experience for cross country athletes

By EllaPlank

Every athlete dreams of going to state from the moment the season begins. This dream became a reality for cross country runners sophomore Lucy Ambrose and junior McKenna Stover. 

Runners McKenna Stover ’24 and Lucy Ambrose ’25 qualified for State Cross Country on Oct. 13 in Kearney. Photo by MaryAmbrose

On Oct. 13, the Cross Country team ran in districts in Norfolk. Ambrose and Stover both qualified for state placing 11th and 12th out of 49 runners. The top 15 in each district along with the top three teams gain the opportunity to be able to run in state. Marian as a team placed fourth out of seven teams in their district. Other members of the team who ran in districts included freshman Maeve Wharton, sophomores Martha Chapman and Nora Coffey and juniors Caitie Slattery and Gracie Lampert.

Along with going to state comes the feeling of anticipation. Ambrose said that she was excited to “see how fast I can go with good competition all around me.” After experiencing state she said “it was a super fun time and an even better learning experience. It helped to motivate me running against such good competition and I am excited for track season.” Ambrose’s experience at state will help prepare her for her future races in cross country and track at Marian.

Before state, Stover said that she was excited to “see how all of her training from the season pays off in the last meet.” Stover said the following about going to state: “it is an experience you will never forget! It is not guaranteed every year so while you’re there you have to just enjoy the experience! It is an amazing feeling knowing that all the hard work you put in during the season paid off. Having the varsity team there to support us was a great feeling. Cross country is a hard sport so all the cheering helps!” Stover along with Ambrose received support from all their teammates which affected their performance.

Along with many sports, but especially with cross country comes many superstitions. A superstition Ambrose has before every meet is “retying my shoes multiple times.” One that Stover has is “wearing the same exact socks at every meet.” Even though these superstitions do not determine the final outcome of the race, they give each and every runner a boost of confidence going into each race, especially state. 

Ambrose and Stover ran in state on Oct. 24 in Kearney representing Marian. Ambrose placed 37th with a time of 20:40.2 and Stover 73rd with a time of 21:56.6 for Marian. It was a nice close to the end of the Marian Cross Country season.

Coach Roger Wright said,“I will remember the 2022 Cross Country season very fondly.  The team worked hard all summer to prepare and continued to work hard all season long. Their times improved and kept improving as the season went on.  They remained in the top 10 during the season and definitely were one of the top teams in Class A.” All team members on the cross country team put all their effort into the practices and meets which showed in their performances. 

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