By Greta Flanagan
Cross country is one of the lesser known sports at OBHS, often shadowed by the big-time sports like football. However, cross-country runners are still climbing to the top of the pack. This year’s girls cross country team recently ended a spectacular season as conference champions for the first time in several years. Although they have only six girls on the team, just enough to actually compete, they've managed to reign undefeated and defeat 13 other teams.
Runners are extremely grateful and proud of their own accomplishments as well as their teammates’, and they hope to keep the championship title another year.
“I am so proud of every member on the team. We work so hard every day, and it truly paid off. I cannot wait to see what we can do in the future. Being conference champions is a huge accomplishment!” says junior Michela Rutigliano, who has been a part of the team since her arrival in eighth grade.
Victory has been rewarding especially for the runners who’ve been on the team since middle school. Not only have they managed to achieve a team goal, but they’ve also attained their own personal goals. Hannah Lopes, Maggie McNamara, Michela Rutigliano, Amandine Bourne, and I have all beaten the designated running time of 23:10. If any female runner surpasses this time, she becomes an all conference runner.
“It is such an honor to be a part of such a great team, and I am proud of everyone’s accomplishments this season. Being in my first year on the team, I was unsure of what to expect, but my expectations were surpassed. I am having a great time running with these girls, and I feel so welcomed!” says freshmen Amandine Bourne, who is our newest arrival to cross country and has had a wonderful season.
Amandine, Maggie, and I have all recently been top 25 in the county race, making us all county runners, an admirable feat for such a tough race.
The girls’ State Qualifier meet took place shortly after, and it ended with a win for the girls representing Nassau County at this year’s state meet at Sunken Meadow State Park.
Most recently was the New York State Championship meet, and although the team as a whole did not do as well as they had wanted, their individual times were extraordinary. This year’s course was incredibly difficult, adding approximately 40 seconds to the times a runner would get at Bethpage State Park. However, the girls on the team ran the same times they’ve run at Bethpage. Some even managed to beat the all conference time on this course, despite it being one of the hardest cross country courses in New York. I came in 16th in this meet and became an all state runner, and I managed to break the school’s previous Sunken Meadow girls record of 20:32 with a time of 20:22.
I am extremely proud of our team this year; everyone’s individual efforts were noteworthy, and we worked well together as a team. Cross country is like a family, and I’m excited to continue another season with our remarkable team.
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