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By Shannon Mulcahey, Xavier junior
CEDAR RAPIDS - As the cross country season draws to a close, the Xavier seniors are taking stock of their last meets.
The Saints are weighing all the positive outcomes that have come their way because they chose to participate in cross country, the sport they love.
Taking part in cross country has offered its members many memorable moments and lessons.
“The advice I would give to cross country runners is to have fun and enjoy the experience because it goes by fast,” senior Zach Schowalter said.
Senior Sarah Chicchelly commented on how she learned to become a better teammate and most of all how she made lots of new friends because of cross country. These friends and memories are what the seniors will cherish for a lifetime.
The girls’ cross country team seniors Chicchelly, Eileen Fagan and Allison Pitz contributed to the fourth-place finish at the Mississippi Valley Conference Divisional Meet on Oct. 11 at the Dubuque Soccer Complex. A week later, they placed sixth overall at the regional meet in Anamosa.
“Participating in cross country has given me self-discipline, determination, perseverance, and great leadership skills,” Pitz said.
Seniors Grant Hunt, Daniel Pape and Brandon Gradoville led the boys’ team to a seventh-place finish overall in the MVC Divisional Meet. The boys captured a second-place finish in the districts, advancing to the state meet. Junior Jacob Schmitt and sophomore Luke Koechner placed fifth and sixth overall, respectively, in the state qualifying meet.
The state meet is Saturday at Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge.
“Cross country has been the best thing I’ve participated in in high school,” Pitz said. “I love it so much and I can’t imagine my life without it. It has given me the confidence to push through tough times because the rewards are endless.”
Saying goodbye to high school cross country will be tough, but the memories and lessons learned will stay with the runners for years to come.