Girls Cross Country Competes in State Meet

After a successful season, the girls cross country team will dearly miss talented runner, Annessa Shively.


Courtesy of Nile Heefner

The girls had a great time racing at one of the nicest courses in the Midwest.

The four girls who qualified out of the district meet on October 30th ran in the state meet on Thursday, November 5th.

Annessa Shively, senior, finished 33rd, Kharis Perona, junior, finished 61st, Kate VanZee, freshman, finished 62nd, Sabrina Holohan, freshman, who had been battling an injury, finished 84th. The girls battled hard and did great on the unusually hot day in November, and they will use this meet as a learning experience going forward.

“We didn’t get to run that many large meets this season because of COVID and having a lot of participants made it very fun. The course was great too. This experience really motivates our young team to train a lot in the off-season so that next year we can qualify for state as a team,” said Perona.

For Shively, one of only two seniors on the team along with Emma Smith, her first high school cross country season was also her last. The Arkansas Razorbacks soccer commit was able to balance club soccer and cross country for the first time this year, and it was fun to watch her talents translate from the field to the cross country course.

“The last couple months have been so much fun and I’m so happy I decided to join the team. I never thought I’d say this at the beginning of the season, but I actually really looked forward to coming to practice everyday because my teammates all make it so fun,” said Shively.

During the season, Annessa was usually only able to attend half of the cross country practices, as soccer took up a lot of her time. Although there were probably moments where it wasn’t fun doing both sports, such as when she had a meet and soccer games on the same day, her commitment to the team remained steadfast.

“It definitely wasn’t easy trying to do two sports at the same time, but I’m so glad I stuck it out. I’ve made a ton of new friends and getting the chance to run at state was so cool. I really wish I would’ve joined cross country earlier, but I’m really grateful that I was able to get this last season in because it’s honestly been one of my favorite parts of high school so far,” said Shively.

Overall, it was a successful cross country season for both the girls and boys teams, and the runners were blessed to be able to compete amongst the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Note from author: It has been a blast covering both cross country teams this season, and I’m excited to turn my attention to winter sports!